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"It was the beginnings of the loyal and passionate Suede community that I am happy to say still mills around us today, an assemblage of wonderful zealots who never cease to amaze me with their stamina and their dedication."
- Brett Anderson, Afternoons With The Blinds Drawn

We are beyond thrilled to share an extract from Jane Savidge's new book 'Here They Come With Their Make Up On: Suede, Coming Up... And More Adventures Beyond The Wild Frontiers' which is released on 12th April.

You can pre-order signed copies here.

Congratulations to Nina Kaiser who is our competition winner of the personalised copy of Jane Savidge's new book. Thank you to everyone who entered.

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The key lyrical couplet on ‘Chemistry’ is ‘Class A, Class B / Is that the only chemistry between us? ’—Ed Buller is adamant that he didn’t like the song until Brett came in with the melody and the lyric that sustains it—a keenly signposted comment directed towards social class and the vacuity of drug use amongst the spiritually unconnected. Even so, I must confess that I have always enjoyed this song at its crudest level, as a visceral experience that is surely in contrast to what the song is really about. Indeed, to be honest for a moment—there’s a time and place for everything—the first time I heard ‘The Chemistry Between Us’, I had a sense of its meaning but immediately became immersed in an inner world of my own making.

Richard tells me that he never really focussed too much on the lyrics of 'Chemistry', but they work very well as a statement of where Brett's life was at the time (fast forward two years and ditto with “Down”) and the fans love the sentiment'.


Having revealed as much, Brett seems happy enough that I like the 'Class A, Class B' line. 'Thank you,' he says. It seems to neatly sum up the emptiness lurking behind most hedonism.' I am happy to tell you that I'm happy he's happy—we could be here for hours—but I still maintain that the song is a Great Escape for me—please understand that I am referring to the film starring Steve McQueen rather than the Blur album of the same name—and perhaps that's what Suede have always meant to me: they are my best means of escape from the humdrum and the everyday, even if they do write songs about the humdrum and the everyday as if our lives depended on it.

We have been here before: Suede are nothing if not the masters of the art of smuggling the ugly vagaries of reality past the Truth Police, and don't we just know it; 'Animal Nitrate' managed to get a not-so-thinly disguised reference to a drug associated with sex and the gay community on to Top Of The Pops and the BRIT Awards; 'So Young' appeared to condone the use of heroin but then headed off any critics at the pass with a last-minute suggestion to 'chase the dragon from our homes'; and I've lost count of the amount of times their songs hide in plain sight amidst the banality of their surroundings. 'The Chemistry Between Us' is something of a misnomer in this regard, as it appears to do exactly what it says on the tin. However, it's still one of the finest examples of the type of 1990s kitchen-sink drama the band are associated with; the song's sanguine reflections on being young and easily led—and perhaps not even tired of it—inevitably lead to the kids getting out of their heads, and everything is delivered with such gay abandon, it's worthy of a Pinter play.

To conclude our discussions, Ed Buller throws his hat into the ring with the suggestion that there was ‘originally a bit of a 'Wild Horses' vibe going on there, but that went. It has something in common with 'The Wild Ones', but without the chilling feel. It's optimistic, which was the mood of the recording.'

So, it's a song that sits halfway between 'The Wild Ones' and 'Wild Horses'? I can live with that.
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Photo by: Angela Johnson

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