Suede's new 'Pig' on the block

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17 September 1994

NME

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Submitted by: Amanda Blazier

Suede's new 'Pig’ on the block

SUEDE have announced that a 17-year-old, classically-trained guitarist is the replacement for the departed Bernard Butler.

Richard Oakes, from Poole, Dorset, is currently rehearsing and writing new songs with the band in a South London studio.

His first public appearance with Suede will be on Top Of The Pops performing 'We Are The Pigs'. He will make his live debut on the band's full-scale UK tour in November, the dates of which are currently being finalised.

Bassist Mat Osman said of the band's new recruit: "He's excellent and it's all going fine. We sound better than we've done for a long time. We've just got to get him settled in."

A spokesperson told NME: "The band are delighted with Richard. He was one of about six people who auditioned and it just clicked. He's got no previous track record but he does write songs."

The spokesperson said Oakes, who has Bernard Butler-style long hair and is described as "very dishy", was also an accomplished pianist. He added: "He stood out above everyone else. He is a natural talent."

Oakes has already been photographed by top fashion lensman Brad Branson, although Brett Anderson is still checking the results.

A spokesman for Butler, who quit Suede after a series of rows, told NME: "I'm sure Bernard would wish him well."

Butler is currently considering several projects and is, according to his spokesperson, "bursting with great songs and ideas". He is also expected to play at a one-off gig in London during September as a "special guest", although details have yet to be confirmed.

Suede's new double album, 'Dog Man Star' is released on October 10.