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NME Reviews: Suede Manchester Apollo

John Perry

7 December 1996





Submitted by: Jane Marshall


Manchester Apollo

VERY STRANGE. Suede's devoted following in the Grim North are a bloody rum bunch. While the female of the species seems to have stepped from

the pages of Indie Vogue, dripping black satin and silver fox and draped elegantly over the Apollo's stained velvet seats, their gentlemen suitors walk like they have a cement-mixer tucked under each

arm and chain-smoke asbestos rollies, striking the matches on their calloused knuckles.

Sensitive fellows obviously, taste for quiche, know how to cry when their team lose, yet it's still rather shocking to find that it's a swan-necked Southerner like Brett Anderson who brings out the feminine side in men who spend every other night of the week pit-fighting rabid wolves with three ham-hock limbs tied behind their backs.

But then again, as the bruised, purple-smoke intro of 'Sheflashbombs into a juddering floorboard-rippling versh of Trash', it's easy to see how a man with a cupboardful of overdue library books can melt hearts like ice cubes in a urinal.

Brett Anderson is, quite simply, a star. A bright, shiny, pointy star covered in pink glitter, swaying at the top of the tallest pine. Completely rehabilitated after that nasty run-in with a number of pies, Brett is a blur of Slimfast elegance, twisting

his triple-jointed rubber bones into impossible shapes and swinging his mike like a loose-hipped Roger Daltrey without the curls. Grown brickies begin to weep.

And with Brett speeding faster than a runaway train, the whole black satin hang-glider can't help but lift off the stage and soar into the balcony.

Wee Richard has been seized by the spir-ay-ay-ate of Billy Duffy, windmilling his pipe-cleaner arms across a ridiculously over-sized guitar, Bee Gee escapee Mat swings his bass like a lipstick extra

from a Robert Palmer video, while Neil, realising that he is just too good-looking to live, explodes all over his keyboards. Almost.

Tonight, finally, Suede are a casually tossed margarita; a frosty, bittersweet mouthful of salt and lime, both sophisticated and intoxicating. They

have transcended their halls-of-residence bedroom poster status and shot into another orbit where they write the rules in smoking letters across the

sky. They are no longer just a bloke with girl's hair who shakes his arse like he's trying to get coconuts to drop out of his trousers: Suede have finally earned that 'Best Band On The Face Of The anet

And Quite A Few Of The Nearer Stars Too' subtitle by doing everything better than everyone else. They rock like a mouthful of hot gravel on 'Filmstar and Animal Nitrate', they pose like Dietrich on 'Losing Myself' and live newie 'Sound Of The Streets', and they squeeze saltwater from the Elephant Stone scallies with the torchsong-tastic 'Wild Ones' and 'Saturday Night'.

But once Suede have torn the prison-tattooed tears from the swaying crowd with their spotlit, Liza Minnelli moments, they make sure they stamp them into the stage carpet with the Donner und

Blitzen 'Beautiful Ones' and 'So Young'. Suede could break a million glass hearts with the glistening pearls of 'By The Sea' or 'Heroine', but they so love loud guitars playing lovely tunes they can't stand still long enough to turn into Soft Cell.

Besides, Brett hasn't the stomach to be Mark Almond; for all his poncery, Brett is a brawler, taunting the crowd from the lip of the stage on skin-tight stilts, flapping his maracas and purring like a tiger yearning to taste the charabanc-trippers

beyond the pit. Tonight, Brett Anderson grew wings and Suede scraped the clouds. Near wild heaven.

By John Perry

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