Hanover Grand 25th Anniversary
Updated: Mar 18
Photo by Charissa Van Der Vlies.
25 years ago today, on 27th January 1996, Suede played a secret fanclub gig at the Hanover Grand to about 800 faithful fans. A pivotal point in Suede's history as they played a nine song set showcasing Richard's work and of course it was Neil Codling's debut. 5 of those songs had never been played live before.
Setlist. Photo by Mark Reed
"For Neil himself, it was a most peculiar initiation. "This was still part of being absorbed into the band," he recalls. "And that was a strange thing because it's like, 'Where does this guy stand?' It's like, 'What the fuck do you do with your hands?' I hadn't thought about this shit at all. Every other time thereafter I had a keyboard to sit behind but I only played it on 'Lovely Day', which the Melody Maker for some reason thought was called 'A Terrible Mistake'! But I didn't have anything to do. And Hanover Grand is such a terribly narrow stage so, 'Oh, you're going to have to stand in front of Mat, right at the front,' and Brett and Richard are doing their stuff behind the monitors. I'm standing right at the front so that Mat doesn't whack me with his bass. 'What do I do with my hands?'" From David Barnett's 'Suede - The Biography'. David's book is a must-have for any Suede fan and it's available now on Kindle.
Cover photo by Paul Khera
Whenever fans share their recollections of the Hanover Grand gig, they always do so with such a buzz and infectious energy.
"What I remember from the concert was that is was a big surprise to see Neil on stage. The people standing next to me and myself included thought he was a girl. And happy to find out he wasn’t. It was a very intimate, energetic and as always amazing experience. The band gave their all!"
By Maria Spittau Dupont
Photo by Kay Brown
"One of the best Suede gigs I've ever been to! The trip marked my first-ever time on a plane, first time in London, first time seeing snow fall, first time hearing 'Coming Up' songs and first time seeing Neil. It was just beyond exciting to hear the new songs and when Neil appeared there was an audible gasp and lots of whispers of "Is that a boy or a girl?" Such a wild and exciting gig, the crowd lapped up every second. It was certainly a pivotal moment for Suede and their fans alike. And for me, it was life-changing to discover the place that I would leave Los Angeles for, the place my children would be born, the place I would call home. Suede has always lit the way to making my dreams come true!"
By Rachel Apps
Photo by Charissa Van Der Vlies
"Age 16, my 2nd time seeing Suede but first trip to London to see them.
I remember it still so vividly. An incredible night. My first Fanclub gig experience, so amazing seeing Neil for the first time."
By Theresa Skipper
"The one thing I remember the most though is hearing 'Together' live for the first time and being absolutely blown away by it."
By Marc Jones
"Hanover Grand... It was a cold January night, there was snow, was it before or after the gig? Who cares because it was hot & rammed inside the venue and Suede were on fire! The atmosphere was amazing and the first appearance of Mr Codling provided a moment of wonder, who?, what? but nothing could stop the feeling of he belongs, this is Suede complete."
By Jane Marshall
Photo by Kay Brown.
The Hanover Grand was the most memorable gig ever for me, because while everyone began to line up outside, I was already inside, lugging a video camera around with sweaty-palmed excitement! Interceptor’s David and Sam had helped me arrange a video interview with Brett as part of a project for my media course. I interviewed David first, while he was setting up the merch stand, where I bought a black and silver tee I later wore to death. Then I went backstage to talk to Brett... but it was so dingy in the backstage seating area that Sam decided the ladies loos was the brightest place to film. And it seemed very Suedey, somehow, to interview Brett in the toilets. Before setting up my camera in there I remember saying hi to Richard, Simon, and Mat, and of course Neil was there too, but I had no idea he was the newest member, I just thought he must be a ridiculously good-looking friend or staff member. Easy mistake to make. The interview with Brett was great despite my 18-year-old fangirl nerves. I remember him being very upbeat answering my questions, excited for us to hear the new stuff, and kindly posing for pics with my fanzine. So... just one confession, I set my camera running just before Brett came in, just to make sure it was working properly. But I didn’t pause it, even when we had finished, so when I interviewed Sam, my battery completely ran out midway through her interview! So despite the good quality video camera I had, I had no battery left to film the epic gig. Regrets...
By Donna Sheffield
Photo by Maria Spittau Dupont
"The thing I remember most about this gig was how ridiculously packed and hot it was. Probably illegally so. It was a great venue, though. I've a feeling Mike Christie might have got this one. We also had t-shirts designed by Peter Saville for this, including one with "She" in pink from Brett's typewriter - so some people assumed that was going to be the album title. In typical Peter Saville style, the shirts were really expensive to make - with gold leaf lettering etc. I think they may have cost more to make than they sold for. David McAlmont was there - I remember there being some mad speculation about him being there as a spy for the "other side"! Also I recall telling somebody beforehand there was going to be a massive "reveal" at this gig. Afterwards she asked, what this amazing surprise was. "Did you not SEE that ravishing Suede creature made flesh?" Happy days."
By David Barnett