Review: Suede, O2 Guildhall Southampton, March 24

Review: Suede, O2 Guildhall Southampton, March 24

words and photos: Anita Foxall.

Suede released their new album Autofiction In September 2022 and they are now touring to promote it. The Southampton Guildhall received them last night, and they were as magnificent has they have always been.


Dublin-based Sprints opened the night, and their garage punk sound was incredibly well received by the crowd. They formed in 2019 and are quickly becoming one of the new Irish bands that you will be hearing about a lot. Their EPs ‘A Modern Job’ and ‘Manifesto’ deserve attentive listening,

When Suede came on stage the expectations were high, but the connection with the audience was immediate. The focus was obviously the new album, so the three opening songs were new ones: Turn off your Brain and Yell, Personality Disorder and 15 Again; quickly followed by three of their bigest hits: The Drowners, Animal Nitrate and Trash.

Brett Anderson was wonderfully engaging with the crowd, and as always his performance was passionately physical, giving himself to the music and the show body and soul.

There were more new songs, and some surprises from their various other albums. As a huge Suede fan, I checked the setlist for their previous shows and though it starts and ends pretty much the same way, each show has had its own very special surprises. Southampton was graced with: Everything will Flow, Can’t Get Enough, Where the Pigs Don’t Fly and He is Gone.

Southampton was also given a couple of unique highlights: when Brett picked up a guitar and sang The Wild Ones solo and acoustically with the crowd; and then when he shared that Suede felt like an appreciated band for the very first time, as a new touring band, when they played The Joiners in Southampton. What a special moment to be part of a city that is remembered like that by a band. In fact, you can read this in his biography Afternoons with the Blinds Down: “One of my fondest memories was playing the Southampton Joiners Arms where it seemed like something quite wonderful was happening” and “as I looked over the small sea of faces it felt like a ‘moment’, like everyone there knew something special was happening and that it was beyond anyone’s control. If I had one personal memory that seems to define the point when Suede really ‘happened’ it would actually be that show.”

After this moment of appreciation more songs followed, mainly from the origins of Suede, ending with New Generation and then they came back for an encore where they played The Beautiful Ones: a wonderfully appropriate to end a very beautiful evening of music.


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