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sunshine
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tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 16 Sep 2018, 19:54

Tuesday 18th September
RADIO 5 at 1pm: Brett & Mat will chat with Nihal
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000fy0

Monday 24th September
RADIO 2 at 5pm: Suede will chat with Jo Wiley & Simon Mayo, perform 'Life is Golden'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000gzv

sunshine
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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 19 Sep 2018, 19:14

Suede interview: 'We felt bulletproof – we felt we could do anything... but we couldn't'
The Britpop originators (and disowners) are about to release their darkest and most deviant record yet
Mark Beaumont |
Age may gouge at him, sobriety steal his impetuous wild side and fatherhood keep him from the bawdy haunts of youth, but Brett Anderson will never lose his poise – that vulpine posture and glint-eyed impudence. He’s charming like a viper.
He has it now, draped over an armchair in his immaculate Scandi-styled Notting Hill apartment (he lives with his family near Wells in Somerset, but keeps a W11 address for work appointments), wrists curled, eyes steely, bohemian insouciance dripping from every pore. Though he probably hasn’t visited since 1996, he’s still the coolest man in Camden.
During our interview, his composure drops only once, when our interview strays from the regular Suede topics of gritty drama, sex, drugs, paranoia, romantic squalor and heroic rock ambition, and takes a sudden and unexpected left turn into the realm of masturbating Beatles.
He almost spills the tea from his Sex Pistols mug. “Hang on, what was that?”
I explain that Paul McCartney recently confessed in an interview that, pre-Beatles, he, John Lennon and some family friends once enjoyed a masturbatory free-for-all, shouting out names of sex symbols like Brigitte Bardot and, um, Winston Churchill as encouragement.
“His quote is, ‘I masturbated in front of John Lennon once, maybe twice’,” Suede’s bassist (and brother of Pointless co-host Richard) Mat Osman says, laughing. “He’s got to be the only person in the world who doesn’t know how many times he’s wanked in front of John Lennon.”
A spot of light relief in a morbid hour-and-a-half. After reforming from a seven-year hiatus in 2010 and releasing two new albums that wiped the slate clean of disappointing post-peak albums Head Music (1999) and A New Morning (2002), where they restored their reputation as rock’s finest crafters of grandiose pop opulence; Britpop originators (and disowners) Suede are about to release their darkest and most deviant album yet.
If 2013’s Bloodsports recaptured their original sordid thrill and 2016’s Night Thoughts (accompanied by an album-length film following the dying flashbacks of a drowning victim) emulated the billowing scope of their 1994 masterpiece Dog Man Star, the final part of their reunion triptych, The Blue Hour, is grander – and more gruesome – still.
Couching some of the most chandelier-shattering ballads and catchiest trash-pop escape anthems of their career in monk chants, The Omen choirs, sinister poetry about dead birds and spoken-word interludes about midnight burials and hunts for missing children, The Blue Hour is as chilling as any British horror flick and as nasty as a Nordic noir. Imagine the horror film Hereditary if its grisly car scene had featured a stupendous chorus or 12.
“There’s an English gothic-ness to it,” Anderson agrees, “almost like an Edgar Allan Poe tinge. I wanted it to have the feeling of some dark poetry that I like, things like Ted Hughes, that wintry rural feel, painting the countryside as a brutal, unpleasant place in the same way that Seamus Heaney does. You’ve got to choose a mood and try and make it as extreme as possible.”
We demand spoilers. What’s the significance of the dead bird? What’s being buried? “I don’t want to answer any questions,” Anderson says. “It’s the artist’s job to deepen the mystery, as Francis Bacon once so perfectly put it. There is a sort of narrative thread in the back of my mind, but as soon as I disclose what that narrative thread is, the album becomes a concept album and it’s not a concept album. It’s more like painting a picture and creating a series of colours, in an impressionistic way you’re throwing things together and this imagery is coming out.”
“It’s like those late David Lynch films where there might be a story behind it, you’re never quite sure,” says Osman.
“In most art, as soon as you know too much what’s happening, that’s when you start switching off,” Anderson continues. “It’s like in drama and thrillers – it’s finding it out, it’s the journey that’s the exciting bit. You start switching off as soon as it starts falling into place. It’s one of the beautiful things about pop music, that there are as many meanings to a song as there are listeners.”
Much of Suede’s motivation for making new records was to avoid becoming part of the current wave of Butlins Britpop revival acts. “Our whole attitude since reforming was not to be some sort of nostalgic revivalist band that reminded people of dancing round to ‘Animal Nitrate’,” Anderson says, “I feel those old songs of ours have got a primal energy that doesn’t feel nostalgic. When we play “Killing of A Flash Boy”, it’s brutal, [but] I want the band to have a second creative wind beyond the Nineties.”
They are, however, looking back. Their long-term filmmaker friend Mike Christie has produced a Sky Arts documentary on the band, Suede: The Insatiable Ones, which screens this November, using reams of archive footage shot by Christie and drummer Simon Gilbert. It promises to be a revelation.
“It’s a warts and all documentary,” says Osman. “It’s about 60 per cent warts.”
“I wanted it to be a brutally frank thing, so hopefully it’ll be revealing,” Anderson says. “The hardest bit to talk about is Head Music and A New Morning, when everything started falling apart. It’s easy to sit there and talk about how great it was for the first three albums, but when you talk about disintegration in a band and to be really honest about those things, especially when at the time we probably didn’t talk about it, young men don’t talk about things, they just happen. It’s not until you get older you’ve got the emotional tools to talk about those things. We were talking about things together for the first time.”
“When a band like us falls apart you just pretend everything’s fine,” Osman says. “So you have five people pretending this it’s fine and privately going ‘what the f*** is happening to my life?’”
“We were all, privately, completely in pieces,” Anderson admits.
With their frontman famously addicted to heroin and crack at the time, to what degree were drugs responsible for Suede’s disintegration?
“It’s part of the cause and part of the effect,” Osman says. “I think we could’ve managed to really f*** up without drugs. I think we would. They helped. But at the same time we probably have that seed of self-destruction in us. If you’re interested in the extremes then you’re at the danger of excess finishing you. That’s what happened to the band. We felt bulletproof, we felt we could do anything we wanted and we couldn’t. It’s a hard thing to come up against. From The Drowners to Head Music coming out – the harder we pushed the better it got. But we burnt ourselves out.”
“It’s self-sabotage,” Anderson adds. “As soon as things become too safe, we wriggle. We always need something to fight against, a point to prove. The first album was this struggle of being a band and trying to be heard and doing something that’s against the grain, the second album Bernard was x-ed and the third album we were trying to form a new identity. When it got to the fourth album we’d become quite accepted by the music industry and we almost self-detonated because of that.”
The classic story, then: fun drugs on the way up, until heroin spoils the party. “It’s so formulaic isn’t it?” Anderson sighs. “The story of every band is exactly the same. Struggle, success, excess, disintegration.”
“It’s basically the fall of Rome,” Osman says of the documentary’s portrayal of Suede’s legendary decadence.
Anderson grins. “With me cast as Nero.”
Osman cites “poverty” as a factor in cleaning up, while Anderson attributes it to the “huge wakeup call” that was A New Morning: “When we realised we were in danger of betraying our audience, that’s when we really started to say ‘OK, we’ve got to do things differently’. That’s what’s been so exciting about coming back, trying to rewrite our own history. To say we made a couple of mistakes towards the end, but that wasn’t how it was supposed to be.”
Both have fonder memories, too. Though Anderson claims to still have “psychological scars” about how his public persona became cartoonish and out of his control – “like the ventriloquist dummy in the horror film that has its own life” – he recalls the first flush of success as a once-in-a-lifetime rush. “That cusp of going from being on the dole to being on the cover of the NME, that’s unrepeatable,” he says.
“There’s an amazing side to it of finding a world of people like you,” Osman says. “With Suede there was this sense of people coming out of the cracks between things. Playing those gigs where you saw these quite strange, kooky, individual people become a mob was always really exciting.”
Did setting themselves (rather cattily) apart from the Britpop herd cause issues when they were forced to mingle at festivals and the like? “I can remember coming to breakfast at a festival in Sweden and you forget that every f***ing band’s gonna be in the same hotel,” Osman says, chuckling. “You sit there and go ‘s***, the [number of] people I’ve slagged off here. Only pick on people smaller than you from now on’. We were fairly rude and there was a sense at the time of it being quite competitive, these little turf wars were being played out in the national press, people who lived on the same street as us in Camden.”
Some of Anderson’s more embarrassing Nineties pronouncements have come of age, however. His notorious claim to be “a bisexual man who’s never had a homosexual experience” raised mocking eyebrows in 1993; in today’s discussions on gender and sexuality he might be applauded for such a self-aware attitude.
“You can be very bleak about the future but the sense of liberal, fluid attitude towards sexuality is a wonderful thing,” he says. “The fact that young people can question their sexuality and not feel imprisoned by it. I’m proud to have been part of that dialogue early on.”
Dig into The Blue Hour and the script finds a little – terrifying – autobiographical focus. It’s set in a rural wasteland much like Brett’s childhood home on the dark edge of Haywards Heath: “It was literally on the edge of civilisation,” Osman recalls, “the town just runs out, [his] is the last house and then it’s just the woods – if you were to move 20 yards further you were off the map”.
It’s told from a child’s perspective – losing themselves in the ring-road no-man’s-land on the classic Suede glam blast “Wastelands”, watching their father have an affair on the plaintive “Mistress” and fleeing for the big smoke with the “small town dreamers” of “Beyond the Outskirts”, a bombastic beauty destined to start a million avalanches – and is loosely linked to Anderson’s recent coming-of-age autobiography Coal Black Mornings. So are we to assume that all of this, including the story of the lonely runaway being willingly abducted in opener “As One” and the ensuing search party, is based in fact?
“No, it’s based in fear,” Anderson replies. “I wouldn’t be simplistic and say I had a lonely, bad childhood. If I was going to generalise, I had quite a sunny childhood. But I was quite neurotic and there are always shadows in the corner, I was that kind of child.”
“Everything was lurking, the shadows in the room,” he continues. “Having a child unlocks memories of your own childhood, so when I’m talking about a child in The Blue Hour, of course that child is me. It’s my ruminations on childhood, the terror, the fear, the sense of disquiet and unease, but through the eyes of the character.
“It’s an extension of the idea of Night Thoughts, these moments of terror in the middle of the night when you worry about your future, and your child’s future. It’s more a projection of your own fear.” He smirks. “I’ve been watching too many thrillers on Netflix, probably.”
A towering second-era achievement to rank alongside their finest early albums – a rare, rejuvenating accomplishment for a ‘reunion’ band – The Blue Hour is the result of Suede, along with most guitar bands, being streamed clean out of the mainstream.
“To be honest I didn’t even know there still was a singles chart,” Anderson says, ruefully. “When we made Bloodsports we thought we still had a foothold in the mainstream, and we learnt that we didn’t. That was a really freeing thing, when we realised that we didn’t have to jump through those hoops – it means you can make music for quite pure reasons. I do worry for young leftfield bands, what their platform is, it’s more nebulous than it used to be. But it was a really exciting realisation that we didn’t have to manufacture these slightly artificial pop hits.”
“The minute that we thought to ourselves, especially after Bloodsports, that we’re not going to be a sensation on Radio 1 ever again, there’s this incredible freedom,” Osman adds. “‘What can we do that no one else can do better than us?’”
The answer? To “expand” rock music, and indulge the lost art of the “album” album. “You’re always being told that the album is dead and people are only listening to singles,” Anderson argues, “but I really believe – and I might be this King Canute figure – that the album has got a place, it takes you somewhere. There are an army of people out there that love the discipline of an album, want to be challenged by listening to a record. They don’t want to just flip between songs, they want to be taken to a world for 45 minutes, they want to be transported somewhere. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Suede acknowledge that guitar music is shrinking back into its underground niche – “It’s cyclical,” says Osman. “Neil Tennant said it’s basically the 1950s all over again. You have hit songwriters and managers and gatekeepers and the artists have become their singers. It’s the music biz in retreat and trying to control everything. But there will be a generation who say ‘this is too formulaic’”. But as they plan a “grittier, black-and-white band record” next time, these terminal outsiders, as always, relish the challenges of the underdog.
“We have to work hard for it,” Anderson says. “I never get the sense that we can ever rest on our laurels. There’s certain artists that get to that point where the media simply can’t be objective about them anymore. They release a new album and everything you read about it is ‘it’s absolutely brilliant, five stars’ and you listen to it and think ‘really?’ Suede never got to that point, we were never allowed to cruise, we always have to be at the top of our game. We’ve scrapped really hard to get where we are but we’re always clinging on a bit, and that’s what makes it exciting.”
He strikes a pose, grins. “The margins have always been the most exciting and relevant place.”
Suede are lurking in the darkness on the edge of town. Hunt them down.
The Blue Hour, the new album from Suede, is out on 21 September via Rhino Entertainment
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 44916.html

sunshine
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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 19 Sep 2018, 19:27

Sep 19, 2018
Suede – ‘The Blue Hour’ review
Andrew Trendell
On their eighth album, Brett Anderson and co. take the road less travelled, exploring rural decay with cinematic lushness
“Today I found a dead bird,” sings Brett Anderson on this album’s Scott Walker-esque centre-piece, ‘Roadkill’. Poor bloody bird, with its “brittle bones like snapped twigs / Savaged by the tyres and tossed in the tar / Broken in the English dirt / A carcass for the carrying crow”. Set atop a haze of strings and drones, Anderson’s spoken-word lament and the surrounding atmosphere of fog, doom and death capture the essence of ‘The Blue Hour’.
The unwitting but revolutionary forefathers of Britpop are now well away from the hedonism, decadence and urban decay that once inspired them. Instead, on their eighth album, they wander down the B-roads, among – well – the fly-tippings, the chain-link fences and the badger corpses. They’ve hit the countryside, but this is not a pastoral. Suede’s latest evolution sees them boldly flexing their imaginations to the terror and vulnerability that lays “just beyond the hard shoulder”.
As Gregorian chants blend with trademark piercing riffs, the cinematic lushness of opener ‘As One’ could sit just as easily on a West End musical score. You can imagine Anderson beating his chest and treading the boards as he howls, “Here I am / Talking to my shadow / Head in my hands”. The orchestral flutterings of ‘All The Wild Places’ also lend themselves well to the drama of a soundtrack, while the heavenly ‘The Invisibles’ could have passed a Bond song.
Anderson has described this as the final part in their trio of comeback records, which began with the 2013’s ‘Bloodsports’ and continued with 2016’s resplendent ‘Night Thoughts’. You sense that ‘The Blue Hour’ is Suede giving themselves the grandest of curtain calls on their current era.
At a sprawling 14 tracks, it may contain a few flourishes too many – and many may find themselves weighed down by the opulence. However, it’s still littered with the usual calling cards to fall in love with. The aching ‘Life Is Golden’ and almighty ‘Flytipping’ shimmer among their finest and more bittersweet ballads, while ‘Wastelands’ and ‘Cold Hands’ both swagger with Suede’s usual elegiac arena pop prowess.
While there’s a comforting familiarity that comes with all things Suede, it’s wonderfully shrouded on ‘The Blue Hour’ by a very new, romantic and alluring strangeness. These are not hits to shake your bits to. Nor will these beats shake your meat. Rest assured, Suede remain the beautiful ones, but are just looking for beauty in ever more curious places.
Release date: September 21
Record label: Rhino Entertainment

https://www.nme.com/reviews/album/suede ... our-review

sunshine
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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 25 Sep 2018, 20:06

Album Reviews




Suede – The Blue Hour


Suede – The Blue Hour



The Blue Hour is every bit as cold and earthy as its name suggests. It's an album filled with ideas of dead birds and decay. The sound of old stone filled with weeds and rusted fences. This is pretty familiar territory for Suede by this point. This is one of the few comebacks done without any sense of throwback and, more importantly, from a band with many more good ideas to get out. Where so many bands fall victim to going backwards on an everlasting victory lap, Suede showed no intention of retracing old ground again. They wanted to push themselves further forward.

The Blue Hour is most easily comparable to their 1994 album, Dog Man Star, which deals in terribly bleak subject matter. However, for all its stone cold moments, The Blue Hour doesn't appear bleak to me, not even particularly dark. There are classic gothic undertones and grisly kitchen sink realities that the band are particularly excellet at conjuring but, overall, it's really quite cathartic to listen to. Brett Anderson's vocal hasn't changed a great deal over the band’s career; he sings in a less abrasive manner, however his voice remains every bit as euphoric to listen to as it always has been.

The thing with The Blue Hour is, it's an unbelievably grand album to listen to. Suede are one of the few bands that would write a rock album to then only go on to make it sound as close to it being recorded in a church hall as they could. 'As One', with the help of a choir of monks, is a song of epic cinema. It sets the tone for The Blue Hour perfectly.

There are plenty of familiar flourishes from classic Suede. Mainly structurally and in Richard Oakes' guitar, however, this is a band that have evolved so much so from their earlier days. Even from their first reunion album, Bloodsports, they've still gone forward. It seems Suede couldn't lose their creative spark even if they tried.

The way The Blue Hour is put together is also very impressive. Each song manages to shift and move so smoothly between one another and build to its logical conclusion in 'Flytipping'. It's clear that Suede are in a place where they can make the albums they want to, without having to prove or win anyone over.

The majority of the songs on The Blue Hour are written with that familiar sense of balladry that have always followed Suede around. Think 'New Generation', 'The Wild Ones' or 'She's Not Dead' for points of comparison but written by a far more mature band. It doesn't mix up these ideas too much and isn't an album that's striking in the way of hits and singles. However, for what the band have shot for, that would be a complete misfire.

The Blue Hour is a lengthy and sprawling listen. It certainly isn't the place to start with as your first Suede album but it's unlikely anyone would either. There's a great feeling with The Blue Hour, as there was with Night Thoughts, that Suede are just making albums for themselves and are adding to their discography as they see fit. I don't think they're really that fussed about the limelight anymore.

ith that mindset, The Blue Hour lets you enjoy Suede running free creatively. So many bands that reunite end up becoming shackled by that very thing, in Suede's case it’s set them free. The Blue Hour is a creative triumph and an epic album to listen to. Suede have a creative light that simply won’t die down.

Chris Middleton
https://brightonsfinest.com/html/music/ ... -blue-hour

sunshine
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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 26 Sep 2018, 19:54

September 24, 2018
REVIEW: Suede – ‘The Blue Hour’ (Suede Ltd. / Warner)
by Ed Biggs
8/10
In a sentence: Still bent on creativity and pushing their limits years after their Britpop contemporaries became lazy and fat, Suede have delivered one of their finest albums with ‘The Blue Hour’.
There are few practitioners in the field of grandiose rock statements as experienced and consistent as Suede. In an age where guitar groups are being forced to cut its cloth according to budgetary constraints, there’s little room for the old-fashioned expansive masterpiece. In short, Suede represent a vanishing breed in the context of 2018. Judging by the healthy critical notices and chart positions for 2013’s Bloodsports and 2016’s Night Thoughts, however, there’s clearly a place in the world for them. While their erstwhile Britpop cohorts are either defunct or lazily peddling the hits, Suede are still taking the job seriously.
The Blue Hour, the third record in the band’s sequence of comeback albums since their reformation at the start of the decade, plays like an update of their dystopian classic Dog Man Star for austerity-ravaged, left-behind Britain. Where Night Thoughts was a gritty kitchen-sink drama, accompanied by an album-length feature film to accompany the music, its successor casts its net even wider for inspiration. The city and suburbia have always been their muse, but here Brett Anderson and his cohorts use their decadent romanticism to explore even further down those avenues – this time, the setting is the abandoned factories and litter-strewn wastelands on the outside of town, where the economy has disappeared from the ground.
Pretty weighty stuff, but then again, Suede have never done things in half measures, something that eventually began to become their downfall by the end of their original incarnation with 1999’s overly ostentatious Head Music and 2002’s feeble A New Morning. But since their reformation, the band seem to have gotten a proper handle on that tendency and can now marshal it and exercise it at will. Brett Anderson has stated, in recent interviews, that Suede “need to be unpleasant”, but has also said that he’s been writing this record about the world as seen through his son’s eyes.
The tracklisting looks like a word cloud of signifiers for Suede themes of years gone by – ‘Wastelands’; ‘Beyond The Outskirts’; ‘The Invisibles’. The setting is that strange, unsettling dusk between day and night, when the sun’s rays still illuminate the horizon on a clear day but the sky above is dark. Death, decay and disuse are recurrent themes, stated in the occasional spoken-word interludes – variously of a family searching with sniffer dogs screaming the name of their lost son, a death’s head voice intoning a solemn warning of the future, and a man and child burying a dead bird. The precise narrative of The Blue Hour is never properly revealed (maybe because it isn’t there) but what is apparent is the mood – dark, unsettling, yet swirling and romantic.
Excellent single ‘Life Is Golden’, whose video captures the abandoned post-apocalyptic town of Pripyat after the Chernobyl disaster and which soars in the same way that ‘The Wild Ones’ did, is a perfect example of where Suede are at in 2018. Having turned to producer Alan Moulder to collaborate with, rather than their mainstay creative foil Ed Buller, they’ve managed to expand their canvas even further, mixing gothic grandeur and poetry with a brutal absence of sentimentality. The Blue Hour is an update of Dog Man Star for austerity ravaged, Brexit-threatened Britain, and its left-behind towns, hollowed-out cities and untamed countrysides.
‘Wastelands’, coming after a quite brilliant opening salvo in ‘As One’, plunges the listener straight into Anderson’s vision. Here, the figurative wastelands are a place in which to seek refuge, “when the world is much too much”, a retreat into childhood despite the terrors that occasionally accompany the comfort. It’s truly an outstanding moment, both thoroughly modern and totally timeless, and the trick is repeated in the chunky ‘Cold Hands’ and the enervating ‘Tides’, both of which avoid the pitfalls of rock bluster. Richard Oakes, over the last couple of Suede records, has rediscovered his fondness for all-out rock riffing.
When Suede aren’t dealing in howling indie storms and backs-to-the-wall outsider anthems, like ‘Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You’ and ‘Beyond The Outskirts’, the kind of thing they’ve been experts at since ‘Trash’ back in 1996, they dial back the guitar histrionics and let the orchestral elements do more of the talking. This is none more evident than the closing knockout combo of string-laden showstoppers. First single ‘The Invisibles’ is laden with outsider drama and glamour, while the stupendous final track ‘Flytipping’ begins with Richard Oakes’ wiry guitar chiming before being launched into the stratosphere, fuelled on billowing electrified guitars, stadium-sized drum fills and an orchestral torrent.
Suede even stretch into comparatively experimental territory: ‘Mistress’ is a spectral psychodrama of sex and guilt in the vein of Dog Man Star’s centrepiece epic ‘The Asphalt World’; the synths heralding the eerie ‘Chalk Circles’ orbit like vultures amid massed chanting; the menace of interlude ‘Roadkill’ and the thunderous overture ‘As One’ both give The Blue Hour a sense of structure and order that even Night Thoughts only hinted at.
It’s hard to properly digest the impact of The Blue Hour, even after a number of listens, such is the musical treasure on display. It’s certainly a hugely impressive achievement from a band which, even 25 years into its existence, is still clearly intent on stretching itself in artistic terms, finding new ways to surprise while remaining within a firmly established aesthetic. However, it’s difficult to imagine how much further Suede can expand along these lines without becoming overblown and patently ridiculous. Indeed, on many occasions The Blue Hour feels like a high-wire act as the mixture of high-concept and melodrama threatens to overbalance the music, although it never actually does. For now, the second coming of Suede continues with a third consecutive triumph. Enjoy it while it lasts. (8/10) (Ed Biggs)
Listen to The Blue Hour by Suede here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
https://www.thestudentplaylist.com/revi ... blue-hour/

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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 27 Sep 2018, 22:42

Coming to Town: Suede
Brett Anderson on being an outsider and the beauty of the blue hour
Raffaella Oliva
Suede are back. Their eighth album, The Blue Hour, has just been released. It’s an ambitious, soaring affair – orchestral layers, thunderous strings and choirs meld with the unique style that made Suede a household name in the Nineties. We have the chance to talk with enigmatic frontman Brett Anderson ahead of their Berlin live performance.
The blue hour is the moment when night appears, the time of day when the light is fading and night is closing in. Why are you fascinated by that moment?
It’s a very beautiful moment, you know, photographers often talk about it because it’s an amazing time to take pictures with a kind of romance. But it’s quite terrifying as well, it’s when things get dangerous. And since there’s a thread running through the record, the story of a child lost in the dark, that expression, “the blue hour”, was perfect to describe it.
Is that fascination connected with the dark times we are living in?
I guess yes and no. I didn’t want to write about the world’s geopolitical situation or anything like that. I write about emotions. A lot of this record was written through the eyes of a child, through the eyes of my son, to show his fears, how he sees his world. But it’s also about the fear and the terror around the world: I think since 2017, since Trump became President of the United States, there’s a psychic terror in everyone for this incredibly confusing and unrealistic time we are living. So, yes, there’s some paranoia that owns the record.
The epic atmosphere of the opening track ‘As One’ is impressive, there’s a sort of Carmina Burana touch in it.
Yes, it’s true. Musically with The Blue Hour we wanted to take a little bit further than the previous record, Night Thoughts. We wanted to push things, we wanted strings in the quire of the album. And to express the spookyness of the British countryside [Anderson has relocated to Somerset]: some elements we used are used in horror film soundtracks.
What about the lyrics?
There’s definitely a sense of dread in ‘As One’. In terms of what it means, it’s quite strange to me… You know, I was writing the record while I was writing my autobiography, Coal Black Mornings, so I spent a lot of time thinking about my childhood and my father. ‘As One’ is about the sense that some things just get passed down through the generations, that there’s this thread that runs through us, that my father lives on in me and I will live on in my son. And at the heart of that you are one person, kind of spreading out over the generations. I like that idea, almost the idea of one person living forever through the times.
I’m quite sure that writing about personal stuff causes changes in you. Did it happen with your memoir? What have you learned about yourself?
That’s a very interesting question. There’s one thing I find quite weird, is that you don’t really understand the strangeness of your world, and of your family especially, when you are in it. So it’s funny, when I first showed to people the stuff about my childhood I understood I hadn’t realised how odd it was. The relationship with my father was incredibly difficult and now that I’m 50, a father, and I’ve written a book about my life, I can understand it more than ever.
What was the most difficult part of your youth?
I think more than anything I was feeling that the world that interested me – the world of music, the world of London, the world of art – was never gonna be mine. That people like us, mates who made their own music and their own clothes, were gonna stay where they were forever. So, there was a sense of frustration and claustrophobia, almost. I thought that the interesting life was meant for some other people and that I was never gonna be one of them. I mean, Suede… We were on the edge of all that, looking in. And still are. But now, eight records later, I see that it’s a great thing, because it means that we’re independent, we do things in our own way, we’re not so caught up in what other people do.
Do you feel like an outsider?
Yeah, it’s something you grow up with. If you feel that way when you are 10 years old, you’ll feel that way forever. Now I’m in magazines, TV, radio, but I never really feel part of the music business.
As a songwriter you are very good at describing what a young boy feels, even now that you are 50. In The Invisibles, for example…
That song came specifically out of my memoir. It was that sense that you just don’t count. It’s not a complicated idea, really, just that you pass through the world without making a mark on it. One of the most amazing things of being in a band and becoming famous, to a certain measure, is that suddenly people listen to you and are interested in your opinions. This should be the common basis of every relationship, but I had to shout out quite loud to get heard until I was in a band.
How has your relationship with songwriting and inspiration changed?
We’re really really careful not to repeat ourselves and that gets harder and harder as you get older. What happens a lot now is that we write something and it sounds really good, but then we have to admit that we already wrote that song before, but better, so we can’t use it. You know, when you are 25 everything is new and fresh. Now we throw away a lot more than in the past and that’s because we are always interested in telling things in a new way, in finding a new way of being Suede. And it’s hard work.
The Blue Hour could be defined a concept album about a child lost in the dark, as you said, and that’s the farthest thing from what is fashionable today: nowadays people listen to singles and playlists more than entire records.
I know, todays music industry needs a lot of singles, so you should drop track after track after track, and your songs have to go into playlists, and you have to release the best track at the beginning… Well, with the previous record we decided to do the opposite, we decided to make a record you have to listen to from beginning to end, that you have to sit down with, and people responded really well. So, when we started working on The Blue Hour we knew that there were people who would have listened. And that’s why we felt free – we could make it darker, we could make it longer. We knew there are people like us out there, people who love this stuff. I don’t know if we are gonna do that again, but that’s definitely what we wanted to do now.
A good part of Suede’s success is related to your skill as a performer: how do you feel being on stage today?
I enjoy it more! I mean, the first time around touring was always like being on holiday, a party. We’d never been anywhere before, and a lot of the times we played really well, but sometimes we didn’t. Nowadays we are pretty dedicated to making sure that everything on stage is great, we live quite quietly when we are touring, not interested in partying anymore. I’m focused on the feeling I get from the crowd during concerts, because that’s incredible and I love it. I love the sense of connection, when you get that energy flow back and forward.
Are there any books that influenced your perspective on life and society?
Oh, hundreds, hundreds! When I was growing up I really loved George Orwell’s 1984 especially. There’s always something happening that reminds me of that book, there are always people trying to rewrite the past and just sticking in a lie. That’s exactly what Trump does: he tells things that we know are untrue, but he keeps doing it. But there’s another book I really love – Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks.
Compared to the Nineties the way to consume music has changed – we have YouTube, Spotify and all those music streaming platforms…
I tell you one thing: we played in South America a couple of years ago, and we had never played there before. We got on stage and the audience was really young, there were a lot of teenagers and they knew all the words of our songs, and that’s because they could listen to our stuff online. That’s the powerful side of Internet and music streaming platforms. The other side, and it’s a weird side, is that today when you finish a gig you can go online five minutes later and see what people write and think about it.
Is there anything you miss from the Nineties?
The day of the record coming out: I used to love going through some record shops in London with a hat on and just watching people buying our record.
Brett Anderson and Suede will play Columbiahalle, Berlin on Saturday, September 29th.

http://lolamag.de/feature/music-feature ... own-suede/

sunshine
Flight attendant
Posts: 7585
Joined: 14 Feb 2002, 01:00

Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 01 Oct 2018, 19:00

October 1st, 2018
A Quietus Interview
Blue Sky Thinking: Suede Interviewed
John Doran
John Doran spends the afternoon with Brett Anderson, Neil Codling and Richard Oakes in order to get to the bottom of The Blue Hour - one of their strongest, wildest and most experimental albums to date.
I have to walk some distance from Notting Hill Gate to get to Brett Anderson’s house. Past a record shop I haven’t visited for years, beyond the penumbra of Carnival, to a tidy arc of elegant townhouses lining a peaceful street I’ve never had reason to walk down before.
Inside, nothing is on view. Everything is immaculate. He clearly lives to a minimalist ideal, with life’s necessary bits and bobs tucked out of sight behind featureless doors that could well be mistaken for wall panels. Even dressed in his scruffs (faded jeans! moccasins!) Anderson is impossibly - irritatingly - handsome. His chiselling maintains its youthful spatial integrity; his skin does not bear witness to his many historical years of debauch. He is welcoming and a good host (“Do I have green tea? Of course. Let me get you some”); and this is despite the fact that simply by being in his gaff, plugging in an iPhone, throwing my jacket over a chair, setting up a recorder, getting crumpled sheets of notes out of an old tote, I am clearly cluttering the place up. He unfolds immaculately onto an unreasonably large sofa facing me on the other side of the room. There’s a big space between us but nothing fills that gap. There are no photographs in frames, no niknaks, no piles of shoes, no half read newspapers, no childrens toys, no takeaway fliers, no TV remote… no TV in fact. At first it feels like Brett Anderson himself is the centrepiece in the dream home.
But in reality if this excessive tidiness is evidence of anything it is of a larger shift in focus. The core of the Suede singer’s life has been relocated to the Somerset countryside, where he now lives with his wife, a stepson and Lucian, his six year old. And this of course has knocked on to everything else, creatively speaking at least. The unthinkable has happened and the clearly defined milieu of Suede - the modern city edgelands of housing estates, late night cab ranks, bedsits, sodium-lit mean streets - has transmuted. The urban has become the rural.
One of his first creative acts on moving out to the sticks in the Summer of 2016 was to write a book and co-write an album in parallel. His (genuinely excellent) memoir, Coal Black Mornings came out in March of this year and deals with his life pre-fame so his move to the countryside is reflected most clearly in Suede’s new studio album - their eighth in twenty five years - The Blue Hour.
Speaking about the intense period of creativity Anderson says: “They definitely bled into one another. I’d be writing the album during the day time when the kids were at school, so I could make a lot of noise, and then once I’d done the school run and got them back home, I’d sit at my computer and write Coal Black Mornings quietly.
“And the memories that writing the book dredged up fed back into the writing of the songs for the album. A track like ‘The Invisibles’ was a very specific example of that. The protagonist is like a callow 17 year old who is tortured by unrequited love. So I was projecting myself now back into that version of myself and it ended up becoming a dialogue between me and my father.”
The idea of fatherhood looms large over both projects. Coal Black Mornings may well be dedicated to his son Lucian but Anderson went a step further with The Blue Hour, which features the six year old in a speaking role. He says: “Early on I knew I wanted the album to be from a child’s point of view. For the last two albums my muse has been my son. It used to be friends or lovers but now it’s him. I see life through his eyes. Every picture I take is a picture with him in it somewhere.
“With the album I wanted to write about childhood but not in a sugary way. And so I imagined the fearful world that a child sees, and in a way that became a reflection of my own childhood.”
As well as his son, his (eccentric and occasionally overbearing) father is also present on the album. (“There are little references to him here and there.”) It is clear he has spent a lot of time recently considering his place between these two figures: “The father is a reflection of the son and so on and so on. He is a point on a continuum.”
The phrase ‘speaking as a father’ is often the last refuge of the scoundrel so, speaking as a member of the human race, I feel duty bound to point out to him that there is a darkness on the album that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. The subject matter is not something I could spend any amount of time meditating upon myself. There are no spoilers in music but I’m aware that talking excessively about the narrative of this album could detract from a perceived puzzlebox element to this record. Let us leave it at this: the blue hour of the title refers not just to twilight but it marks the point where concern for a missing child turns into anguished hysteria as night falls.
Anderson considers the question carefully: “I almost don’t want to let these things into the room but then I can’t help it. The way I deal with it, morally, is that there’s no suggestion in which I’m wishing any of this upon my son. The scenario is a fear that all parents have, and the album also involves me seeing myself as a child and displaced and lost in the woods. So the theme is more metaphorical than anything else.”
Lucian’s star turn behind the mic is undoubtedly one of the album’s odder moments. The proud dad explains: “‘Dead Bird’ is a recording of me and my son talking; it was just a lucky accident. I had tried to get him to read things out but because he’s only five, it just sounded really wooden. It didn’t work at all. So I just thought, ‘Ok, I’m going to go into the garden and try and to create a scene which will pique his interest.’ So I went into the garden and started digging and, intrigued, he came over and said, ‘Daddy, what are we digging for?’ So I said, ‘You know what we’re digging for.’ And luckily he said, ‘The dead bird.’ And it was just brilliant. A few months before I’d buried a dead bird for him, you see, because we were going to dig it up and look at its skeleton. I do this sort of thing with him quite a bit. How was it? It was horrible really - I think we’d dug it up too early. It needed a while longer.”
Referring to the other field recordings - of a group of adults frantically searching for the missing child played by his son - he says: “I’ve lived properly in the Somerset countryside for two years now, where it’s legal to do things like that and no one can hear you scream.”
He continues, gingerly: “If there’s one thing that no one tells you before you have a child, it’s how terrified it will make you. The utter fear that if something happens, how impossible it would be to recover and the fact that your life would effectively be over. In a way it’s stronger than the fear about your own mortality, it’s a different level of fear.
“I’ve always had this… my mother died of cancer. I’ve always had this obsession with cancer and avoiding it if I possibly can but that’s nothing compared to my fears for the wellbeing of my family. I suddenly feel much more vulnerable now I have a family. When it’s four in the morning and you’re thinking, ‘God, what if something happened?’ I absolutely reject the idea that if you have a so-called straight or comfortable life this stuff is somehow easier - it isn’t. When you have a family you have so much more to lose.”
He brightens and adds: “So initially all I had was this theme of childhood. And once I had that initial idea then I had to come up with more ideas, through brainstorming. I isolated myself in the countryside with Richard and Neil and started writing songs. It felt almost like we were in a creative crucible…”
And if you speak of handsome devils, then they will arrive. Lead guitarist Richard Oakes and keyboard player and rhythm guitarist Neil Codling, join the lyricist on his remarkably large sofa. Together they make up the songwriting core of the band. The two guitarists are dressed like the eternal students that I guess in some ways they are but each having his own sartorial spin on this look that probably mirrors his role in the wider songwriting dynamic. Codling, who has recently become the band’s de facto arranger and producer, is more of a fine-detail aesthetician to Oakes’ (self-proclaimed) engineer; someone unafraid to roll his sleeves up and take a peek under the bonnet.
If Anderson is a country gent now, this hasn’t been a move adopted by the whole band. Codling is keen to re-establish the urban credentials of the rest of them: “Yes, the rest of Suede are still city boys, apart from Simon who lives in rural Thailand next to a rice paddy. That’s about as countryside as you can get.”
The singer chimes in: “Moving to the countryside has made me miss London. When I come back to London I just breathe it in. The countryside is amazing when the weather is good and at this time of year it’s beautiful. I go out and sit in the garden with my boy and I say, ‘We are blessed.’ But then in November it’s like a fucking nightmare.”
Codling jokes good naturedly: “You know how Brian Wilson had to put the feet of his piano in sand while he was writing? Well Brett now has his piano standing in a gravel pit to remind him of the city.”
Anderson recalls the trio’s initial songwriting sessions in his rural kitchen with a perverse fondness: “We wanted to do that thing of us three disappearing off to the countryside. And in the process I thought we would go a bit mad, and end up almost murdering each other.”
Luckily it didn’t come to that and one of the first things to emerge from the session was the maximal, jaw-dropping and gothic ‘As One’. Oakes says, “As soon as we came up with it we said, ‘OK… it’s going to be that kind of record.’ So despite the blazing sunshine outside, we knew it was going to be a cold record.”
Anderson explains: “There are always what I call anchor songs on each album. And it’s often that song that sets the blueprint for the album. When you start making a new album you’re fumbling about with vague ideas but until you write that song, you don’t quite know where to go with it.”
‘As One’ is certainly the most dramatic album opener the band have written since ‘Introducing The Band’ and probably their most dramatic album opener full stop. Anderson says it had a Cecil B. DeMille size from the start and Codling agrees that even as a demo it had a menace to it: “However big you want to make it, you can do. It can still take a choir, it can still take a string section.”
Oakes drops a tantalising hint that ‘As One’ is perhaps Suede’s ‘Helter Skelter’, an epic, and heavy track possessed of so much gravity that needed heavy editing to make it album compatible. He suggests that really they could have gone much further with it: “For a while Neil and I were fiddling about with this 15-minute-long version which just smashes into a wall and goes straight into ‘Wastelands’. But nobody will ever hear that…”
Even as it is, ‘As One’ set the tone for what would become a bold record indeed. Taking something of a gamble in today’s unforgiving marketplace, the band opted for producing a cohesive whole designed to be listened to in one sitting, as opposed to a collection of stand alone Suede bangers ready to be strip-mined and isolated for Spotify playlist inclusion. If this approach has seen them shunned by the kind of radio stations who would normally support them, then more shame on the querulous, narrow shouldered types who construct radio playlists and have little faith in the intelligence or taste of their listeners. (And double shame on them for not fully realising the radio potential of ‘Cold Hands’, ‘Life Is Golden’ and ‘Flytipping’ - experimental album or not.)
As it is The Blue Hour stands alone in their back catalogue as a fully realised concept album which achieves cohesion via narrative, lyrics, spoken word passages, repeated musical themes, field recordings and narration. If I had to compare it to anything from their back catalogue I’d mention Dog Man Star - not something I do lightly - and that would be in terms of ambition, execution and impact. It slaps hard. Once you have acclimatised to it, The Blue Hour makes you grin and shake your head at their sheer chutzpah. It makes your heart rage behind your ribs. It reactivates long-snoozing sensuous psychedelic glam glands. It demands an immediate rewind.
Like with any classic album in a band’s catalogue, it can feel like everything has been leading up to this point. After their return in 2010 they had a lot to prove. First that they had to show that they had the damned verve necessary simply to be Suede as a live entity once more. This was quickly asserted with savage efficiency by a blistering fanclub gig at the 100 Club and then an all time best show at the Royal Albert Hall. The Bloodsports album in 2013 was, in part, an act of contrition for relaxing their standards somewhat with 1999’s Head Music and abandoning what it meant to be Suede entirely with 2002’s A New Morning. They were reconnecting with the core idea of the group in 2013 - it was a reboot, if you will. With Night Thoughts, in 2016, the cinematic sequencing of the tracks created its own forward momentum and bound the tracks together somewhat but it was The Blue Hour that sealed the deal.
Referring to the album as a unified piece of work Codling says: “We live in the world of Spotify and Deezer when you’re supposed to write songs and hope that they end up on playlists, because that’s how you play the music business these days. We thought we’d be bloody-minded and make something that people would have to listen to for three quarters of an hour. People do listen to long playlists and they do watch box sets, so they do have longer attention spans than they’re given credit for. We decided to introduce listeners to a sound world that they can move through. The narrative is there but you don’t necessarily need to know what it is; it’s more like the scaffolding.”
Anderson nods: “Yes it is. The narrative is the scaffolding that allows us to arrange the tracks and once they’re in place we can take the scaffolding away.”
“Otherwise”, notes Codling, “it becomes like Jonathan Livingston Seagull or some turgid, 70s concept album.”
The band have referred to the album as the closing chapter of a triptych. If the original intention was to have a unifying sonic identity binding the three albums together in a series however, this was upset when original producer Ed Buller left the project before it was complete - something that has actually proved serendipitous in the long run.
Buller - who had previously worked on Suede, Dog Man Star and Coming Up as producer and engineer as well as producing all of Bloodsports and some of Night Thoughts - was so trusted that he had essentially become a sixth member of the band, song veto and all. But he was courted by Hollywood and relocated to California, thus creating a very Suede-like problem. The tone in Oakes’ voice when he says, “Well, we weren’t going to record the album in Los Angeles...” suggests that actually a winter recording session in the frozen ice fields of the permanently night-bound Patagonia was a more likely scenario. Anderson nods calling the very idea of them recording in America at all “bizarre”.
The band, impressed with his work on various albums by Ride, Foals and The Killers, got in touch with lauded mixer Alan Moulder, who agreed to come out of retirement as producer to work on their record at Assault and Battery studios, London. “I think once we reassured him that we weren’t dysfunctional and were actually hard working he was quite happy with the idea. I think he’s worked with a lot of dysfunctional bands in the past. He did the second Elastica album didn’t he? You can imagine what that must have been like”, says Oakes, before adding: “Bless them…”
But really, all due respect to the great alt-rock mixer, the most significant thing about the departure of Buller wasn’t that it created room for Moulder but that it created even more room within the band for Codling. Self-effacing isn’t quite the term for it when the keyboardist says: “We had to pick up what [Buller] left us of Night Thoughts and cobble it together into what came out.” All the evidence shows that the six months he spent completing that album gave him the confidence to assume the role of de facto producer, or co-producer, on the current one.
Anderson agrees: “The fact that Neil did most of the last six months on Night Thoughts on his own gave us the confidence to look at The Blue Hour slightly differently. Ed previously had been a real tastemaker, saying, ‘This is good’ or ‘No, that’s not good enough’ which created a bit of a weird dynamic. You stop being able to really trust yourself. And with The Blue Hour we got confidence back in our own judgement.”
When Codling says, “There are songs that would never have made it onto the album if Ed had been involved, songs like ‘Roadkill’, ‘Chalk Circles’ or ‘Tides’ for example”, he hits on something quite important. Ed Buller’s departure freed up Suede to make their grandest and yet most experimental album to date.
In terms of grand ambition, the most noticeable thing on the album is the use of strings and a choir. The Prague Philharmonic appear on nine tracks - all but one of which were arranged by Codling. (‘The Invisibles’ was the work of Craig Armstrong who had worked with the band on Coming Up.) But this isn’t the case of an orchestra being used to hide a multitude of sins or to imply emotion or drama where there is none. As Oakes points out: “Strings framed things on the last album whereas on this album they are part of the picture.”
It is fascinating hearing a string section suddenly become a vibrant and essential part of the Suede sound, rather than simply an occasional colouring device. But any fans worrying that this heralds a slump into tepid, middle age should reassure themselves that if anything, the opposite is true. Just as Neil is happy to list classical pieces which informed his approach to writing orchestrally for the group (“Ravel’s ‘The Child And The Spells’ and ‘Mother Goose’… Debussy’s ‘The Snow Is Rising’… The strange sense of foreboding created by ‘The Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima’ by Penderecki…”) he is also happy to list the more leftfield influences that informed the album’s wild and psychedelic moments such as ‘Chalk Circles’ and ‘Dead Bird’ (“Velvet Underground’s ‘The Gift’... Electric Ladyland by Hendrix…”)
‘Roadkill’ is one particular dramatic, narcotic, poetic passage that ramps up the manic air of rural terror, standing somewhere between Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’, Ted Hughes’ ‘February 17th’ and David Bowie’s ‘Future Legend’, being conjured amid the ebb and flow of scraped strings, controlled feedback, heavily phased vocals and dubbed out tendrils of noise disappearing recursively into the mix. The singer says: “I think it’s a risk. And if people want something to beat us with we’re handing them a stick with these songs but sometimes you just have to take that risk.
“It’s quite a brave track to come up with - you have to be quite confident. It teeters on the line doesn’t it? Some people would say it was quite pretentious with me reading this Edgar Allen Poe-like verse about a dead bird. I mean, it doesn’t sound like the Stereophonics.”
And the influences don’t just stem from the musical leftfield either. Codling adds: “A lot of folk horror is set in that kind of Claude Lorrain, chocolate box, pastoral vision of the rural before it ends up revealing itself to be something much darker. When we were writing the album we wanted to reference films like The Wicker Man (1973), And Soon The Darkness (1970) and Penda’s Fen (1974). At the same time I was reading a lot of [British folklore inspired fantasy novelist] Alan Garner and it kind of bled into the whole feeling.”
The carrion and the folk horror all conspired to create a very specific geographical place. Anderson says: “The Blue Hour in a very unpleasant version of the English countryside and not what you would find in a or John Constable painting. I wanted to portray the countryside as quite a bleak, unpleasant landscape. The roadkill, the b-roads, the fly-tipping. As a city dweller you can kind of romanticise the countryside as this kind of Arcadian idyll. And having lived there again for a couple of years, it just isn’t. There is a lot of ugliness and cruelty. Take the cows lowing. Someone told me the reason female cows low a lot - you hear them groaning - is because they’re separated from their calves. That puts a really different perspective on things. We live near a farm and I used to think, ‘Oh, that’s a nice sound isn’t it?’ And now when I hear it I just think of these mothers who have had their babies torn away from them. I like to think about the darkness in all things and I don’t really think Suede works unless we look at the darkness. It’s what I like to tease out in our music.”
The Blue Hour is out now
http://thequietus.com/articles/25392-su ... -blue-hour

sunshine
Flight attendant
Posts: 7585
Joined: 14 Feb 2002, 01:00

Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 02 Oct 2018, 19:19

Brett Anderson on fame, fear and hitting 50
Suede are back with a terrific new album but will anyone care, wonders the lead singer

Michael Hann

‘I always think they’re not lusting after me,’ Brett Anderson says of the middle-aged fans who still turn up to see his band Suede and leave the shows a little flushed and excited. ‘They’re lusting after something that doesn’t really exist. They’re remembering their wild youth. It’s faintly comical to me when I think about myself in the 1990s and the sexuality of it. That got a bit out of control, I suppose. And it’s odd, because I’m quite a reserved person in lots of ways, so I don’t really know what was going on there.’
Oh, Brett, you do yourself a disservice. Look at yourself! Not an ounce of flab, dressed like a clothes-horse, face all sharp lines and clean planes. You’re a well-preserved man.
‘Well, thank you.’
I tell him that a couple of years ago, my price for interviewing him on stage at the Barbican in London had been that my wife got to meet him, at which he cackles. ‘I don’t know if people would still feel the same way if they really knew me. So much sexual attraction is about how people really are, rather than what they look like.’ Which is easy to say when you look like him.
Anderson turned 51 this week and he has managed a remarkably dignified third act in his pop life. Suede recorded five albums in nine years from 1993, topping the charts and, for a while, being absolutely ubiquitous (‘There was an odd period in 1993 when everything I picked up, not just music papers, had some reference to Suede. It was incredibly exciting’). The last two albums, though, were pretty crappy: Anderson was smoking crack and the band’s moment had passed.
A solo career followed, with polite reviews to match. But then Suede returned in 2010, initially for a benefit gig; the reunion stuck well enough that they began recording again. The Blue Hour, released this month, is the third terrific album they’ve made since their reformation.
Does he ever miss being central to the culture, the way he was when he was a young man? ‘Why would I miss that? If I want to make myself heard, I feel as though I have a voice in the media. And I enjoy that, and I feel listened to by the people I want to be listened to by. But some sort of spokesman for a generation cliché cliché? Don’t want to do that. Not interested.’
People of his generation tend not to want spokesmen anyway. What I meant was: does he miss mattering in the wider culture, rather than just among his fans?
‘I suppose what I do miss is the traction that mainstream exposure can give you. I feel mournful about the fact that it doesn’t matter if we write the best song we’ve ever written in our lives and make the best album we’ve ever made in our lives. It simply won’t have the traction that we would have had in the 1990s. It simply won’t get across to as many people. It won’t be as successful and it won’t have that cultural resonance any more.’
You’d think Anderson would be ina fairly sanguine state these days. He’s married with a teenage stepson and a six-year-old son. The family lives in the countryside (though Anderson keeps a flat in Holland Park, where we meet, and still thinks of himself as a Londoner), and The Blue Hour is a country rather than a city album, albeit one of dead animals and the terror in the woods, rather than haystacks and romps in the meadows.
He’s not just the singer in Suede, either. His memoir Coal Black Mornings, published earlier this year, is a fascinating account of a very eccentric childhood in a family with middle-class aspirations and a poverty-line income. He’s somewhere on the course of honour that leads not to a visit to the Palace for the pinning of a medal, but to being described as ‘a national treasure’.
Even so, he’s terrified. In Coal Black Mornings, he writes of his conviction that his childhood would be ended at any moment by nuclear war. Now, he says, he’s plagued by ‘terrible night thoughts. I imagine the worst the whole time. I have to force myself back to sleep.’ He moves on seamlessly to his discomfort at parties, how he hides behind his wife, how he finds small talk awkward and replays conversations later, looking for evidence of his own humiliation.
‘I used to hide behind the mask of slightly aloof out-of-my-headness. And now, because I don’t hide behind that mask anymore, I have to actually engage with people, and I suppose I’m a bit more self-conscious about it. We’re not in our twenties anymore, lying around on the floor snogging people. We’re talking about…’ — at this point, as he often does when he wants to signify a bourgeois affectation he’s unhappy about, Anderson adopts a sneering voice — ‘where we went on holiday. As I get older I feel more socially conscious because I don’t have those crutches that I used to have. But you have to be an adult. If you’re going to live in this adult world you have to live by its rules.’
The connection between the dignified, fiftysomething Brett Anderson, and the one who used to prance around on stage in a woman’s blouse, slapping his bum, is the persona of the pop star. Being Brett Anderson Out Of Suede used to be a full-time job, until there was more of Brett Anderson Out Of Suede than there was of the man himself, like Michael Redgrave being taken over by his ventriloquist’s dummy in Dead of Night.
‘I’ve spent the past 15 years deconstructing that dummy,’ Anderson says. ‘He’s in the cupboard in pieces. I think you leave your persona behind when you have kids. Persona is so born of ego — it’s a brittle mask that you wear, and as soon as you have kids that mask gets shattered because you realise you’re not the most important person in the world. It’s a fascinating thing, person vs persona, and I think about it ever such a lot — the kind of things you go through when you achieve fame and success, because they do really distort you as a human being, and it’s a fascinating journey.’
Now the persona only comes out when Anderson takes to the stage, something he needs to do to get through that hour and a half. He flicks the fringe from his face, wriggles his hips, undoes a button more than might be strictly necessary on his tailored shirt. And the middle-aged people in the crowd allow the lustful thoughts in. And I don’t think they’re all just trying to relive their youths.
The Blue Hour is out now on Warner Music.
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/09/bre ... -being-50/

sunshine
Flight attendant
Posts: 7585
Joined: 14 Feb 2002, 01:00

Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 02 Oct 2018, 19:19

Monday, 01 October 2018
Suede - The Blue Hour (Album Review)
Graeme Marsh
With the release of 2016’s ‘Night Thoughts’, the second album following their reformation six years earlier, Suede managed to transcend the limitations of an album and create something bigger.
Accompanied by a film, it was like a whole new medium had been invented that seemingly bridged the gap between the audio and visual. The music was also revelatory in isolation – nothing as simplistic as a soundtrack, but something sweeping and cinematic pressed to four sides of vinyl.
‘The Blue Hour’ completes the band’s trilogy of post-reunion releases and continues the album-cum-movie experience. They recently explained that they wanted to create something to appeal to those who “want to be taken to a world for 45 minutes”.
It’s an attempt to banish the idea of creating a patchwork of tracks suitable for a playlist, instead returning listeners to a rewarding piece of work that needs to be appreciated in full.
From the eerie, ominous opening track As One it’s obvious that there’s a harrowing event unfolding here. A great riff sits alongside prominent strings, which becomes a theme for the collection, and a story begins. Later on you’ll hear frontman Brett Anderson’s young son in conversation with his father as they dig to find a dead bird, but whether or not this is simply an indicator of more sinister things afoot only the listener can decide.
‘The Blue Hour’ is a slate of songs that gel together as one, but if dissection is your thing there are a few tracks that work as standalone numbers. Wastelands is a mesmerising spy thriller of a song with a rip-roaring chorus, while further epic hooks power the excellent Life is Golden and Don’t be Afraid if Nobody Loves You. Suede’s ability to deliver huge songs is in no danger of drying up.
Back within the Gothic theme, though, there are plenty of moments that simply need to be enjoyed as part of the whole. Gorgeous strings dominate the sublime The Invisibles and Interpol-like guitar picking drives another mini-mystery in Tides. The catchy Cold Hands manages to dangle a foot in the direction of Suede’s past, yet it also fits seamlessly into its surroundings. After a slow start, another torch-wielding anthem unfolds on closer Flytipping.
Alan Moulder has stepped into the production seat instead of Suede’s long-term collaborator Ed Buller, and the evidence suggests this has helped invigorate the band. ‘Night Thoughts’ was magnificent and probably still sits slightly ahead of its new companion, but there’s barely anything in it. For a band that’s approaching 30 years old, this is as remarkable an achievement as you’re likely to encounter.
Suede Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:
Fri October 12 2018 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sat October 13 2018 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sun October 14 2018 - DUBLIN Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Click here to compare & buy Suede Tickets at Stereoboard.com.
https://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/220171/9

sunshine
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Re: tbh promotion

Post by sunshine » 02 Oct 2018, 19:20

02 Oct 18
Album Review: Suede, The Blue Hour
By: Sam Steiger
Blue is the warmest colour.
Suede seem to exist in a twilight world. One populated by young lovers reaching for the stars but never getting higher than the top floor of a council tenement
Of small town dreamers fated to live lives unremarked and unremarkable. Forever slipping between the papered-over cracks. Life is fleeting and impermanent and happiness evades the grasp like a budgie escaping a cage.
At times the arrangements and orchestration take on the aspect of a rather bleak Broadway musical – a collaboration between Brecht and Rice. With Richard Oakes’ spangly chorused arpeggios and Brett Anderson’s soaring vocals, we are close to a formula. A winning one. Typically, verses teeter momentarily before lifting and exploding into choruses of Suedian grandeur. Yes there are a few Bowie traits, but they are just influences and not acts of devotion, so barely worth mentioning. Like I just did. With repeated references to children and dead birds, perhaps there’s a cycle of life/make hay while the sun shines theme going on here. Beats me – I just get off on the epic, doomed romanticism of Suede’s oeuvre.
I find it uplifting. Makes me want to don wings and leap off a cliff to see if I can fly to the sun. Don’t encourage me. From the massed satanic choir of ‘As One’ – which wouldn’t sound out of place in a Dario Argento film – through the brooding ‘Cold Hands’ and on to the prosaic-but-savage ‘Flytipping’, it’s vintage Suede, sprinkled with glitter and dust.
Out Now
https://www.hotpress.com/music/album-re ... r-22758353

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