Book of the month

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Book of the month

Post by sunshine »

So Young by Simon Gilbert
Suede’s first album was released in 1993 and entered the British charts at number one. It sold over 100,000 copies in its first week. In 2015 NME magazine presented the band with a “God Like Genius Award.” Suede’s famous fans and admirers over the years have included; David Bowie, and members of Bloc Party, and The Long Blondes. Bands who’ve recorded covers of Suede songs include; Morrissey, The Manic Street Preachers, The Libertines, and Kim Wilde. In November Suede are touring the UK as part of their celebrations of the 25th anniversary of their classic L.P. ‘Coming Up’. Suede’s lovely drummer Simon Gilbert (who has been with the band since the start) kindly agreed to answer a few questions ...
Le Document (LD) The 500 copies of the deluxe signed and numbered version of the So Young photo book sold out pretty fast. Can you tell me about the book – how it all came about and was if it was hard work getting it to look the way you wanted it?
Simon Gilbert (SG) Well it came about … about 30 years ago when I started documenting everything, it’s something I always wanted to do, when I was a kid my bible was a book by the pistols called The Sex Pistols file A book that showed them … not just on stage or on the tv … and I was fascinated by the photos of them ... on a bus … in the pub, photos you don't get to see … and always wanted to make one of Suede …when I was making the film Insatiable Ones I came across so many photos and negatives, that I thought they had to be seen.
Along with my photos, three friends of mine contributed a lot of the live shots and others. Iain, Kathy & Phillip were always backstage and at every show so had a lot of photos that I couldn’t take … lockdown was a pain in the arse, but I was able to get the book together and spend time getting it right. Going through the diaries in depth was an experience, I hadn’t looked at them for 25 years and was taken right back there, so it really helped with the writing in the book. Some of it had to be edited (to protect the innocent) but the diary pages that appear in the book are left as they were … hopefully the reader can understand my poor handwriting.
LD Suede have worked with some of the best photographers and designers such as Nick Knight and Peter Saville. Which photographers were the most interesting to work with and whose work do you most admire?
SG Tom Sheehan was always great to work with, he was one of those photographers that talk whilst they’re taking shots, directing the band … lovely guy. David Bailey was completely silent, and only took about 10 shots and was done … a very quick session … (I’m sure he knew what he was doing)
LD I saw Suede play live several times in the early years and each time you were always great. Are you excited about being back on the road and doing the Coming Up tour?
SG I simply can’t wait … excited isn’t the word. I loved doing the full Coming Up album a few years back so very much looking forward to doing it again.
LD According to legend you were introduced to the rest of Suede by Ricky Gervais. Are you a fan of his comedy? Did you like the fact he got to collaborate with Bowie?
SG Well Ricky managed the band along with two other people, I was actually introduced to them by one of the others, I think Ricky made some posters for our gigs and sent off a tape.
… his comedy is something that he had back then too, he was exactly the same … and had me in stitches then. Loved the Bowie sketch, as I am sure Ricky did, he was such a huge fan.
LD What are the best things about living in Thailand? Can you imagine living anywhere else or do you think Thailand will always be your home?
SG Thailand is a wonderful place, I’ve been there for 17 years now, and can’t see me moving anytime soon. There lots of great things about the place, I live in the middle of nowhere away from Bangkok now, and watching a buffalo slowly wonder pass my house whilst the dawn is breaking is pretty spectacular … cobras in the pool first thing in the morning isn’t one of my best things though.
LD What new music have you been excited by in recent years? Are there any new bands, recent albums etc that have impressed you?
SG None / no
LD Which Suede songs are you most proud of? Do you have a top 5?
SG: My Dark Star, Heroine, Animal Nitrate, Picnic by the Motorway (First track on the new album!!)

So Young: Suede 1991 -1993
Hardback Photo Book £60
Available from here. ... 3A00%3A10Z

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