|Suede at Olympia Theatre Dublin, 10.02.2016
||[Feb. 29th, 2016|05:04 pm]
|||||high on diesel and gasoline||]|
|||||psycho for drum machine||]|
This translation is for Jennifer who without knowing it happened to be in the right time and the right place and prevented me from being alone.
I'm quickly walking home from Suede gig and I'm thinking that I have to write a post. No, not exactly - in fact writing a post is an absolute must. Otherwise something bad might happen, like I could explode. I could explode with all the things that have been filling me for past two hours, and I'm full to the brim about to overflow. I haven't had this feeling for such a long time, an urge to write a post about a concert. Tomorrow it'll be exactly one year since Interpol gig, and the post is still not finished, three quarters only has been written, alas. The grandeur and significance of the moment have ruined my live review, and Paul Banks's lucid eyes reproach me. I just have to write about Suede.
It's so bad for me to attend concerts alone, because I feel the need to share my bursting emotions with somebody. However it's not the case here, and I don't have any feelings in fact. I've been listening to the band for just about a couple of months. Almost forcedly and purposefully - I was hesitating for a long time if I should go to the concert and so I decided simply to listen to several albums and then make up my mind if it's worth it. I mean, the only songs I know are mere Trash and Beautiful Ones. Especially Beautiful Ones, but we'll come back to it a bit later. And besides, I don't have a tendency to go to concerts of the bands of which a I only know a couple of songs.
And so, I'm getting ready to make up my mind if I shall attend the gig and I'm spending days listening to Suede full discography, all the seven albums, and I realize I love it, in fact! I already have some favourite songs, and there're even two most favourite which I've managed, were they clothes, to wear out completely by this time. The new album is a genuine mournful symphony, an integral work of art as it is. In the meantime tickets cost more than €50, and I'm still making up my mind. A friend of mine advises me knowledgeably: 'Oh come on, you should come and see it, Brett is like a birthday cake'. (that's quite a bad translation here in fact and I don't know how to make it any better. We say 'somebody's a cake' in Russian slang when this person is really very cool). Well, it's not that important in fact, if he's a cake or not. But I'm lying. And it's not even Brett I fancy!
Now's the moment to come back to Beautiful Ones. Not only it's a perfect britpop anthem (it was simply unlucky to be blocked by Blur and Oasis hits made from reinforced concrete of high quality), it has a distinctive music video as well. Sort of artless and almost primitive to sound of la-la-la in the last verse, in return it contains an NME cover, an extremely cool Brett, a tight shirt hugging his torso, a tambourine falling down, and even a cooler guy on keyboards whose name is Neil Codling. In the course of the video Neil Codling pretends he's a bit bored, he almost rolls up his eyes, sighs and he does these things in such a natural charming manner, that I decide to choose him, not Brett. It's 1996, they're young, ravishing and charismatic, here they come, the beautiful ones. And I love these nearly four minutes of the video so much, how youthful and handsome they are looking, and how Brett is moving around with those little dancing steps, and how he's leaning on his mic stand, so carefree, and Neil Codling as if a bit showy and way too beautiful - that I worry how I'm going to see them play live in 2016. In exactly twenty years. Because when I search for the images, it's the grown men, touches of wrinkles on their faces and piercing sad eyes that are looking at me from the pictures on search results page. Aging and inevitability of the coming future have been frustrating me for quite a while, and here awesome guys were totally rocking it twenty years ago. At the moment their new album is virtually a rock symphony, it's not Beautiful Ones, nothing of the kind, and I'm almost afraid to go see the current Suede. We've just been together for a couple of months, we did not go all this long way side by side. I have no idea what to expect, I'm scared I might get disappointed and the least of things I want to do is to give way to desperate thoughts about merciless time, but I know myself and I know for sure I'll be overtaken by them if I am disappointed.
The description of the concert states there won't be any special guests tonight. And that it will consist of two parts (oh, so it is a rock opera for sure!): they will introduce the new album in the first part, and play hits and treats after that. I somehow managed to arrive at the venue long before they opened the doors, though my seat is in the dress circle, next to the last row. For an hour and a half I don't know how to entertain myself and I'm gradually getting numb cause it's freezing, and I'm wearing a miniskirt. And a lipstick. And I want Neil Codling to appear on stage young and magnificent. All the instruments have been put into place and tuned long ago, but I can hardly see them because they are hidden behind an opaque screen. The crowds arrive from work, it's getting noisy, people are heading to the bar to grab a beer, the theatre fills with lively chatter. I'm one of the youngest persons here, just like Neil Codling in my dreams. There're plenty of men around me, together with their buddies, all in their forties. I imagine them having the time of their lives at, let's say, Glastonbury'1995, jumping at the NME stage.
Meanwhile the lights are finally down, and I know When You Are Young is going to come first, and then the whole Night Thoughts, one song after another. I cannot see the band behind the screen, I can only understand from the loud cheers of the audience in the stalls that they've appeared on stage. They are showing a movie on the screen. I don't want any spoil alerts because a couple of friends will be reading my live review (I'm hoping so much they will! ^__^), and they will only see Suede play live once - or maybe twice! - a little later - though I'm craving for spoilers! It's a real movie, an hour long film about life and death, love and family, about the feelings and how they affect human psyche. All this time Suede is playing behind the screen, sometimes the members of the band are being lit up by the spotlights, all together or separately. Therefore I cannot even make out what Neil Codling looks like, bent over the keyboards. For the unknown reason Brett is singing side-faced to the crowd, and I cannot see him well either. One moment, when a single red spotlight illuminates him, he's standing on his knees, there's a sorrowfull scene in the movie, and I'm thinking he's not pirouetting around the stage in torn shirts anymore, he has an amazing voice and he's singing a prayer aria.
Actually, it's a staggering show, I haven't seen anything like this before - a special feature film made to accompany an album, how each song is bound with a picture visually. A neighbour to my left, a balding stout man wearing a leather jacket, gives a sigh at the end of every song. He never applauds, and I'm thinking to myself he's probably hoping after another song that now the screen is finally going to be removed and the band will start playing a cheerful and familiar track. So when Night Thoughts is over and the film stops, he's discussing enthusiastically with his friend, how much he enjoyed it and how 'absolutely splendid' it was. And I'm thinking about the magical ways the serious, complex and very personal music develops from facile melodies and verses containing nothing but 'la-la-la'.
Therefore, when in twenty minutes the second part of the concert begins, the curtain rises up and the band appears in front of us unobstructed by the screen, I'm infinitely startled by what will be happening on stage. Brett finally welcomes Dublin, Dublin is yelling with joy in return, and it all begins. It begins with Moving, after that Trash comes immediately. 'OMG, you cannot go like this right away!' - I'm quite alarmed - but everyone in the dressing circle jumps to his feet to the sound of the first chords, everybody seems to be going nuts, and they won't stop dancing and singing for an hour to come. Brett tells us the band likes to play different songs on tour. Among the hits and treats which fell to our share tonight are the best and the most popular: Animal Nitrate, Filmstar, So Young, Metal Mickey.
Frankly I'm going to watch Neil Codling closely - he's got fabulous long hair, and it turns out, he plays the guitar (that adds him 100 points straight away!). He's clasping his pretty hands just like he does in Beautiful Ones video, when there's nothing for him to do, and he lingers at his keyboards, cupping his chin in his palms. And I'm going to spend my time noticing all of these stupid little things, but Mr Brett Anderson distracts me in the most terrible way possible. The point is he just throws Mr Anderson away, it was probably somebody else who was performing Night Thoughts twenty minutes ago. It wasn't him at all cause at the moment there's a cocky Brett on stage, 28 years of age, his eyes are beaming, his whole body is twisting, dancing and bouncing. The shirt has come unbuttoned, two more buttons and it will not be merely provocative, but indicent, the abs uncovered, the chest is glistening with sweat, and he's so lengthy, slender and unbelievably attractive - there's something savage and lustful about this picture. Oh ladies, I guess you know what I'm talking about. Brett is tireless, he's rushing along the stage, rolling on the floor beside the drum kit, moving into the crowd all the time, he's chatting with fans, talking to the audience, suggesting that we sing along or not unless we want to. He's such a great frontman, I literally forget about everything else and I simply cannot take my eyes off him - even to look at Neil Codling! - and I'm kicking myself for sitting - oh, I mean, standing! Everybody's on their feet since the beginning of the second half of the gig. - in my bloody dressing circle, next to the last row, while Brett has disappeared in the crowd again, everyone around him seems to have lots of fun, and I just cannot see a thing. He left the stage yet again to sing Down, giving his mic to different people to sing a line, it was so touching and warm. Everyone's singing by turn, strangers' various voices, pleased or surprised, timid or excessively loud, singing carefully or completely out of tune. And then Brett is asking the guitarist to stop playing for a moment. 'Because this guy, he has a message for all of us' - Brett informs us. All the noise dies away ready to listen to what this lucky guy has to tell us. I can hear him take a mic and confess chocking with excitement: 'I love you, Brett!' The whole theatre goes buzzing in my years, roaring in applause.
Brett says the time for the last song has come, Beautiful Ones begins and I'm hopping enraptured with this real time machine, at the '90s party. All my neighbours in their late forties are jumping as well, squalling and shaking their bits to the hits.
It's perfect, it cannot get any better I'm sure, but the band has stored Everything Will Flow for encore. As if it's just for me - this is one of my two favourite songs, aaaw. It's an acoustic performance. Neil Codling is playing the guitar together with young Brett Anderson on stage, aaaw. Purely acoustic, Brett is hardly using his mic. It's magic, I can hear every sound oh so fine, because the theatre fell silent to an extent that I'm able to recognize how different people breath down there, in front of the stage. Brett is singing the song, eyes closed, he seems to feel every line once again, sheer poetry, the bare chest rises when he's taking a breath for the next note, and then a man's voice screams with admiration: 'Brett, you're a sexy bastard!'. In a moment Brett opens his eyes, smiles and tries to keep on singing as if nothing happened, but it's so devastatingly funny, he can't sing anymore, the audience rocks with laughter, and he laughs openly as well, wags his finger at the nasty talker and replies: 'You should see me in the morning!'
The very last song is New Generation. I think it's me. I'm a new impassioned generation, I think I'm a brand new fan. I had no idea what to expect tonight, and I happened to find myself at a fabulous concert. Judging from the gigs to come, I'm about to see Suede twice this year and I can't wait to see you again, the beautiful ones.
PS Jennifer, I've just found this video on Youtube, I didn't know somebody has recorded Everything Will Flow in Dublin! It's great quality and it captures this scene with 'sexy bastard' :) I want you so much to watch it, it's such a good moment I think, so joyful and sincere. And thanks a lot for taking your time to finish my longread!