If there's something to take away from this year's Isle of Wight Festival, it's probably sunburn. Unlike the mud bath of two years ago, 2014 will be remembered for serving up one of the hottest weekends I can remember for a festival, along with some crowd-pleasing performances. While not every act managed to capture their moment in the sun, all the major names delivered in spades.
But it wasn't just the music that made the weekend for many; a real sense of celebration seemed to erupt across the site. Partly fuelled by anticipation over the World Cup and partly because of the good weather, thousands of smiling faces could be seen everywhere. Sunflowers seemed to be an essential festival accessory and many opted for as few clothes as possible with t-shirts looking like they'd gone out of fashion altogether. I've even had to make a note in my diary that it's international flip-flop day on June 20th, just one of the many things I learnt around Seaclose Park this year.
The highlight of Friday afternoon should have really been local boy Tom Odell on the main stage. But his piano led ballads took some time to win the crowd over despite his number 1 album 'Long Way Down'. By the time he'd finished though, the reaction showed that he'd justified his place on the main stage billing.
Continue reading: Isle of Wight Festival 2014 Review
The Isle of Wight Festival 2014 has kicked off, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers scheduled for Saturday night and red hot weather scheduled all weekend.
The Isle of Wight Festival 2014 is underway and it’s looking like it’s set to be a scorcher of a weekend! The Met Office has forecasted dry and sunny weather with temperatures reaching 22°C. British festival-goers will have their fingers crossed that this unusual weather carries on for the rest of festival season, although that may be seriously wishful thinking. With Glastonbury right around the corner we can only hope that the typical torrential rain of festival season doesn't start to set in.
The party has been kicking off at the Isle of Wight Festival, with festival-goers enjoying the hot British weather [Photo: Getty Images, Credit: Ben A. Pruchnie]
Scheduled to appear tonight at the Isle of Wight Festival are big name acts Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, Rudimental, Tom Odell, Starsailer and Lawson, with Katy B appearing at the Big Top. The rest of the weekend is jam-packed acts including the eagerly awaited Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will take to the main stage on Saturday night. Saturday also belongs to Cher Lloyd, Dappy and The Pretty Reckless among other acts.
Continue reading: Isle Of Wight Festival Set To Be A Scorcher [Pictures]
Over two decades on from their last Nottingham date, though many things have changed in and around Suede just as much remains the same. 1992's show at the Nottingham polytechnic came before the departure of original lead guitarist Bernard Butler and the release of their self-titled debut full-length, but by then Brett Anderson's ragtag army had already amassed a cult following not dissimilar to their fellow proponents of buzz-saw guitars and glam imagery, the Manic Street Preachers. It was perhaps the beginning of the ascent in earnest of the band's first peak and, against all odds, their return twenty one years later could be the beginning of a second.
For whilst the greatest reactions from the crowd are unsurprisingly garnered from the earlier selections of their back-catalogue, the punchy 'Animal Nitrate', bleary-eyed indie disco staple 'Beautiful Ones' and B-side 'Killing Of A Flashboy', 2013's "Bloodsports" has the consistency and swagger of their first trio of full-lengths and, more importantly, their live show retains the same vitality. Brett prowls the stage with an undeniable animal magnetism, a face increasingly like Stuart Pearce levied with child abuse charges but the moves of Elvis on the right kind of drugs. He swan-dives into the crowd on numerous occasions, encouraging the audience to take over vocals and reappearing each time with a shirt buttoned down further.
Though surprisingly not sold-out, it is the crowd that makes the night almost as much as the band, equally adoring of new material such as the opening couplet of 'Barriers' and 'Snowblind' as the classics, and impressively attentive to the night's support, something which could never be said of the cult of their welsh counterparts. Here, of course, it helps that Kettering's Temples, a relentlessly pounding psychedelic force, are one of the country's best new bands. They approach late-sixties revisionism from a similar angle to Wolf People and Dungen but abstain from the wig-outs that often dilute their power, and on most nights they would steal the show.
Continue reading: Suede - Nottingham Rock City 28th March 2013 Live Review 2013
Suede frontman Brett Anderson has revealed the band's plans to continue their comeback for the unspecified future as the group usher in a 'new chapter' for the Brit-Pop group.
Brett Anderson, the lead singer of the revitalised Brit-poppers Suede, admitted to the newspaper the Daily Star that the band's comeback album, Bloodsports, is more than a quick money maker as the band are now ready to take on the world once again as they have begun a 'new chapter' in their ongoing timeline. Anderson also discussed his once tattered relationship with Suede bandmate Bernard Butler and how all bonds between the band have been mended since they reformed in 2010 as they are now a stronger musical force than ever.
Suede frontman Brett Anderson has ushered in a new chapter for the band
Bloodsports, which peaked at number No.10 in the UK album charts when it was released in March 2013, was considered by many to be a simple ploy by the band to jump back on the resurgent Brit-pop bandwagon rather than a chance to reinvent themselves for their old and for a new audience, but in the recent interview Anderson has made it relatively clear that the band are in this for more than just a few extra pounds to put in the bank. He told the paper of the bands new ambitions to pick up from where they left off, but making sure they leave behind all the unwanted rock and roll excess that proved so fatal to their experience in the 90's. He said, "We know our job is to play great shows, which seems unromantic and not very rock 'n' roll, but it means when we're on stage there's fireworks."
Albums of Note... Tasked with the tricky mission of releasing an album that stood up to their back catalogue, after several years in the wilderness and a brief spell of time on the reunion circuit, Suede have finally released Bloodsports. Rather than opting for replicating one of their previous albums, they have amalgamated elements of all five of them.
They’ve not lost their distinctive, Bowie-obsessed sound and Suede will forever have one foot in the Britpop era but with Bloodsports they have achieved what few can manage: to come back after a lengthy hiatus, ties unsevered, water under the bridge and still get back to making a quality album and reclaiming their mark on the British landscape.“Bloodsports then, is exactly the album that Suede needed to make. It is loud, aggressive, uncompromising and absolutely, defiantly Suede. Nobody else could have written these songs. Suede have done the almost impossible task of simultaneously looking back at the past while planting a foot firmly into the future.”
Pitched somewhere between The Killers and the Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids have returned with much of the same kind of material that they showcased on their first album. Dear Miss Lonely Hearts is a little bit “Cold War Kids by numbers” and although they’re pretty adept at what they do, if they just stepped out of their comfort zone for a moment, they could surely achieve much greater heights.
“The album's sure fire highlight is Jailbirds, a jaunty rocker, with a fat bass line and a noisy breakdown reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age. This song offers something a little different and breaks the slight monotony of the rest of the album.”
Having completed a triumphant reunion victory lap of festivals all over the world, and the re-release of their entire back catalogue in commendably comprehensive and extensive reissue packages, the legendary Suede inevitably had to get to the gritty business of making a new album to keep them from reunion limbo, playing the likes of Animal Nitrate, Trash, The Beautiful Ones and Saturday Night every night for the rest of their lives. You get the sense that having stared down the barrel of their past for a few years, Suede knew they had to make an album that could stand next to their best work, and there were reports coming from the studio that they had scrapped their first draft entirely and started again. We will never know how close we came to never even hearing Bloodsports but, thankfully, after an 11 year wait, Suede are back with new material.
The question on my mind at least during the build-up to hearing Bloodsports was which direction Suede would go in. Would we get the spunky, trashy glamour of Coming Up, the gothic bombast and melodrama of Dog Man Star or even the cold, futuristic pop of the misfiring Head Music? The answer, it turns out, is that there are elements of all of Suede's five previous albums on show here but, mostly, Bloodsports is a confident rock album which is still recognisably, undeniably Suede.
You get the euphoric strains of Barriers, the angular swagger of Snowblind and the jubilant self-confidence of recent single It Starts And Ends With You. This is the most typically 'rock' Suede have sounded since Coming Up and it is a joy to hear them just letting rip in that classic Suede way.
Continue reading: Suede - Bloodsports Album Review
It has been over ten years since Suede released any music. Their last album was 2002's 'A New Morning', which despite garnering praise from critics, didn't manage to break the 20 twenty in the UK charts and wasn't even released in the US. It seems their careers were over. However, in 2010 they chose to get back together, and they have just released a free download of their new song 'Barriers', which is to be followed by a brand new album later in the year.
'Barriers' sounds a lot like Placebo, or maybe Placebo sound a lot like Suede, and it's pretty good. "[W]e wanted to get some music out there as soon as we could. 'Barriers' isn't the first single but we are proud enough of it to just chuck it out there and thought that its pulsing, romantic swell somehow summed up the feel of the album quite nicely." Front Man Brett Anderson told NME.
Discussing the new album and the process of making it, he said: "After a year of sweating and bleeding over the record it's finally finished... the album is called 'Bloodsports'. It's about lust, it's about the chase, it's about the endless carnal game of love. It was possibly the hardest we ever made but certainly is the most satisfying. it's ten furious song for me have reclaimed for me what Suede was always about: drama, melody and noise."
When Suede won the Mercury Prize with their 1993 self-titled debut it wouldn't have been bold to predict mega-stardom for them, but in amongst the Britpop bubble and member changes they didn't quite hit those heights. Having called it a day in 2003, the group reformed earlier this year and are currently touring Europe, leading up to a date at the O2 Arena in December.
Continue reading: Suede, The Best Of Album Review
4th August, 1989
4th August, 2015