credit Olivia Marrins

Independent Venue Week: Suede’s intimate gig @ Stereo

By Olivia Marrins

Suede play to a room of 300 fans as part of Independent Venue Week by BBC Radio 6.

The insatiable ones congregated in glory as a sea of forty-somethings filled the floor of Stereo last Friday night. To mark the 10-year celebration of BBC Radio 6’s Independent Venue Week, Steve Lamacq hosted events across the country, booking one of the UK’s biggest Britpop stars at the Glasgow music cafe/bar hybrid. 

Scottish rising star Theo Bleak lined the room with her soft, woozy vocals as the support. Having released her EP Fragments last May, this hour was filled with relaxed instrumentals and comfortable stage presence, over a setlist of self-aware songs about changing relationships and self-exploration. 

Drummer Simon Gilbert led Suede as they emerged from a tiny backstage door in the very left corner. Brazing hands with the crowd, the band took to the intimate stage with Brett Anderson at one with the audience, black shiny shirt, and heavy side part as if it was the Roundhouse in 1996. The electric stage presence was only intensified by the close walls of Stereo, Suede jumping in line with the audience as they opened with the hit single from their new album, That Boy on the Stage

Their setlist continued with more from the new album, concentrating on tracks of loss and self-deprecation, before going back to their very first albums. Animal Nitrate and Trash left fans facing one another in awe, reminiscing over the old hits. 

The band returned to tracks from Autofiction, before treating us to a few Dog Man Star greatest hits. The band took an unexpected lead – as sound technology fell short, Brett was left stranded with no amp for his guitar or microphone working. This resulted in the band’s favour. Brett stood to the small audience vocals bare and sang the wild ones acapella, with the whole room joining in, filling the room with the adoration for Brett and the band which has never been lost. 

Suede delivered an evening as special as one of their very first gigs, but with their discography behind them and dedicated fans in attendance. It’s undeniable that this is a 90s band still capable of creating tracks poignant with the struggles of everyday life. 


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