Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

China return is smooth as Suede

Updated: 2013-09-27 07:09
By Chen Nan (China Daily)

 China return is smooth as Suede

Suede's lead singer Brett Anderson performs in Chengdu in 2012. Provided to China Daily

For Suede's Chinese fans, the legendary band is the symbol of their youth, as it was one of the first Western bands to influence China's music lovers. Despite the band's long hiatus, its legacy carries on with timeless songs such as So Young. It was played throughout the movie with the same English title by Chinese actress-turned-director Zhao Wei, which was released in April this year.

In Suede's upcoming tour in China, which will kick off in Hong Kong on Sept 29 and conclude in Beijing on Oct 5, the song will be performed along with the band's other classic hits.

For the band's front man, Brett Anderson, singing those songs never feels repetitive.

"It never feels like I'm pretending or playing a part. It feels totally contemporary and valid and worthwhile," he said in an interview with China Daily ahead of the China tour.

So Young is the fourth and final single from the debut album by Suede, released in 1993. The 45-year-old singer-songwriter says that it's great to see how other people feel about old Suede tracks and to see that they still speak to young people in the same way that they did in 1992.

"It's a real honor that those songs still have a worth to people and particularly so many people as a film such as So Young reaches," he says. "The fact that it happens across a language barrier makes it all the more special."

It will be the band's third trip to China. Their first show in China took place in Beijing, months before their split in 2003, which was a frenzy. Their last visit was in 2011, a year after their reunion, which saw the band's lingering appeal among their faithful Chinese fans.

"It gave China the best part of a decade to study the back catalogue," Anderson says.

Formed in 1989, Suede was described as "the best new band in Britain" in 1992. Before that turning point, they had played to empty pub back rooms in London for two years. Anderson says that "gave us time and space to be ourselves and to work out what we were doing that could be better. So we got better. A lot better".

"We were singing songs about everyday British life and all its grotesqueness and ridiculousness that people could relate to. Before the whole Britpop thing went somewhere more flippant and patronizing. By 1991 we had really hit our stride musically," he adds.

With their glorious tunes and romantic lyrics, they soon became chart-toppers and best-sellers. In 1996, after recruiting Richard Oakes and keyboard player Neil Codling, Suede went on to greater commercial success with the album Coming Up.

"We'd been through the departure of Bernard and rebuilt the band. Richard and I were feeling confident in our new songwriting partnership, Neil was onboard and chipping in with some really good material and we just felt like a gang again. It was fun, really. And you can hear that. It was the easiest album I've ever made," Anderson recalls.

However, the band split after the commercial flop of A New Morning in 2002.

Even when they performed together in 2010, they had no intention of doing anything beyond the show at The Royal Albert Hall.

China return is smooth as Suede

"We performed together again because we were asked to for a noble cause and it felt like it might be fun and valid," says Anderson.

But that whole night showed them that people missed them and made them think that they might still have something to give. Then they played more gigs, which still felt good.

"If it had felt like we were overstaying our welcome at any point or that it wasn't special, we would have stopped right there. But it has all felt very, very natural and right," he says.


Elton John lauds young artists, mixes his new songs with old

Striking a chord without compromise

Giddy up and get down!