OnlineRock Blog

29 April 2011

The London Suede at Coachella, Saturday April 16, 2011

By Cody Goodfellow

In the midst of an orgy of 80's nostalgia, the return of Britpop stalwarts London Suede might seem too early or too late, but to so many in America, they never mattered at all. Frontman Brett Anderson has been playing festivals with the reunited group, but still sans Bernard Butler. The drama of seeing such a legendary feud resolved would have made London Suede's return something to see the way you have to watch some idiot try to bumrush the wristband checkpoint. But with Anderson's colossal ego untempered, the only drama came from how well he's taken care of his voice, which still has power and maybe even a little gravitas, thanks to crack and heroin. It still sounds acidic and glamorous on "Beautiful Ones", still takes weeks off your life. Nothing else on stage could distract from Anderson's self-conscious Mick Jagger mannerisms, and his haunted torch renditions of "Asphalt World" showed that he still had it. Two tittering British girls in the audience told me that yes, he was still well fit. But the tormented youthful angst of "So Young" sounded fraught with whole new catalogues of meaning that nobody at the world's biggest rave really came to hear. At their uptempo best, London Suede made the case that with a little luck, they could have been Blur. If the original band were reunited and the clash of egos were there to revive the music, it might've been something. But Anderson's incarnation was like a funeral for a vampire who won't lie still, and raging to see himself in a mirror.

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