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August 2, 2011

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Suede plays Shanghai on reunion tour

SUEDE, the glam rock band that kick started Britpop, reunites temporarily for a world tour and performs in Shanghai on August 9. Zhang Qian reports.

The Cranberries played Shanghai last week and now the old British rock band Suede is coming.

Suede, an early glam rock band formed in 1989, will perform next Tuesday at Shanghai Grand Stage, bringing their most popular works from their heyday before they went their separate ways in 2003.

After a seven-year absence, the five-member band announced late last year that they would get together for a world tour, and then resume their separate careers. Future recordings are not ruled out, however.

Chinese fans were delighted, since both Shanghai and Beijing are major stops on the tour.

Concerts will feature the old favorites such as "Beautiful Ones" and "By the Sea," since they haven't recorded new songs.

Suede performed in Beijing during their last tour in 2003, and vocalist Brett Anderson has performed several solo concerts since it disbanded.

"It never fails to amaze me how passionate the Chinese fans are and the reaction we seem to invoke," says Anderson through an e-mail interview, "We can't wait to come back."

This will be their first performance as a complete band in Shanghai; they end their tour in Tokyo a few days later and have no further performance plans, though Anderson says they're working on music that will only be recorded if it's outstanding.

Mischa Perlmen of the BBC wrote in 2010 of the "Best of Suede" release: "No other band has ever quite managed to romanticize England's urban sprawl and decay with as much efficacy as Brett Anderson's poetic lyricism ... (he) incisively captured the messed-up, drug-addled yet hopeful, dream-filled lives of a generation who grew up during or after a Thatcherite Britain."

In 1992 the alternative band was hailed as the best new band in Britain and helped kick start the Britpop Movement with their first album "Suede," which hit the top of the charts. They later distanced themselves from Britpop and their second album "Dog Man Star" (1994), which was distinctive and praised by critics. They also released "Coming Up" (1996) and "Head Music" (1999).

They arrived on the scene at a low period after the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had faded and became and instant phenomenon. Anderson was intriguing with his androgynous style and ambiguous sexuality.

The band has gone through several changes in its composition, members had personal problems and their album "A New Morning" (2002) was a commercial failure. Suede disbanded in 2003.

"Maybe we just reached a critical point at that moment. Looking back we made some wrong decisions with 'A New Morning.' We should have had six months off but we didn't," says Anderson.

The invitation from the Teenage Cancer Trust in London to perform in concert at the Royal Albert Hall last year gave some impetus for the band to get back together.

"We were seeing if the chemistry remained in front of a massive crowd," says Anderson. "It was a magical evening. The band discussed it and we felt that the time might be right to at least try and see if we could go back to Suede. And it was."

Anderson is working on his own rock-based solo album and developing new materials for Suede.

"We have started writing but it won't see the light of the day unless it is absolutely brilliant," says Anderson.

Date: August 9, 8pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Stage, 1111 Caoxi Rd N.

Tickets: 280-1,280 yuan

Tel: 962-388


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