Wednesday, September 30, 2009

10th year anniversary: Suede gig

I suddenly got the urge to write about my Suede gig (which was also my first ever gig)

1. Then looking at the date, I realized it happened 10 years ago! Hence, the post name

2. As it happened a decade ago, I can't really remember much. So I tried to google "Suede gig setlist" Guess what I found?
(I assume it was posted by my gig mate)

Wow, my vocab was really good back then. What happened to me? Anyway, I am so glad I wrote it and shared it with my gig mate. Because I don't remember anymore where I saved it. Heck, I don't even remember writing it :-p

OK anyway, here it is posted:

A review contributed by my fellow Suedehead.. Nurul Aida.. flashback to the year 1999..

30 September 1999, 8.30 p.m.
World Trade Centre- Harbour Pavilion
By Nurul Aida Mohd. Agil

Setlist (in order)

Can't Get Enough
Metal Mickey
Everything Will Flow
The Wild Ones
Beautiful Ones
Elephant Man
He's Gone
New Generation
Animal Nitrate
Electricity (Happy Birthday to Richard)
She's In Fashion


Savoir Faire
Saturday Night

I went with Ric ( Me & Ric are from Malaysia, just across the causeway, for those not in the know) & his friend Niven. The friend is just a casual fan & he bought the ticket that very same evening, just 2 hours before the gig. Unfortunately, this means the tickets weren't sold out. At least the standing room did. We arrived at WTC Harbour Pavilion very late- almost 7.30 p.m. Another good friend, Shahirah (who bought the tickets for me & Ric, how nice of her ) was already queueing up with other fellow Suedeheads (they're all members of Singaporean Suede Fan Club). They were wearing black tight t-shirts written with gold dust, the words to Suede's lyrics & they exactly resembles Brett's writing.

They did those on their own & I was deceived to think that those were SIS merchandise. How clever ! When we finally got through the doors, there were so many people already. I managed to sneak my camera in and Shahirah sneaked in her walkman to record the whole gig. (But the output was disappointing- we could only hear noise). We couldn't get to the front row, which was very disappointing for me 'cos I'm vertically challenged. Heh. We waited quite long , approximately 45 minutes for those stylemeisters to come out. They teased us with blast after blast of Sex Pistols' songs. The crowd was becoming very restless

When the lights finally went off, everybody just screamed and went mad. I couldn't hear a thing except for the piercing screams. The opening song was Can't Get Enough. Everybody just jumped (Oh yes Ric, including me !) and we could really feel the hall shaking like it was going to fall off into the sea or something. Man, if you don't have enough stamina, you might not survive this ! A few girls had to surrender because it was very stuffy and they couldn't breathe.

Poor them ! By this time I was really pushed, first to the left, then to the front and I ended up at the very back of the standing room, just beside the sound engineer. I climbed the railings to get a better view of the band. Why didn't I think of this earlier ? They continued with another fast number, Trash. Everyone was singing along because they were familiar with Coming Up. The next two numbers were rockin' good too- She and Metal Mickey. I was quite surprised they played Metal Mickey because we had read in the local articles that they won't be playing any materials from the two earlier albums.

I remember a new friend (he was at the front row ) telling us after the gig that he was shouting to Brett to play Killing Of A Flashboy. But they never did ! As usual, Brett always had his stunts to entertain us with. He tossed two of the press' cameras like they were rubber balls and threw them back safely to their rightful owners. He could have damaged them. Oh, he even did the same thing to a video camera ! And while singing at that ! He was very energetic and his voice was good. He didn't get off-key except for Filmstar, I think, which was hardly noticeable.

The dress code for the Suede lads that night was black, except for Mat who wore a pink shirt. Mat was really enjoying himself. I've read that nowadays, he just remained at the back compared to the earlier years , when he shaked his bits to the hits. Well, certainly that wasn't the case that night, he was really swinging his bass. Mat changed his bass guitar for a few songs, if I'm not mistaken, using his green Fender jazz and the yellow Fender precision. Richard looked fit and his face wasn't really that round. Sorry Oakesy fans. Just kidding there. He was really good too , and he changed a few guitar bits to experiment and break the monotony. He also changed his guitar, but mainly, he used his Gibson guitar.It was also Richard's birthday due in 2 days and Brett got us to sing him a Happy Birthday after Electricity. But we didn't sing Brett a Happy Birthday because, well, he didn't ask us to. He was also not really happy when fans wished him during the autograph session , the previous night.

Simon was as enthusiastic as ever. Even though he didn't shake his hips or anything ( how can he when he's using both his hands and legs ?!), he was all smiles. His drum beats were thundering and I think the rhythm section was excellent that night. (ahem, thundering might be a little bit exaggerated, but you just have to acknowledge this man's talent). He threw his drum sticks at the end of the gig and a friend of Shahirah's got them. Neil, well, Neil was right at the front. I could see him the most clearly and he looked very tired. He was sitting all through the gig with a big fan by his side. Oh, Simon got one by his side too.He was staring into space as usual but occasionally, he flashed a few smiles. He wasn't giving attention to the crowd nearer to him, but to the sitting section, but of course, no one was sitting ! After 4 fast numbers, they played the ballads, namely Everything Will Flow, Down (which is my favourite from Head Music), and The Wild Ones. The crowd was waving the light sticks. Romantic or what ? However, I noticed that not everyone sang along to The Wild Ones, maybe because it was an older track. Sweepingly beautiful.

The crowd went wild once again after hearing the familiar guitar attack intro of Beautiful Ones. It was massive ! I think at this point, I lost my voice. 'Nuff said. Everyone jumped again and according to Shahirah, someone even stage dived! The lalala singalong bit was great fun ! As if that wasn't enough of adrenaline rush, we were treated to Elephant Man and Filmstar. No, they didn't swap instruments. We calmed down a bit as they mesmerised us with the sad He's Gone. We didn't want Suede to be gone just yet. What a relief for us to hear New Generation. Another DMS material, yeah ! Then it was Animal Nitrate and again, I enjoyed myself a lot with this. Especially for the part that goes " You're over 21!" , I signalled the numbers two and one. Rocking to the not-loony tune of Electricity it was after that. It's refreshing to hear the stripped down to basics live version.

After that, we treated the birthday boy- with "electric cakes" coincidentally, after the song Electricity. (Cakes is a nickname given to Oakes by the band). The tune of the very popular She's In Fashion was the closing of tonight's gig. Everybody was in a big karaoke session and it looked like the band enjoyed this so much that they stretched it a wee bit. In split seconds, the band was gone. We could only see smoke around the stage. So we couldn't see who left first or last. All of us chanted Encore! Encore ! and demanded for more. We just can't get enough, can we ? Well, they did come back.

They played Savoir Faire. For most of the songs tonight, Brett stuck to the original lyrics. But not this one. The part which goes "harmony and ecstasy, yeah yeah yeah" and "painted toes and soft, soft soles yeah yeah yeah" were changed to "party girls" or something like that. I can't remember, sorry. And we all know that Asians got the sanitisied version of Savoir Faire on Head Music, right ? Ahem, that night Brett crooned f***ing machine (in Singapore, yeah). Next came Lazy.

Another singalong . The last song came in the shape of the romantic Saturday Night. Again, the crowd waved light sticks and their hands , synchronised to the tune. This time, the band disappeared and did not return. That is, after fans stayed on a few more minutes to make sure the lads weren't re-appearing We still can't get enough though. All of us just rushed out to buy drinks. We were so thirsty and tired like we'd run for a marathon.

Everone just sat on the floor and I was eyeing for my friends.We were separated from the very start. We didn't get to go to the aftershow party as we didn't have passes. Anyway, for the record, they stayed at a hotel in Sentosa Island. Meanwhile, at the Suede stall , the tour books were sold out and the t-shirts (with the Head Music cover art) were selling like hot cakes.

The autograph session The previous night (29 September 1999) the FC members had the chance to meet Suede at an autograph signing session at Tower Records. They even bought a special cake for them. Unfortunately though, fans were required to buy the CDs (Head Music) to get a pass. I'm sure most of them had to fork out extra money because they probably would have bought Head Music right after it was released. And even more unfortunate for me, because I didn't get to go as I'm still stuck in Malaysia. The fans got to rub shoulders with Suede (well, not exactly ) & of course, they took pictures. This is what I got from Shahirah.

You see, the fanclub members brought their black t-shirts (the same one they were wearing for the gig ). However, the organisers supplied the fans with black marker pens. So, Shahirah brought with her a silver ink pen, so they could ask Suede to sign their t-shirts. When it was Shahirah's turn, she got to chat first with Mat, then Brett and Simon . While chatting, she gave Mat the silver pen to sign her t-shirt . Then she took pictures with Mat, Brett, Simon and Neil, I think. As she was approaching her favourite member Richard, the officials told her it was the next person's turn. They only allow one autograph or rather a signature of each member to a fan. Poor her, she had to go and she didn't even get to speak with Richard ! And her silver pen is still with Mat, or somewhere. Other fans had to get their t-shirts signed on the ' Suede' logo which is yellow in colour as they had no choice but to use the black marker pens



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