Live Report: Suede – Moth Club, London

Crushed Kid make an impressive debut...

Who the hell are Crushed Kid, then? The unknown band made a splash on social media a few weeks back, placing mysterious imagery on Instagram. Speculation grew that it might – just might – be Suede, with the British group currently prepping a new album. The IG feed promptly coughed up a pair of live shows – one in Manchester, one in London – which sold out almost instantly. For a totally unknown band, with no music online, Crushed Kid certainly seem to have a following.

When Clash arrived at the Moth Club it’s already packed, with fans crammed in front to back. Retaining its old working men’s club vibe, the sparkling ceiling resonates to tunes from guest DJ Rhys Webb, who opts for some trash cuts from the glam era – that golden period of ’72 and ’73 when the most masculine quality you could have devilish cheekbones, a 28 inch waist, and nail varnish on all 10 fingers.

Live Report: Suede – Moth Club, London

With anticipation at fever pitch the crowd rush forward, and Crushed Kid reveal themselves. Brett Anderson leads his Suede cohorts onstage, a grin plastered to his face as he greets the crowd. Suede’s upcoming record ‘Autofiction’ is dubbed as their punk record, laid down cheek-to-jowl in the studio and aiming to replicate the red-hot energy of the band’s performances.

Tonight’s show certainly taps into this devil-may-care bravado. It’s entirely dedicated to the new record, a glorious preview which excises the band’s past riches in order to focus exclusively on the present. There’s a wider context to this, of course; we’re all suffering from post lockdown ennui, and connection in its truest sense can be hard to come by. What better to shatter the glass around us then, than Brett Anderson writhing onstage mere yards away, enraptured fans flocking to the barriers?

Live Report: Suede – Moth Club, London

Whipping themselves into shape with opener ‘She Still Leads Me On’ the band then dip into ‘Personality Disorder’ and the oddly tender ’15 Again’. ‘That Boy On Stage’ is virtually a mini-manifesto for Brett Anderson’s theatrics, with bass player Mat Osman providing a rocksteady counterpoint. Richard Oakes applies nimble brushstrokes to the arrangements, and while its possible to hear aspects of their past – ‘Dog Man Star’ looms on those lush ballads, while the sheer sleaze of ‘Metal Mickey’ haunts the more punk moments – the band never succumb to nostalgia. A stubborn, unrelenting display of where Suede stand in 2022, the set becomes less an album preview, and more a mission statement.

The volume drops a tad for ‘What Am I With You’, with the frontman explaining that the lyrics dissect the debt the band owe their fans, and the continuing connection that exists between them. He explains: “This next song is quite special. I wrote it about you. It’s a love song to the audience. What am I without you? I am nothing without you.”

Closing with an emphatic ‘Turn Off Your Brain And Yell’ the band leave to feedback, and cheers, and stunned surprise. No encores, no repeats – for a debut show, Crushed Kid leave a weighty first impression. 

Live Report: Suede – Moth Club, London

Suede’s ‘Autofiction’ will be released on September 16th.

Words: Robin Murray
Photo Credit: Paul Khera

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