Suede - Latvia Jurmala Beach - 28/7/02

01 Feb 2004

unusual location for vibrant, still-stomping indie-stars.

Suede Live

6ft 3ins of thin, willowy gracefulness commanding the stage and demanding attention. As the first song kicks in, we can't take our eyes of this mesmerising figure; this is what we've all paid our money for and have come to see... But, hey, enough about that lap-dancing club down the road.

Serving as the venue for one of Suede's first gigs on their current European tour, Jurmala Beach is a tourist-resort mainly for the residents of Riga that want to escape the never-ending urban pressures of the city; a bit like Southend for the Eastenders, then, but - reassuringly - without the shellsuits, candy floss and Les Dennis in panto on the pier. And, it's all for the princely sum of five quid, too.

Suede come on just as the sun sets on the sea's horizon. The setting is pure bliss, and a finer venue simply doesn't exist. (Apart from The Fist and Sickbucket in Tooting, of course.) Fittingly, Brett is 'mad for it' tonight, jumping around with all the bounce and energy of a hyperactive kid, whipping the audience up from the word go; endeavours to hold the mic out for the audience to sing along to tunes doesn't particularly function well sadly, though - the Latvian crowd aren't quite sure of the words... Yet, it's little matter.

Notably, there's not too much new stuff tonight, the main force and punch exerted purely into forthcoming single, the sweaty stomper, 'Positivity', immediately making friends with the crowd. But - luckily for us - it's mostly a greatest hits package.

The searing 'She's In Fashion' is introduced as 'a song from our crap album', referring to '98's mixed bag of treats and defeats, 'Head Music', and most of the material echoing out of speakers tonight proves to form the original basis of the band's seminal LP of '94, 'Dog Man Star', with 'New Generation' being the key stand out moment, after which Brett shouts out to the adoring onlookers, 'You love it'; understandably, no-one argues with him over that tonight.

Even after the encore has finished, people are still demanding more, Brett telling everyone 'You've had 18 songs - that's not bad is it?' Actually - it's not bad at all, Mr Anderson, not bad at all...

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