If listeners are to take note of the sleeve that comes along with 15 Again, then they should expect Suede to mark a chaotic moment of reflection. An infectious rage that would pass over the band as they dare to look back on where they were all those years ago. The line between sincerity and pastiche drew close for comfort on so many tracks that wish to do so, but with the latter taking precedence for those lucky few. Suede is part of the lucky few, a band back on top form ahead of the release of Autofiction, their hotly anticipated new album. With singles She Still Leads Me On and now 15 Again releasing, it’s desperately impossible to get away from the length of time there is still to wait.
Glam rock continues to march on as Suede mark another album release for the back end of this year. A series of shaky returns to the recording studio precede She Still Leads Me On, one of Suede’s strongest tracks from this new generation of the Britpop poster boys. Previous effort The Blue Hour opened and closed with excellence but had a half-baked middle ground. Thankfully frontman Brett Anderson and company have managed to capture that opening and closing success with She Still Leads Me, a relatively simple but exceptionally firm track that captures the sultry Suede mentality and charts a promising direction for the band in a new decade of music.
As a wave of red seats washed over England’s political map, the rise of Britpop was mounted and shouldered in by Tony Blair, at the time a youthful face of a reformed Labour Party. Whilst Blur and Oasis waged war with one another in the charts, they found clarity and similarities in their cosy attitude to Blair and his breakthrough.
If the politicisation of music has taught us one thing, it’s that it will make or break a genre. Punk worked primarily as a rage against the machine, a rebellious call to arms that The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Ramones kindled for much of the genre’s lifespan. The political piggybacking of New Labour and Britpop was a strange by-product that led to this fresh British genre’s demise. How we charged towards this point of no return is as fascinating as the eventual fallout that broke up bands, brothers, and audiences. To understand why Britpop fell apart, we first need to look at why it began.
The outsider music provided by various genres and periods of time in Britain are often far superior to the genres they failed to shunt their weight into. When we look back on the history of music, we fail to recognise that those artists who find themselves appreciated now often struggled commercially, critically, and personally when making their finest works. Suede: The Insatiable Ones is one such example, a band that, in retrospect, outlined the outsider Britpop niche alongside Pulp. Brett Anderson and his 90s rock band Suede stormed through the charts, and this documentary looks to document their unprecedented rise, inevitable fall, and sudden comeback.