There was no secret at Brett Anderson’s packed Glasgow show that the majority of those in attendance were Suede fans, but it also quickly became obvious that the singer’s solo work plays no second fiddle to his old band’s amazing back catalogue. Tunes from the singer’s new album, ‘Wilderness’ were met with as much excitement as older gems. The set kicks off with an array of tunes from the new album, starting with opener, ‘Different Place’ and running through to the shivering swells of, ‘Chinese Whispers’. Brett sits stoically at a grand piano cutting an enigmatic figure as he moves swiftly from tune to tune with little pause for introductions. The new tunes are gripping love songs, they’re a little clichéd in places with lyrics like, “I don’t need you but I want you” and “oceans between us” and typical dark and decadent imagery expected from Anderson, but it’s all part of the singer’s delight. ‘Back To You’ is especially well received in this early section of new tunes before the brief pause to switch instruments gives rise to a massive round of applause for ‘Love Is Dead’, the title track from Brett’s previous solo album. ‘Clowns’ and ‘Funeral Mantra’ are also treated to the guitar accompaniment while cellist Amy adds quivering resonance to all of the tracks.
Anderson risks a sly smile at the crowd as they drown him in applause yet again after Suede track, ‘Europe Is Our Playground’. It’s only when he takes to guitar for a run of older tracks that the entrancing spell is really broken and the singer becomes open to chat with the crowd, batting away admissions of love with a shy smile. Suede b-sides, ‘The Living Dead’ and ‘My Dark Star’ go down a treat with a sing a-long instantly in progress. The choice of Suede songs is certainly not arbitrary and fits in with the reflective melancholy of the singer’s solo work, ‘Pantomime Horse’ keeps up the mood with ‘The Wild Ones’ always an acoustic treat. ‘Saturday Night’ slips in to salute the gig’s timing and raises plenty of cheers. ‘The 2 Of Us’ and ‘Asphalt World’ are glorious on the piano with the singer really belting out the latter before slamming down the piano lid to take a quick break. It’s clear that despite already playing a set of almost 2 hours he’s not going to get away without an encore and ‘Trash’ finishes things nicely, despite the fact that Anderson seems slightly nervous at telling the crowd that this is the last song he can play.
There are plenty of artists who have a loyal fanbase because of the music that they produced in they heyday, rather than their current output, but Brett Anderson is not a nostalgia act and the fact that this concert was played entirely acoustically and with cello accompaniment means you couldn’t mistake this as a Suede fan convention. Anderson is a talented songwriter, as the excitement for his new tunes proves. Yes, his solo sound may have matured, but that in no way detracts from the beauty of the music. You'll struggle to find another performer dedicated enough to play a 2 hour set and with enough material to keep a crowd happy.