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Suede bring best musical effects to new album; MUSIC: `A New Morning' dawns.

Byline: HANNAH JONES

``THE history of this band is ridiculous. It's like Machiavelli rewriting Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. ``It involves a cast of thousands. It should star Charlton Heston. It's like a pram that's just been pushed down a hill.

``It's always been fiery and tempestuous and really on the edge and it never stops. I don't think it ever will.''

So said Suede's vocalist Brett Anderson back in August 1994, though the quote could just have easily have come from almost any point in the band's volatile career.

For the story of Suede is one of extremes, of dizzying heights and desperate lows.

Of times when they seemed to have the world at their feet and other periods where it seemed impossible to continue.

And it is this refusal to throw in the towel, this triumph over adversity, no matter how high the odds are stacked against them, that is part of their enduring appeal and goes some way to explaining the near fanatical devotion they inspire amongst their supporters.

Suede's detractors have often pegged the band as cold, cynical, pretentious and most damning of all, humourless. The very opposite is the case. Suede are all too human.

Their songs are tragi-comic dramas about real people and real lives.

Suede are one of the UK's most important and influential bands.

They kick-started the renaissance in British guitar groups, weathered the inevitable fallout, survived various personnel changes and inspired a generation of starry-eyed dreamers and bedsit musicians. Here was a band worth believing in.

They were the first alternative act to be awarded the Mercury Music Prize, won plaudits from artists ranging from David Bowie to Derek Jarman, and 10 years on remain one of the few British bands with truly international appeal.

Suede famously gatecrashed the UK music scene just over a decade ago on the back of some of the most hyperbolic press notices ever, not least the front cover of Melody Maker which called them `The Best New Band In Britain' before they had even released one note of music.

When they did, songs like Metal Mickey and Animal Nitrate became smash-hit singles, anthems to a new generation.

Of course, Suede's original guitarist and co-songwriter Bernard Butler walked out of the studio towards the end of the recording of their second album, never to return.

Despite this, Dog Man Star was a triumph, and although their least commercially successful, it is still re-garded by many as their finest work, being one of only four releases from the 1990s to make it into a Guardian poll of the 100 greatest records of all time.

Suede's troubled years since ended in January when recording proper began on the album A New Morning, which is soon to be released.

It's an album that somehow manages to combine all the best bits of previous Suede records and still sound remarkably unique.

``The record's about looking at life a different way, I suppose,'' ponders Anderson.

``Looking at life as something that's potentially great instead of troubled and confused.''

And the title? ``For me it's a symbol of a new start for the band.

``It isn't suddenly a reggae record or a swing record or anything like that. It's definitely a Suede record. But it seems like there's a sense of freshness injected into it.

``When we were making the record I was feeling very excited about life and hopefully some of that vitality has come across on the actual recording,'' enthuses Anderson.

So there you have it.

Suede are back, healthier (in every sense of the word) and more vital than they've been for a long time. Every band is obliged to say that their latest album is the best yet - but in this case it's a claim that's hard to dispute.

A New Morning, which will re-leased on September 30, positively brims over with sparkling melody and impeccable musicianship.

That Best New Band In Britain piece described Suede as ``the most audacious, mysterious, sexy, absurd, perverse, glamorous, hilarious, honest, cocky, melodramatic, mesmerising band you're ever likely to fall in love with''.

Ten years on it still stands true and it's time to get excited. Again.

u Suede play Cardiff Coal Exchange on September 5.

CAPTION(S):

PERFECT DISTILLATION: Suede have come a long way, their totally new album manages to embody the best musical styles and effects from their long career
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 31, 2002
Words:732
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