Suede delighted fans with a surprise gig at a packed east London venue, where they played their new album in full under the name of Crushed Kid.
Rumours of the intimate performance began swirling on social media last week when the unknown band were listed as performing at the Moth Club in Hackney and Manchester’s Deaf Institute on the venues websites.
And tongues were set further wagging with a series of cryptic posts on Crushed Kid’s Instagram, showing obscured but familiar figures, and a photo posted by NME on Monday showing Suede’s equipment at the 300-capacity music club.
The clever wordplay did not fool fans and band eventually burst onto stage for the sold-out gig at 9pm on Monday, going straight into She Still Leads Me on, the roaring debut single from their ninth album Autofiction, due for release on September 16.
Livewire frontman Brett Anderson then greeted the packed venue, saying: “We are Crushed Kid. Thank you for coming. We love you so much” before the band performed the new album in its entirety.
Their distinctive sound and energetic live performance wowed fans packed into the small room, with the Moth Club’s sparkly gold staging and patterned carpets providing an apt backdrop for the band’s wasted glam aesthetic.
Anderson, who writhed and hurled himself around the stage as if barely any time had passed since their 90s heyday, has described Autofiction as the band’s “punk record” and the influence could be heard in the driving, dystopian-sounding Personality Disorder, featuring some excellent spoken word, along with the more poppy Shadow Self.
Other tracks were on more familiar Suede territory, such as the gentler, anthemic What Am I Without You?, a paean to fans which was introduced by Anderson saying: “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.”
The band then hurtled through the final album track, Turn Off Your Brain And Yell, before Anderson shouted: “We have been Crushed Kid. You have been amazing” and promptly exited.
No encores, no crowd-pleasing hits, just around 45 minutes of raw energy as they gave fans a taste of their latest songs and then left the stage leaving everyone wanting more.
The band will play a second “secret” gig at the Deaf Institute in Manchester on Tuesday evening, before embarking on a tour of record shops and intimate venues from September 15.