If I’m being honest I was a little bit nervous about meeting Brett Anderson, for a variety of reasons. Suede were, and still are, one of my very favourite bands, which meant I had to avoid being weird and starstruck when meeting the man who had written beautiful songs that got me through all sorts of teenage angst eg “The Wild Ones”.
But Brett also struck me as an individual who could diplomatically be described as “difficult”, plus he seemed like a “proper” VIP that average punters might actually have heard of. Pin Ups ran for 5 more years following Mr Anderson’s visit, but he must be up there as one of the biggest names we ever managed to snare. (When obituaries for the Woodside Social Club were written upon its closure in 2009, most completely failed to mention the string of cult heroes that Pin Ups brought to the venue between 2005 and 2007, making me wonder if the bastards writing these tear-stained pieces had ever actually attended the place.)
Retuning to the night of 4th May 2007, I was very pleased and relieved when Brett turned up on time, had incredible star quality, was surprisingly tall, was understanding that the bands had run over a bit, was very complimentary about them (describing headliners Pooch as “very good” – I think they ended up getting a gig in London out of it, but I forget the details), and even answered a few trainspotter Suede questions (“Simon” was one of his personal favourite Suede songs; he was still very much in touch with Bernard Butler). The only topic he got cagey about was David Bowie, denying that the opening bars of “Letter to Hermione” used o be the introduction to his answerphone message – Suede trainspotters will know that this is a fact!
The closest Brett got to being annoyed was when he discovered the ciggy machine in the Woody didn’t work, and when somebody allegedly looked over his toilet cubicle to try and see his willy. He played a quite lively DJ set (my notes say it included Blondie, Super Furries, Beyonce, and 2 tracks off “Moon Safari”) and dished out picture poses and autographs aplenty.
Once Brett left we got down to the serious business of – playing Suede songs! I remember the dancefloor went properly mental when Iain OC played “Beautiful Ones”. My notes also tell me we rattled out Elastica, Joy Division, Arcade Fire, Kylie, “Standing in the way of control”, “Acceptable in the 80s”, The Four Seasons, McAlmont & Butler, Moz, Pet Shop Boys and Guns n Roses! Great times.
Here’s what we had to say at the time:
“This sort of situation transcends hype. If you don’t understand why it’s terrifically exciting then it’s probably a bit late in the day to explain, and you should probaby go back to your Oasis/Foo Fighters/Bland Band records (while everybody else gears up for possibly the most mental scenes witnessed at Pin Ups ever). A few months back we jokingly wrote in the Pinups fanzine that Brett’s new solo album would be entitled “We Are The Electrical Gasoline Drum Machines” . Nobody mention that to him, OK?
Live support comes from Pooch, the most suitably sleazy and glam sounding band we could find, and Soul Circus – a band that I’d call men’s men who I booked for some gritty loud Real Rock n Roll Fun, before I knew Brett Anderson was coming, oops…”