Industry ears have perked up at any mention of Suede’s unknown band charging full whack for a club show that is one or two steps out of their league ever since Bingo Hand Job appeared on the Borderline stage in 1991 and turned out to be REM and a band called Venison advertised a 2010 Dingwalls gig with a logo font suspiciously similar to that of The Strokes.
Then, rumors abounded regarding a band called Crushed Kids’ debut performance at Hackney’s 300-seat Moth Club. It’s not a good idea to Google them, but the only hits for the band are a blurry Instagram photo of five seductive but ominously recognizable people and one online track preview.
But it was obvious they wouldn’t remain a mystery for long as they took the Moth Club stage in front of a packed and enthusiastic audience of insiders. Between bursts of sensuous and seditious glam rock, soaring indie bombast, and babbled autobiographical poetry, their lithe, feral hellcat of a singer smirked, “A great greeting for our debut show.” To launch their new album Autofiction, Suede—for it was they—brought the “new band” conceit onstage and performed their (wink) sole album in its entirety in the style of a group of ragged rock louts looking to get arrested on the nearest ferry to Amsterdam. Suede recorded Autofiction as a back-to-basics punk record.
Although only the pounding Personality Disorder, Shadow Self, and Turn Off Your Brain And Yell captured the post-punk clatter they were aiming for, even this set of relatively unknown tracks was hammered home like more of a demolition project than a gig due to Suede’s sheer live ferocity, which has always thrived in club environments where they can bulge the walls a little.