Review: Suede and The Manic Street Preachers deliver '90s nostalgia fest at Edinburgh Castle

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If ever there were two British bands which captured the sheer wackiness of the ‘90s, they were Suede and the Manic Street Preachers.

Last night, the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle felt like a throwback to those heady days as the two acts delivered energetic performances which showed they never lost their Britpop chutzpah.

In line with the rotating headliner arrangement the bands have been using throughout their joint tour, Suede burst onto the stage first.

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If anyone in attendance was unfamiliar with Brett Anderson, that had certainly changed by the end of the set after the frontman’s audacious moves captivated the crowd.

David Hepburn

Plenty of fans got to exercise their vocal chords, with sing-a-long anthems like Saturday Night and an acoustic version of The Wild Ones sending the audience deep into chorus.

The show had kicked off with new track Turn Off Your Brain and Yell, but with Trash and Animal Nitrate following, it wasn’t long before the classics were ringing out in a full-fledged nostalgia fest.

Fans went wild as the ever-recognisable riff of Beautiful Ones played and a rousing rendition of arguably the band’s most iconic song finished things off.

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All the while, the 56-year-old Anderson looked like he could have carried on for longer after an impressive stage routine which could have made even the most dedicated gym-goer blush.

David Hepburn

Suede had set the bar high by the time James Dean Bradfield and co. took to the stage to greet a crowd still buzzing from the zeal of the Londoners’ performance.

The three-piece brought the vigour of a top Welsh rugby team itching to bring the English back to earth as they hit out with lively anthems like Motorcycle Emptiness and Everything Must Go.

While You Stole the Sun From My Heart rang out, even the watching literary great Ian Rankin - synonymous with grittiness - couldn’t resist tapping his feet in approval.

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Bradfield provided plenty of entertainment, spending the night jumping around the stage as if to show his aerobic endurance matched that of the preceding frontman.

The jovial mood was only interrupted when a mischievous member of the crowd removed his jacket to reveal a Three Lions shirt, cheekily announcing to the rest of gig-goers that England had reached the final of the Euros.


From Despair to Where probably summed up the feelings of the Welsh rockers and Scottish fans when they learned of the night’s football result, but the riff of No Surface of Feeling mixed with a cover of the Smashing Pumpkin’s Today promptly lifted spirits again.

The stirring strings and electrifying chorus of If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next had everyone on their feet as the Cool Cymru legends ended the night on a triumphant high.

It may be a long time since these bands were topping the charts, but the show proved both are a long way off losing their spark.

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