Oh it’s Richard Osman’s brothers band….
Trash – Suede (1996, Nude Records, Taken from ‘Coming Up’)
When Bernard Butler left Suede just after the release of ‘Dog Man Star’, the future looked kind of bleak for Suede. Butler, was musically the bands inspiration and Suede sort of thrived on the fact that Butler and Brett Anderson clearly didn’t get on that well. But strangely, the evidence points to the fact that Bernard Butler leaving Suede was the best thing that could have happened to them.
The reason for this lay in a tape sent to Simon Gilbert, the bands drummer, by his cousin, one Richard Oakes, a 17 year old Suede fanboy. The tape featured Oakes playing the guitar bits from the first Suede album. It was so good that Anderson at first thought that Gilbert was listening to some early demos that Butler had left lying around. Within a month Oakes had been recruited and within eighteen months, ‘Trash’ had been written, recorded and a new pop direction had been outlined by Suede. Well, ok, glam rock pop aimed directly at the ‘social misfit market’ and never had been a bit weird or a bit left out felt so brilliant. Suede returned triumphant and left Bernard Butler kicking his heels and making very similar (but not all together that great) pop songs with David McAlmont.
‘Trash’ worked for reasons, firstly it was just so ridiculously catchy. The other week I was in a pub and ‘Trash’ came on in the background and one hour later I was still humming it as I waited at the bar. Secondly, it worked because it wasn’t the dark and complex (but brilliant) music that ‘Dog Man Star’ contained, this was something altogether different and with the obvious exception of the ‘The Living Dead’, it’s easily Suede’s finest four minutes of music, still.
There were two other songs by Suede that were considered but ultimately rejected as neither of them are as good as ‘Trash’. They were
Heroine – Suede (1994, Nude Records, Taken from ‘Dog Man Star’) – which has a kind of feel to it that makes me want to listen to it in a really seedy bar in downtown London at a ridiculous time of the morning as I sip a strong Hurricane cocktail and wait for the greasy spoon across the road to open. The second one was, of course,
Lazy – Suede (1996, Nude Records, Taken from ‘Coming Up’) which was the third single from ‘Coming Up’ and the third consecutive Top Ten hit for the band, which sort of backs up my early paragraph about Butler leaving being the best thing that ever happened to the band.
Here is Butler’s finest hour as a solo artist, conveniently, it has a one word title.
Stay – Bernard Butler (1998, Virgin Records, Taken from ‘People Move On’) – which climbed all the way into the Top 20, but very few people would I think recognise it if it came on the radio now.