Suede’s Brett Anderson and Manics’ James Dean Bradfield tell Chris Evans about memorable support slots they’ve played

Virgin Radio

12 Oct 2023, 07:13

Brett Anderson and James Dean Bradfield talk to Chris Evans at Virgin Radio.

When Brett Anderson and James Dean Bradfield joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch to talk about their upcoming co-headline tour, they spoke about what it was like to be each other's support bands, and recalled previous gigs where they’ve gone on first. 

Suede and Manic Street Preachers are setting out on a UK and Ireland tour in June and July next year and will be taking it in turns to headline. With each band set to support the other, Brett and James told Chris about some of their most memorable warm-up slots, both good and bad. The Manics’ guitarist/vocalist said: “The best experience was sporting Suede in Europe. That was a great experience.”

He added: “The worst was supporting The Black Crowes in the early 90s. That was bad. That was just a mismatch.”

The Suede frontman said: “When we really, really first started, we supported Ricky Gervais’ band. They were called Son of Bleeper. I don't think there's any photos of that, but I'm sure they'd be hilarious.” 

Remembering teaming-up with a fellow Welsh act, James added: “I remember when we toured in the 90s, before Catatonia had taken off, they did a tour with us before they took off. And that was amazing. It was obvious they were going to go on, and Road Rage was going to be massive”

The Manics and Suede played a sold out run of US shows last year, where they also switched which band went on first and second. “To be honest with you, going on first or going on second didn't seem to make a huge amount of difference on the American tour, actually,” Brett said.

“And it might be different with this one, because some of it’s outdoors and there might be daylight kind of coming into the whole equation. But some of the times that we went on first in America, I can't remember exactly, was it Washington? And that being a great gig, so it didn't seem to matter too much. So it's not like a big fight.”

James said: “There was definitely a bit more of a frisson of excitement about Suede playing in America because you hadn't played there for such a long time, had you?”

“25 years,” Brett confirmed.

The Manic Street Preachers singer continued: “In LA I could see there was a real rabid element of Suede fans at the front. There were people that were properly waiting for them to come on, properly waiting. I thought, ‘Tonight we've got to try and just show them that Suede and not the only band in the world,’ because in LA it was very apparent there were so many fans for them. So that was one night which stood out, where it felt like we were the support band.”

Brett told Chris: “It was always really interesting, that whole dynamic, because it was always quite obvious who the Manics fans were, because there'd be the kind of girls down the front in their kind of Manics costumes and stuff. And I quite liked that challenge of, not converting them, but winning them over.

“That's always the challenge of a support band, or a band that goes on first, or a band that plays to someone else's audience.”

On watching Suede from the side-of-stage during the US tour, James said: “I was asking them to play a few songs on tour and some nights they would play it. And that was a nice feeling. It felt like a personal jukebox.” 

Read more about what James and Brett had to say about their joint tour here.

Manic Street Preachers + Suede’s 2024 Tour: Tickets on sale this Friday 13th October at 9am at

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.