Suede © Naomi Dryden-Smith

Suede © Naomi Dryden-Smith

Brandaid feat. Pretenders and Suede
O2 Shepherds Bush, London
20th November 2019

Pretenders and Suede co-headlined a special, intimate show to raise money for crew member and friend John Brandham, who recently had a stroke, thrilling their fans and surpassing expectations in the best of ways. Naomi Dryden-Smith was lucky enough to be there.

Pretenders © Naomi Dryden-Smith

Chrissie Hynde is amazing. With a voice that seems astonishingly unchanged in almost 40 years, wearing thigh high boots and Brandaid t-shirt, brandishing a guitar with a rock stance, she is cool to the core. Supported by a solid line-up, including founding Pretenders’ member Martin Chambers on drums, the formidable James Walbourne on guitar, charismatic Nick Wilkinson on bass and Carwyn Ellis on keyboards (seen at the Empire just a couple of months ago on bass for Edwyn Collins), it’s a tight and vibrant performance.

Suede © Naomi Dryden-Smith

Brett Anderson sidles onto the stage in trade mark style and proceeds to unleash his relentless energy onto the Shepherds Bush crowd, which suddenly reveals itself to have a strong Insatiable Ones contingent. Once again, it’s striking how this band has reinvented itself in recent years and emerged with more vigour than ever, replacing self-interest with a visible focus and engagement with its adoring audience. As we said last year (here), Anderson has honed his performance into one of the best frontmen around, backed a band that only seem to get better every time (Mat Osman (bass), Simon Gilbert (drums), Richard Oakes(guitar) and Neil Codling (keyboards)).

Brandaid feat. Pretenders and Suede: O2 Shepherds Bush, London – live photo review

Pretenders Setlist
Gotta Wait
Message of Love
Down the Wrong Way (Chrissie Hynde song)
Talk of the Town
I Go to Sleep (The Kinks cover)
Back on the Chain Gang
Private Life
Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks cover)
Night in My Veins
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Cuban Slide
Brass in Pocket
Mystery Achievement
Middle of the Road

Suede © Naomi Dryden-Smith

Suede Setlist

White Boy On A Stage (New Song)
We Are the Pigs
So Young
Metal Mickey
Killing of a Flashboy
Pantomime Horse
Pale Snow
The Drowners
It Starts and Ends With You
Brass in Pocket (The Pretenders cover)
Animal Nitrate
The Wild Ones (solo acoustic unplugged)
Beautiful Ones
Life Is Golden
New Generation

Pretenders © Naomi Dryden-Smith
Suede © Naomi Dryden-Smith

You can keep up to date with Suede on Twitter, Facebook and their official website

…and with Pretenders on Twitter, Facebook and their official website


All words and photos by Naomi Dryden-Smith – Louder Than War | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | portfolio

Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use/purchase or license any images please contact Naomi Dryden-Smith at

Previous articleNew Band profile – Rats From A Sinking Ship
Next articleThe Chemical Brothers: Manchester Arena – live review
Festivals/Films Editor, mentor to new LTW team members, music photographer and reviewer. London-based House Photographer for O2 Academy Music Group. For commissions/prints contact


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here