The story of Suede is one of the most intriguing and dramatic in modern British music. The band helped bring a new sense of daring, intelligence and glamour to the scene in the early 1990s through early hits including Animal Nitrate and The Drowners. Their chart-topping self-titled debut album won the Mercury Music Prize in 1993.
Their follow-up album Dog Man Star won widespread acclaim for its epic scope and dark drama, the album blending sweeping ballads with intense and sometimes claustrophobic rock. But relationships within the band were growing increasingly tense, and guitarist Bernard Butler - who co-wrote Suede's songs with frontman Brett Anderson - quit after the album was recorded. Yet the bright and energetic Coming Up, released in 1996 and showcasing the talents of prodigious young guitarist Richard Oakes, brought the band its greatest commercial success with a string of hits including Trash, Beautiful Ones and Saturday Night.
Suede explored more groove-based music styles on 1999's Head Music, an album which is remembered less fondly by the band and critics but which included the top 10 hits Electricity and She's In Fashion. A New Morning, released in 2002, found Suede in a more relaxed, reflective and acoustic mood, but also showed signs of increasing creative strain; the band announced the following year that they were to split.
Yet the band retained a strong and fervent fanbase, and reformed for a charity show in 2010. Thus reinvigorated, the band have since released three albums, to mounting acclaim: Bloodsports, Night Thoughts and, this year, The Blue Hour, which, with its ambition, scale, eerie atmosphere and classic songwriting, is regarded as their strongest album since the mid-'90s. It reached number 5 in the UK album charts on its release last month, with Suede's recent live shows garnering widespread acclaim.
Also newly announced on the bill are The Happy Mondays. Fronted by the irrepressible Shaun Ryder, they were at the forefront of the 'Madchester' scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, blending indie stylings with loose funk and dance grooves on hits like Step On, Loose Fit and Kinky Afro. They will be special guests on the Saturday night, which is headlined by Craig David. Many more acts are to be announced soon.
The fesival takes place in Penn, Amersham on July 19 and 20 2019. There are now just a limited number of early bird tickets available from Â£36 (plus booking fee) for an adult day ticket. Children under 12 go free. Camping will be available from Friday July 19 to Sunday July 21. There will be free showers in the campsite plus the option to book pre'pitched tents. The VIP enclosure also returns, offering fast-track entry, luxury toilets, meal and welcome drink.
Visit www.pennfest.co.uk for more information.