Sitting in the front seat of my fathers dodgy old car on a sunny spring afternoon in early September 1994, I decided to turn the radio station over to JJJ, an alternative youth station that my father didn’t understand but I loved very much. I was in my second last year of high school and was more interested in becoming a D.J than focussing on my studies. Within minutes of tuning into the J’s, the female announcer talked about the new Suede single due for release the following week before promptly allowing “We Are The Pigs” to dance across the airwaves. And what a song it was!
It honestly seemed like a thousand years since the throng and excitement of Suede’s debut LP passed us all by in early 1993. I was often reading live reviews of their concerts in the NME (before it became utter shite), only to be left in fits of misery that I wasn’t over in England to see these immense shows for myself in the flesh. Seeing those early Suede shows must have been akin to watching Bowie impress Ziggy onto the unknowing public in the summer of 1972. After years of rubbish American music dominating the Australian airwaves, a British band had, at long last swept into my line of sight and thrown gasoline over the whole kit and kabootle before dropping the match and walking away to allow their music to do its thing.
So with “We Are The Pigs” on the radio, I stayed up late with a cassette tape at the ready to tape the new single from the forthcoming “Dog Man Star” LP off the radio. Mind, I had to listen to a fair bit of tosh before JJJ played it again that Friday night but the wait was more it. I had the song captured and could play it back on my Walkman at my leisure. In fact, I played it that much that the tape eventually died a slow and painful death.
During the second week of September, an import copy of the single appeared in the local indie record shops for the princely sum of $20. A fair whack of dosh for a jobless teenager in 1994. And, what’s more, there were only three songs on the single. Little did I know at the time of purchase was that the two b-sides were classic Suede songs in the making.
“Killing Of A Flashboy” & “Whipsnade” will forever go down in folklore as two of the bands greatest b-sides. Now, for a band who released a double album of b-sides that entertained the top ten of the British album charts (#9) in 1997, you can kind of see why this single was so important to the growing number of fans.
“We Are The Pigs” is a single that will sit firmly in my echelon of life altering moments because it was released at a time in my life when I was looking for new directions and alternatives to the mainstream and American rubbish that was flooding the market. It’s a dirty, filthy little number that, had it come in the form of a human being, you wouldn’t dare dream of taking it home to meet the parents!