Savages - Photo by Francesca Nottola

Savages – Photo by Francesca Nottola

– ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER –

The chances of being bored at a Savages gig are small, but when we arrive at the Albert Hall and situate ourselves in the upper echelons we’d be forgiven for thinking we’re at a Daniel O’Donnell concert.

Shining out through the gloom are lots of little lights with people staring transfixed at their portals of communication, not because Savages have lost all their charisma but because support act Bo Ningen has just finished and there is little else to look at. But there is, as the Albert Hall is a perfect place to just sit and soak up the atmosphere, as it’s a perfect setting for an act like Savages to play: dark and atmospheric. At the very least people could buy a pint, chat to their mates or…..shock horror, chat to a stranger!

Opting for the upper echelons means that my friend and I can have a nice sit down, those below have no such intention, in fact the mosh pit is primed and ready for Savages arrival and when they arrive on stage, fashionably late and dressed in black the pit wastes no time in showing their appreciation.

During their hit ‘Husband’ one hapless fan is pulled from the pit, seemingly unconscious, by a steward. It’s at this point the super cool frontwoman Jehnny Beth stops singing, and slowly the rest of the band follow suit. She does this out of concern for the fan and after a long pause, announces “One Down, all down, look after each other, love each other, care for each other and have a fucking great time.”

In one moment she seems to sum up the ethos which drives Savages sound, brutal in places but supremely heartfelt and sincere. Not your typical Rock n Roll attitude but this is not a typical Rock n Roll band. The all-female collective are in full control of their creativity and craft, drummer Fay Milton is highly entertaining and never misses a beat, guitarist Gemma Thompson is melodic yet employs reverb to the full effect and bassist Ayse Hassan permanently anchors the band with intricate basslines.

But with the intensity turned up to 11 it’s frontwoman Jenny Beth who steals the show, managing to negotiate some impressive crowd surfing by standing and balancing upon the hands of fans. Statuesque and poised she looked every bit the Rock star giving a lesson on how to own a performance. No encore is needed, their point is proven and the class is dismissed.

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When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of different music from House to Heavy Metal depending on how old I was, what I was doing at the time and the kind of people I was hanging out with. So I can safely say I am open to most things as long as it’s good but obviously that is entirely subjective and open to interpretation, which I guess is what Silent Radio is all about. However, I would say that overall my alliances lie with Electronic Music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having just returned from Sonar I felt a warm glow being surrounded by so many people who appreciate Electronic Music but there were times when I became a little jaded and questioned its integrity especially after seeing Katy B perform for the 3RD TIME! Will Katy B still be remembered in six years? I doubt it. But I guess that is the nature of Pop Music in particular; some stand the test of time, some don't. I think having grown up and lived in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by the club scene post- hacienda and the music at nights like Electric Chair which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. Basically anything with a groove, I like. But this is not confined to Dance Music I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook such as Wild Beasts, music that captures an emotion and has a heart. While at University I was also listening to music that didn’t really have much of a heart but more of a pacemaker in terms of the emotion it conveyed and that was Electro-Clash, a completely non- sensical and at times ridiculous genre that borrowed elements from House, Italio Disco and Techno and re- formed them in to one fun, but ridiculous package. While at University, I had my own radio Show where I tried to convey some of my musical tastes acquired from up north and had guest DJ's from a night in New Cross called Zombie Disco, with Jamie from Zombie Disco now working with Lindstrom. We also borrowed the services of Rina from Ladytron who had a guest DJ slot. Anyhow, I think it is safe to say I like a wide range of music apart from Katy B, sorry Katy.