Where: Summer Sundae Weekender, Leicester
Venue: De Montfort Hall
Savages have been creating quite a stir on the punk circuit for the past few years. Hype has generated all over the United Kingdom thanks to their recent tour of the north, in particular Manchester, where some of their idols descended from. Savages are unlike most bands, taking on a Gothic, punk style in a decade of synth loops and pop hooks. Soaring guitars and a chokey high pitched vocal set them away from today's punk/post-punk. It's doesn't surprise me that Savages have already been compared to the post-punk rocking greats. Comparing between class and unsigned rock is a great leap forward.
When the four lasses took to the stage, darkness shrivelled upon us. I didn't know what to expect at first, a nice easy and relaxing post-punk track ala Unknown Pleasures, or Siouxsie & The Banshees. It was Siouxsie & The Banshees with some extra noise, think 'Make Up To Break Up' with some Melvins, Boris. What does this tell me about Savages? That they're not unique or original in anyway. This isn't to say they're bad in anyway, their sounds are fantastic, refreshing and courageous. PiL-like in dynamics, taking on Johnny Rottens fantastic dynamic vocal in a female Gothic way. Tracks like 'I Am Here' are magnificent to hear. Soaring guitar riffs work with the Peter Hook-like bass. It's completed with punk-rock drumming which is constantly changing in style.
First single 'Husbands' is stunning. Hearing this live really gives the track a new dimension. Savages are designed to be heard on the stage, and I can see why. The dark, spontaneous lighting was perfectly adept to the punk nature and beat rhythms of Savages. Husbands has this retreating guitar riff and a secondary splash of noise which sounds like it could be at the end of a Mogwai 12 minute blast. Everything is really sharp, bass, drums, guitar and the Siouxsie-esque vocal all come together on this track.
They looked like a band who had been around for 30 years. They sounded like they had been around for 30 years. People left not so long into their set, just like Japandroids. This could have been the mass amount of noise created by four females. Seeing a band live can be the turning point in whether you actually like them or not. Savages made me think more about the deeper connections of lyrical content within the blood busting punk tunes. It's much like Echo & The Bunnymen in that sense.
It was a loud, angry and historic show. I felt like I was watching the female version of Joy Division, but not quite as musically capable as the four northern legends. I couldn't fault Savages. They play music that's been mastered, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need to continue. It may not be original in the sense of easily comparable artists, but it's definitely a passion the members share and will continue to share. EP's / Singles are welcome and will be popping up in the coming months, check them out if they play near you in the UK.