Savages are one of the most exciting contemporary post-punk bands knocking around at the moment. After a relentless tour supporting their most recent album Adore Life released earlier this year, they arrive at Brixton Academy to the biggest UK show they've put on to date. The now notorious status of their relentless energy and sexual prowess that they bring to their live performances is solidified in the immediacy and profound level of intimacy they achieve with the crowd.
They grace the stage in black with a backdrop of white beams of light; it's so simplistic yet feels weighted down in meaning. As distortion builds around a slow drumbeat, Jenny Beth, the lead singer, takes to the stage with her slicked back short black hair dressed in a blazer, a black lingerie bra, suit trousers and blood red high heels. Her eyes stare down the waves of people cheering her arrival, intimidating every individual who manage to lock her gaze even for a second before roaring into I Am Here from their debut album Silence Yourself. "The world is with me/And you're coming for the ride." There's no denying that their fans are already there with the band as a handful are thrown over the barrier, drenched in sweat before the first song is even over.
Savages have the wonderful advantage of their music having a beautiful sense of communion in their lyrics; whether they're exploring the struggles of anxiety of expressing emotion, loneliness, love, sex or anger. The sense of unity and humanity in the audience is palpable as Jenny guides them and urges them into circle pits with a nonchalant flick of her wrist. This is post-punk at its most cathartic and is channelled emotive rage as opposed to the nihilist influences of the bands that Savages wear so closely to their heart. At every other moment, Jenny wonders into the crowd and walks amongst their hands, gracefully gliding over as the crowd reach up towards her. It's an incredibly powerful image, one that combines the power of the individual with the force that carries and encourages them.
Continue reading: Savages - Brixton Academy 25.11.2016 Live Review
Thursday: As you walk the steady incline up to the festival site, chatter sparks from all directions from your fellow festival-goers as you reach the first gate to pass through. Swallowed by the atmosphere, you briefly snap out of your daze and remind yourself that you're surrounded by your friends equally happy to be reunited together.
Todd Terje is on in 20 minutes at the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage. Inhaling from my cigarette I look up and see a small stage to my left but more impressively, the Parc Del Forum at large. It's a beautiful structure which dominates the immediate skyline, towering over the site and its weekend habitants with the Mediterranean ocean stretching out behind it. You're at Primavera Sound - and trust me when I say that it's one of the best festivals you can experience on this side of the Atlantic.
We enter the Sound System Stage and I immediately notice that the speakers are ridiculously crisp. With Terje about to start, we queue up for some incredibly boozy mojitos and caipirinhas and head over to the tent which is already packed at 4pm. He is warmly welcomed onto the stage by a happy-go-lucky crowd as he punches into his much loved disco-revivalism, fiddles with classics and modern tracks alike as well as throwing in a couple of his much beloved hits.
Continue reading: Primavera Sound Festival - Live Review
Savages arrived with Silence Yourself in 2013 and with that one of the most critically acclaimed debut albums of the year. It was concise and professional in its scope, presentation and manifesto which translated well into their now infamous live shows. They're post-punk aesthetic and urgency, however electric it came across, seemed to imply that Savages may have been one of those bands which would become obsolete and soon forgotten due to a genre which unfortunately appears dated in public consciousness. Their closely kept influences such as Joy Division, PJ Harvey, Faust, The Cure and most obviously Siouxsie and the Banshees also bringing in the risk of being taken less seriously as a band in their own right. And in contrast to that, their manifesto was something that although bold and brave for a newly noteworthy band, had the potential to place them as a group who took themselves way too seriously for their own good.
Adore Life sees Savages separating themselves from their initial political ideology to some extent and also as an attempt to distinguish themselves from their major influences, two attributes which could have easily led them into self-parody. Jehnny Beth (formerly known as Camille Berthomier) decides on this album to explore love and life with relentless grandiose. Savages remain as uncompromising as they have ever been, however with their latest album there is a soulfulness within the madness and obsessive nature of love and the nature of insanity, which ultimately results in a celebratory record of solidarity for those within this struggle.
Album opener 'The Answer' instantly makes you ponder how punk ever declined in popularity. The serrated guitars, the flailing percussion and soaring vocals of possessiveness and desire combine together to create an onslaught of desire and fiery passion. 'If you don't love me/Don't love anybody' Beth croons, showing that exploring love musically doesn't have to be whitewashed and cliched. Within 'Adore Life' it's restless and powerful, it's primal.
Continue reading: Savages - Adore Life Album Review
Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today; with the likes of music, dance and physical artwork in mind. On his exploration, he takes a 4,000 mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (that's New York to San Francisco) picking up a variety of artists along the way and making stops to witness some incredible 'happenings' throughout the country. He gets the chance to speak to musicians in their droves, all eager to open up about their experiences and interpretations of their art. The trip takes place over 24 days and features such spectacles as Beck being joined by a gospel choir in the enormous Mojave desert; an expanse which spans California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 'Station To Station' is an artistic documentary roadtrip with a difference. Directed by Doug Aitken ('The Source'), it includes appearances from some 43 musicians and artists including Beck, Jackson Browne, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Cat Power, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Cold Cave and many, many more. The movie is set to be released in cinemas on June 26th 2015, after which the Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening event will kick off.
The defining indie heroes of the noughties are currently writing songs for a sixth studio album.
Attention, lovers of indie rock! The Strokes’ lead singer Julian Casablancas has revealed that the band are currently working on new material.
In an interview with music news site Noisey, 36 year old Casablancas confirmed that the iconic noughties band was in the process of writing and recording songs for its sixth album, the first since 2013.
“It's the first time we've been exclusively writing since Comedown Machine,” the singer said. “We're planning on recording stuff. I still think we could do cool things and I'll do that.”
Continue reading: The Strokes "Planning" On Making A New Album
Incredible acts have been revealed for the eco-friendly Plissken Festival in Greece this summer.
The famous Plissken Festival is celebrating its fifth birthday this June with a phenomenal line-up. Hard-hitting, electric, and the best quality: this summer is looking amazing for Greece, with some of the best alternative artists and performers around.
The British rockers lead the way at the NME Awards after an impressive year in music.
Arctic Monkeys are looking set to be the stars of the show at this year's NME Awards after the newly-released nominees list shows the British rockers sitting atop a pile of nominations higher than any other artist. The Sheffield group are up for an impressive eight awards this year and are only rivalled by Californian sister group Haim, who have gathered six, according to NME.
Arctic Monkeys Are Leading The NME Awards Nominations.
The band's fifth studio album, AM, rocketed to the top of the charts and has earned Mercury Music Prize and Brit Awards nominations, as well as critical acclaim. The R&B-inspired album faces competition in the Best Album category from Queens Of The Stone Age's ...Like Clockwork, In Love by Peace, Kanye West's Yeezus, Savages' Silence Yourself and Drenge's self-titled debut.
Continue reading: Arctic Monkeys And Haim Lead NME Awards Nominations
Expect an amazing New York takeover with CMJ Music Marathon's awesome 2013 line-up.
The CMJ Music Marathon comes to New York City for its 33rd year bringing with it hundreds of seminal artists from the newly emerging to the well-established.
CMJ has been holding electrifying music events over the course of its existence as well as publishing a weekly music magazine for music and college radio stations. This year will be no different in excellence on its journey through New York from October 15th-19th as it fills over 80 venues across the city with more than 1,000 incredible musical showcases. There will also be a range of other musical events including seminars Q&A sessions, amazing parties, workshops and other special activities.
Leeds Festival has been a not-to-miss date in our calendar for years. Over the past few years the UK has seen many boutique and independent festivals pop up and more people appear to be getting their festival fixes from these smaller events, but they're never going to be able to provide what Leeds Festival does so well. Consistency! Sometimes it is a case of 'you get what you pay for' and Leeds is a perfect example of that. Sure, Leeds perhaps isn't for the more mature gig attendee, but it never has been. It's a weekend of fun and partying that sees thousands of music fans partake in the festivities.
Since its inception organiser Melvin Benn and the team at Festival Republic have known exactly who their audience is and catered for them, Leeds & Reading festivals now run as a well-oiled three day event that means everyone who's bought a ticket will have a great time. Even the toilets in the main arena are kept to a good level of cleanliness, far higher than most of our experiences at smaller festivals!
Set in one of the most ideal festival grounds in the UK, Bramham Park, the festival has a well laid out site plan and features plenty of bars and activities outside of the main arena to keep people occupied all through the day and night.
Continue reading: Leeds Festival 2013 - Preview