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
Has popular music ever been so unpopular? Walk through a London bar and you're more likely to hear someone discussing a new Berlin-based producer who creates music with shoelaces than you are a discussion about 'popular' music. Pop is dirty, pop is your friend Jack who still listens to Mumford & Sons, pop is a WKD on a table of IPAs.
The problem is, there's a lot of bad pop music. Pop music that is secondary to the artist's new fragrance, or to boost a TV career. Nobody takes pop seriously anymore...
...apart from Hurts.
Continue reading: Hurts - Brixton Academy, 13 February 2016 Live Review
Matthew Healy - The 1975 perform live at one of three sold out nights at the O2 Brixton Academy credit: Drew Stewart Photography - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 11th January 2014
Kasabian's headline slot at V this weekend has taken something of a backseat with The Libertines impending reunion at Reading/Leeds the following weekend. Both booked in warm up shows in smaller than usual venues. Both sold out in minutes. Whilst The Libertines play the Forum next week, Kasabian returned to Brixton Academy last night, laying down the gauntlet for them and anyone else wishing to get in their way. Played under a flag of St. George hanging from the rafters, the statement to their contemporaries was there for all to see. 'We're the biggest band in Britain.' Be honest, no one really gives a shit about Radiohead any more.
Continue reading: Kasabian, Brixton Academy 19/08/10 Live Review