Thursday 3 March 2016

Just because... (an unexpected Thursday post)

So many people lapse out of music in their 30s. They just settle down, stop going to gigs, stop buying records and listen to horrid commercial radio stations, thinking Adele really is the future of all art as we know it.  When I turned 30, I had just discovered the White Stripes who had a monumental effect on me. I knew there and then I wouldn't be turning my back on music like many of my friends had.

Into my 40s and while still very heavily into music (as you know), I hadn't been blown into oblivion by an act since Jack & Meg in 2001. I thought they might be the last. But here I am, counting down to my 45th birthday, and I'm happy to admit I was wrong. I'm being blown away, time and time and time again by a band I've yet to catch live, but can't take my eyes or ears off whenever I see or hear them. Last night I watched this and once again *!!!BOOM!!!* Mind truly blown!


Like WOW! Swiss Adam recently had the immense luck to see Savages live. I'm still seething with jealousy. He reckons they are more of a live band than a studio act. He's probably right, but I'm still enthralled by their latest album 'Adore Life' to the point of obsession. Here though, even in the setting of a large empty studio, you can see what Adam means - they really show what a fucking brilliant band they are. Gemma Thompson is an artist. Her guitar is a pallet, the strings are paints, her hands are her brushes, her amps her canvas. She doesn't play guitar - she paints sound. Ayse and Fay are an astonishing rhythm section, their timing is impeccable. And Jehnny Beth is a stunning frontwoman because of the way she puts herself into her performance. Her eyes are intense, her hands are rarely still, and her voice scythes through the barrage of wonderful noise her bandmates concoct behind her. You can tell she truly means every single word she sings. Really.

OK, OK, I know - I'm smitten. But before anyone starts - it is NOT just because they are women. In fact, I don't ever refer to Savages as an 'all-girl band'. Aside from being a lazy cliche (as used regularly by the NME), it does Savages an enormous disservice. They are just a remarkable, astounding, extraordinary band. Being an all-female band is not a novelty these days, though the media would no doubt disagree. The thing is Savages excite me with what they do, not because of how they look. No, they don't do much musically that's particularly new - at least not to 40-somethings like us - but they're doing it in such a way that demands we dont just write them off as mere post-punk/art-rock revivalists. They are sooo much more than that. I've seen all male bands who have been making music for 10, 20, even 30 years who cannot compete with the sheer tightness and togetherness of Savages.

Phew - I need to calm down. I'm running out of superlatives to hurl at them. But I had to get this out, this sheer emotion at discovering that, even well into my fifth decade on this planet, I can still get so completely worked up about a band. This was never meant to be a carefully-worded, well thought out piece of writing, just a blurt of passion and sentiment. Forgive me. Normal service returns tomorrow.


  1. The Robster on a Thursday? Controversial!
    More Thursday posts like this please

  2. Outstanding band. New album easily the best thing I have heard so far this year. Swc.

  3. i saw them at bexhill - 3rd time i saw them – i think they are really special... and yeah adore life is easily the best album of 2016 so far...

    i was also at this show... standing right next to gemma thompson the guitarist... an incredible performance... it won't help you with your obsession with them though...!