The Dome – December 3rd
It’s been two years since Savages last played a show in their home city (if you exclude their Station to Station shriek-feast performance at the Barbican in July), so it’s understandable that attitudes on both sides of the barrier are suitably ravenous tonight. Precise in their urgency, their show is less hammer and more scalpel, a snake-hipped Jehnny Beth leading the operation.
It’s brave to open with two tracks from an as-yet-unreleased record, but their delivery is so self-assured, so viscerally cool, that it’s a masterstroke. It helps that the new material, ‘The Answer’ in particular, is more kinetic than the bruising squall of Silence Yourself, with a greater emphasis on the bare-faced and recklessly-paced side of post-punk. ‘T.I.W.Y.G’ and ‘Adore’ are triumphant, indicating that perhaps their next record, Adore Love, will mark a departure from the nihilism that brought a dark heft to their sound.
Tonight’s biggest thrills inevitably come when Savages gnash their teeth, and a hit-heavy mid-set has the room baying for blood. ‘City’s Full’, ‘No Face’, ‘She Will’; all delivered with whites-of-your-eyes intensity, Jehnny Beth stalking the stage and eyeing the room like helpless prey. When she climbs into the crowd for a mercilessly intimate ‘Hit Me’ the moment feels unreal in its intensity. It is only the gradual wind of closer ‘Fuckers’ that allows for any decompression from the heightened emotional state in the room, leaving an audience with the exultance and gleeful fury of Savages’ performance. Their album launch at Club 100 in January just became a hot prospect indeed.
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