LIVE REVIEW: Savages @ Metro Theatre, Sydney (05/02/14)

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Savages played an intense set that successfully blended theatricality with impressive musicality. All four musicians were completely in the pocket with their respective instruments. Drum sticks were raised high like axe handles, beating out tribal disco grooves that embraced primitive physicality and literate technical nuance. Bass player Ayse Hassan moved in perfect unison with her guitar and the notes she was drawing from it, whether they were droning, pulsing or cascading distortion coated flurries. Jenny Beth owned centre stage with her considered, robotic movements; intensity, concentration and attitude  fixed across her face. She gave the impression of being in full control of her voice, words and limbs until the extended final track which hit a groove and beat it into the ground repeatedly, each time gathering more nodding heads and lost-in-the-moment audience members who spent the show bathed in white and golden light. Gemma Thompson provided the sonic icing, cutting swathes of noise and discordant melodies from her guitar. She prowled between her amp and effect pedals, her instrument providing the menace and beautiful tension to the music of Savages. She Will, Husbands, Shut Up and an intoxicating cover of Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream were just some of the many highlights from an exceptionally good gig that showed post-punk and music delivered with emotion and precision can still be as vital and valid as it was thirty years ago.

Chris Familton

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