Savages, recorded live during the BBC 6 Music Festival in Bristol earlier today (February 12).
Festival season is getting off to an early start – or maybe we’re anticipating Spring, or perhaps we’re still in Winter Festival mode (in L.A. where it’s in the 80s, it’s hard to tell what season it actually is). In any event, Bristol has become the musical center of the universe this weekend, with a three day festival celebrating a wide swath of current musical offerings, to the tune of some 100+ bands, playing at just about every venue throughout the small English town.
Tonight it’s Savages, the Female Punk/Post-Punk/Experimental/Noise conglomerate currently making huge waves in critical and audience circles all around Europe, and have been doing it since 2012. If you were attending any of the concerts from U2’s American tour in 2013, you will probably remember them, as they were opening act for the U.S. and European portions of that tour.
When I first came in contact with Savages, I thought they were a French band. Mostly because I heard them via a French Festival somewhere outside of Paris a few years ago, broadcast by the RFI Station Le Mouv, and because their lead singer, Jehnny Beth is French and was speaking to the audience in French – I naturally assumed. They were, in a word; intense – uncompromising, unflinching and anything but genteel. Not that I expected them to sound like a toss between Hole and Sleater-Kinney, but I wasn’t really expecting a hardcore sonic assault on the most raw level – they were different.
They are not for all tastes – and, from what I have been reading and hearing, a band you either love or hate – they seem impervious to apathy – and frankly, I like that in a band – music you listen to, not at. And Savages do an excellent job at effortlessly holding you hostage for the length of their set. They make for compelling listening
But Savages are just a sampling of the vast number of bands currently performing in Bristol during this festival. Because it’s sponsored by BBC 6 Music, they are running the festival (as much as possible) live, over the entire weekend. Sadly, it won’t be possible to hear everyone playing. But what we are getting is certainly worth the price of admission, and you have to hand it to the BBC for taking the time and the effort to bring such a wide array of talent live from the stage to the rest of the world.
I only wish there were more like them.
I hope to be running more from this festival in the coming days – the lineup from Friday alone makes it a must-listen-to. By Sunday we should have our heads turned around sufficiently and our ears stuffed with sounds to last well into the following week.
For now though, enjoy and crank this one up.