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Savages / Bo Ningen (live at The Roundhouse)

London 17 March 2016

St Patrick’s Day in chilly London, and I’ve opted out of going out drinking in pubs filled with (mainly English) people wearing green hats and pretending they always liked Guinness in favour of going to see some rock’n’roll, in the alarmingly hipsterised Roundhouse (a craft ale stall? Bar snacks ranging from “nuts” and “crisps” to “bags of meat”? Crikey), because the mighty Savages are playing, supported by the equally mighty Bo Ningen. Which is quite a line-up, though hardly a surprising one, the two bands being long(ish)-standing friends and collaborators.

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Savages – Adore Life

Matador

Savages - Adore LifeWhen SavagesSilence Yourself burst onto the scene in 2013, with its rock-hard riffs that rocked hard but were never hard rock, it was genuinely refreshing — like a time capsule from the early ’80s that had somehow manage to attract modernism to itself rather than simply aping it, and had somehow managed to get here while entirely missing out grunge and metal.

A totally focused and purposeful blast of pure post-punk energy, it was impossible NOT to wonder to yourself “how the hell do you follow that?” It was such a self-contained artefact, it would have been tragic but understandable if it had remained at that, and no more new Savages material had been forthcoming. Because, really, where WOULD you go

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Savages/Bo Ningen (live at The Red Gallery)

London 29 May 2013

Savages ask for no picturesIt’s a Wednesday night in London’s hideously wanky Shoreditch, and we’re in an art gallery, and nobody’s really sure what to expect. Current music media darlings Savages and the achingly hip Bo Ningen have united to give us what they describe as a “sonic simultaneous poem”, and “a unique EXPERIMENTATION inspired by the early DADA concept of SIMULTANEOUS POETRY”. Seems like the only thing- well, two things, really – that can save this from being a terminal arsefest are the twin facts that, despite being cursed with both hipness and critical acclaim, both Savages and Bo Ningen are really, really good bands.

All dressed in black, they take the stage, part-adversarial (the bands are, for the most part, lined up

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