The art of live performances captured on tape

Back in the early 20th century a group of progressively thinking artists was escaping from the World War I in Switzerland. They found a shelter in the theatre Cabaret Voltaire in the troubled district of Zurich. These artists were sick and tired of the tidy and rational art that didn’t reflect the madness created by the society of 1910s. Then the artists proclaimed that they were going to create an „anti-art“, which was intended to be against war and the existence of social classes. The way of expressing it varied from readymades and abstract paintings to the simultaneous sonic poetry practiced by the residents of Cabaret Voltaire. That’s how the Dada movement was born.

Fast-forward nothing less than one century and we’re at London’s Red Gallery in May of 2013. British band Savages, fresh from recording their debut album „Silence Yourself“, is set to collaborate with the Japanese foursome Bo Ningen.

They both are fascinated by Dada and want to recreate it live by playing simultaneously against each other on the stage arranged in the U-shape. Audience that is about to witness their performance will be accommodated in the center of this space being pinched between Savages and Bo Ningen playing chaotic, barely rehearsed jams and exchanging the lyrics sang in English, Japanese and French. This spectacle eventually had been captured on film and came out two years ago in the form of 37-minutes recording „Words To The Blind„.

Now let’s finally settle in the present time. Music industry keeps on comparing Savages to classical post-punk bands from Siouxsie and the Banshees to Joy Division. But there’s so much more to the band than their gorgeously dark guitar tunes. The roots of their take on music lay in the history of art (or just history: for example, „Marshal Dear“ from their first LP tells the story of the nazi marshall Rommel who was forced to commit a suicide by taking a cyanide pill).

Frontwoman Jenny Beth revealed that their long-time producer Johnny Hostile (who also manages Sigur Rós) has introduced her to grind-core and black metal. Having this in mind, you start to recognize the influence of these genres on their new record, „Adore Life“. It was released last week via Matador Records. One of the first singles titled „The Answer“ is a powerful slam-anthem that was accompanied by a rather violent video showing fans losing their minds to Savages‘ music. According to the band, they wanted to recreate their real gig to celebrate their supportive audience. „We’re a live band – says drummer Fay Milton – you don’t understand who we are unless you see us play“.

SAVAGES – THE ANSWER from Giorgio Testi on Vimeo.


Nastya Kazakova

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