The sun’s barely crept above the horizon and there’s already a black-clad throng surrounding Oxford Street’s infamous 100 Club. Joined by the occasional office-bound worker whose interest has been piqued enough to halt their morning commute, it’s not long before they’re huddled downstairs, ducking into the Central London basement venue and out of the swiftly sweeping pink sunrise.
Peeling away from the rest of the pitch-black gathering, the four members of Savages take to 100 Club’s dimly-lit stage with grins spread wide and cups of coffee in hand. “Morning everyone!” beams Jehnny Beth, before they tear into ‘Shut Up’.
New album ’Adore Life’ takes centre stage from then on, the brooding ’Slowing Down The World’ acting as the four-piece’s gentle awakening, before all hell breaks loose. “We all agree that this is a good reason to be late to work,” teases Beth. “Basically, everyone who’s here now is the coolest person in the office. Employee of the month.”
‘Sad Person’ sees the singer springing around the stage like a rubber band, her alarm clock clearly a distant memory already. ’Surrender’, ‘I Need Something New’ and ‘The Answer’ are all rolled out in quick succession, backing up ‘Adore Life’’s triumphant charge. A miniscule slip up in ‘The Answer’’s solo is the only chink in their armour - to be fair to her, it’s guitarist Gemma Thompson who looks most affected by the lack of duvet time.
Beth jokes once more about writing letters to the bosses of all those who are eating further and further into their work hours to be here - “or maybe you should go back to bed,” she goads - and it’s the last nudge needed to shake off any pre-caffeine haze. “This is a loud one, it’s gonna wake you,” she promises. “One bloody alarm clock.”
’T.I.W.Y.G.’ lives up to that promise, a flurry of thrashing burning away the cobwebs and prompting Beth to take to the front few rows of the crowd, offering handshakes, hellos and good mornings. ‘Husbands’ ups the ante, though. “We can do better,” she demands of her rabble, “Think of all the fuckers. Dance the pain away.”
It’s ‘Adore’, Savages’ crowning jewel, that once again steals the show though. Soaring and purging, it’s a stunning insight into the human nature of a band so often unfairly pinned as impenetrable. Complete silence engulfs the room as the track’s pulled back ahead of that magnificent ending, and after a quick bow and a hasty departure, it’s a breathless exit for those lucky enough to witness Savages expand their comfort zone. Bleary eyed and thrust back into the burning light of day, it’s an unforgettable morning for all involved.
Savages played: ‘Shut Up, ‘Slowing Down The World’, ‘City’s Full,’ Sad Person’, ‘Surrender’, ‘I Need Something New’, ‘The Answer’, ’T.I.W.Y.G.’, ‘Husbands’, ‘Adore’.
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