Tag Archives: unreleased material

Concert review: Savages @ Opera House in Toronto | Sept. 12, 2013

Post-punk quartet Savages perform unreleased material, feature Duke Garwood onstage at Opera House

Album artwork from 'Silence Yourself,' the debut LP from Savages. Savages performed material mostly from this release at its Sept. 12 Toronto performance, but also showcased some newer, unreleased songs.

Album artwork from ‘Silence Yourself,’ the debut LP from Savages. Savages performed material mostly from this release at its Sept. 12 Toronto performance, but also showcased some newer, unreleased songs.

While post-punk quartet Savages played a Toronto gig at the Mod Club just back in July, when the London, England band’s fall tour made a stop at the Opera House Sept. 12, it proved it was up to more than clinging to the opportunity provided by a critically lauded debut LP.

To wit, the band’s solitary full-length, Silence Yourself, accounted for the majority of the band’s set, and to no profound surprise. They opened with “I Am Here” and its My Bloody Valentine-reminiscent noise intro, followed by consistently arresting performances of chilling tracks like “City’s Full” and “Shut Up” (full setlist below).

But Savages also used the occasion as a vehicle for planting the seeds of some newer, yet-to-be released material – and with it some sonic forays the band has been pursuing.

First there was “I Need Something New,” that was led by Fay Milton beating an entrancing war pattern into her kick and tom drums while guitarist Gemma Thompson let some notes stretch out into what (with the help of a delay pedal) seemed like infinity. When singer Jenny Beth lent her voice to the mix, it was to give articulation to what came across as spoken word. Then Milton started involving her cymbals, crashing the song to its climax as Beth screamed a line that was first repeated several times, then poetically deconstructed and (in a move that was both artistically and logically clever) developed into the song’s titlesake. All along the way it was every bit as haunting as you’d expect from them.

The band also injected some rarities into the mix: “Give Me A Gun” from the I Am Here EP, and “Husbands” B-side “Flying to Berlin” – the latter introduced by singer Jenny Beth as “a song to turn you on.”

They closed the set proper with another new one: a track that Beth has called “Fuckers” at previous performances. Prior to performing the track, Beth explained the song’s central refrain was inspired by a friend’s note left at her house:

“I have a friend – a very good friend of mine. He said, ‘don’t let the fuckers get you down.’ He came to my house, he left a note, and it said, ‘don’t let the fuckers get you down.’ I have good friends.”

After the band took bows and walked offstage only to have a techie rush over to their gear and check on tuning, where in the past the band has claimed aversion to encore performances, there was little question that one was going to happen at the Opera House.

When the quartet returned – in a move that you couldn’t really say was unexpected – they brought with them show opener Duke Garwood, carrying with him the clarinet he played earlier in the night to deliver the part he provided on Silence Yourself closer “Marshal Dear” as Beth tucked into a piano.

It wasn’t the only non-new material treat the audience got that evening: if they got there early enough, fans were able to catch Beth lend her own guest talents to the swirling closer that ended Garwood’s set of guitar, clarinet, and bass noise.

Savages were announced as shortlist contenders for presitious U.K. and Ireland music award the Barlcaycard Mercury Prize on Sept. 11. Let’s hope the increased exposure that comes with the nomination leads to some more news regarding their new material in the near future.

Savages setlist
“I Am Here”
“City’s Full”
“Shut Up”
“Give Me A Gun”
“I Need Something New”
“Waiting For A Sign”
“Flying To Berlin”
“She Will”
“No Face”
“Hit Me”
Encore: “Marshal Dear” (feat. Duke Garwood on clarinet)


Hillside reviews: Fucked Up at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013

Fucked Up play unreleased material, announce return of Long Winter at Hillside

Fucked Up played unreleased material and announced the return of its Long Winter series at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. Photo: Tom Beedham

Fucked Up played unreleased material and announced the return of its Long Winter series at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. Photo: Tom Beedham

Fucked Up might have passed up a perfect opportunity to perform a rare (if not a three-years-in-the-making premiere) performance of “Solomon’s Song” with Colin Stetson at Hillside, but we’ll have to forgive them.

Having played a solo set on the Island Stage just hours before Fucked Up’s, the experimental saxophonist could have easily subbed in for Year of the Ox collaborator and Bitters member Aerin Fogel on the band’s 2010 Zodiac series b-side, but such is the stuff of the Guelph, Ont. festival’s highly regarded collaborative workshops – and not it’s regular concert presentations – anyway.

Instead, among some fistfuls of classics, Fucked Up used it’s half hour and change to test some (marginally shorter) new material it spent April and May holed up recording at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio recording studios in Chicago. There was the “It’s the privilege of mass delusion” chorused track that has been performed without a name since the band debuted it at the February edition of its Long Winter series at The Great Hall in Toronto, and also “Daddy” (finally named after premiered untitled at Exclaim!’s North by Northeast showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern June18 – watch video of the song’s NXNE premiere below), which frontman Damian Abraham dedicated to the band’s children.

The band with the f-word name further proved itself to be a family affair when it closed with “The Other Shoe” and Abraham’s older son, Holden, was invited onstage to contribute group vocals to the song’s chorus (even if nerves got the best of him in the end).

While the new songs have been given stage time before, it’s no surprise Fucked Up would try to familiarize their fans with them while still providing sets that churn out previous full length classics like “Black Albino Bones” (which Abraham dedicated to anyone in the crowd afflicted with the “horrible addiction” of vinyl collecting), “Son the Father,” and “Turn The Season,” as well as 2012 single “I Hate Summer” to keep the crowd participation up. Still, with the studio time behind them, it’s easy to surmise that it’s only a matter of time before Fucked Up’s new LP drops and it’s given precedence over offerings from David Comes To Life and The Chemistry of Common Life; 2006’s Hidden World was virtually unrepresented at Hillside.

Still, the band was all nostalgia in between songs: Abraham asked fans if anyone was present for the band’s performance at Guelph’s long-since defunct punk commune, The Punkalow, and the singer also related a story about a Holy Fuck fan mistakenly attending one of Fucked Up’s shows and subsequently purchasing an album.

At the end of the set, Abraham made sure fans received random articles of clothing that arrived onstage by way of the pit, and Hillside host Vish Khanna announced the band’s Long Winter series would return to Toronto in November.

Watch: Fucked Up play “Daddy” at NXNE
Hillside reviews: Colin Stetson at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013
Hillside reviews: Supersonic (Lee Ranaldo and The Dust, Colin Stetson, Richard Reed Parry, Sarah Neufeld +guests) at Guelph Lake Island Stage – July 28, 2013