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Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Electric Circus, Edinburgh

  • Written by  Debbie Sheringham


The No-Things know how to warm up a crowd, albeit a small one, at the Electric Circus tonight. Having only reviewed them a month or so ago, I’m not going to go into too much detail (link to the previous review can be found here). However, they are up to their usual standard, and are certainly one of the best garage punk bands around at the moment. Although a little bird tells me that they might not be around for much longer, and I certainly hope that this isn’t true ...

Barrence Whitfield - a bit of a legend I’m told, is a young 60 year old; and quite a striking character in his purple paisley shirt and headcoat. Conversely, we have unassuming guitarist Peter Greenberg (ex-Lyres (or as an old friend said to me 'it's easier to name who hasn't been in the Lyres at some point')). The quintet are touring to promote their new album Under A Savage Sky released on Bloodshot Records in July this year.

Whitefield and The Savages 'garage rock and soul titans' open up with the musical equivalent of a big fat exclamation mark, and by the second song in we are left in no doubt of Whitfield's screaming ability; before tearing through stomper (and best song by far) ‘Cornerman’, which is 2 and a half minutes of well, The Sonics basically! Not to take anything away from them. Their performance is tight, and very powerful stuff. It's also a shame that the sound isn't great; it's loud for sure, but a bit too clean in places. Having said that, the band work extremely hard, and they are certainly giving it all they have got.

Barrence talks in-between songs about a variety of subjects like having tried haggis earlier in the day (I didn’t quite get whether the response to this was negative or positive) before linking in to 'Incarcerated Casserole' from the new album. The sax player leaves the stage at one point through the front entrance (pee break?) and then as if by magic, he reappears.   

After a brief encore, the band are kicked off just before 10pm when the venue turns into a club night. Not the best venue (with hen and stag parties traipsing through the bar every 10 minutes to fetch jugs of cocktails) with rubbishy sound, but all considered they did a sterling job, and the fans obviously appreciated it.

Under A Savage Sky is available from amazon & iTunes.

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