Performing in York for the first time since his graduation from the University of York last year, Josh Savage marked a triumphant return by headlining at the Duchess. His first gig both at the venue and in York since going solo, the concert marked the halfway point of his first UK tour in support of debut EP, Mountains In Hurricanes.
Savage, hailing from Winchester, has spent his time since graduation in France, playing gigs in Paris, as well as supporting the likes of Johnny Borrell, and clearly this professional experience has rubbed off on him. Supported by a large selection of musicians including York students, and a guest appearance by former Taming the Savage bandmates, his sound has been notably refined since his university days, and he has clearly used his now abundant free time to perfect old songs, and write some impressive new ones.
Supported by a selection of violinists and cellists, the performance was anthemic; combined with the candle lit atmosphere of the Duchess, it proved a most enjoyable concert. He has adopted a new style that suits him well, no longer dressing like an average student, but looking more like someone who belongs on a stage. The concert featured some excellent tracks, particularly ‘Mountains in Hurricanes’ and ended with fan favourite ‘Take Off Your Shackles,’ a particularly stirring track that would not be amiss in the charts. He is clearly very passionate about his songs, and almost welled up talking about the song dedicated to his hospitalized sister, and this shows through with a very passionate performance.
The tracks from his solo EP are a lot more relaxed than those he wrote as a Uni regular. With this mature, acoustic sound, I think Savage has found his footing. He isn’t your typical rock star, and as such has moved away from the typical ‘rock band’ sound that many up and coming musicians may follow. Now he has had this time to develop as both a musician and songwriter, he will be able tour successfully and build a strong fanbase based on his talents. I am sure he has an exciting career ahead of him.