Savoir Adore, NightBus
Rachel Durant 16/07/2010
Savoir Adore are principally Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro from Brooklyn, New York. This self-proclaimed “experimental-pop collective” promise to bring something new and exciting to any CD shelf with their extremely addictive velvet slant on pop, but how do they rate live? After bowling down to London's KOKO to see them on the infamous Club NME bill, I can safely say that with their charmingly warm performance nature, they make a good addition to your live music repertoire too.
Only their second ever UK performance, Savoir Adore took to the stage with understated confidence, no grand entrance and no real introduction, they kick started the show with their new single 'We Talk Like Machines' and it became clear from even this first performance that the band embrace the vivid imagery that they've woven through their recordings and apply it to their performances. Huge sweeping arm gestures, smooth footwork, enthusiastic instrumentalists, this performance was to have it all. Hammer and Muro looked adorable together, Muro dancing around on her tip toes, her microphone stand decorated with strobing fairy lights and Hammer, strumming away on his guitar so slumped over that you could barely say he was standing. There's no denying that the stage at KOKO is pretty huge and for a while the pair did look a little lost, like cushions in a pillow store they seemed really small and struggled to command. Grouped downstage, slap bang in the middle; this is where they remained for the duration, they just didn't fit. Needless to say, they are more suited to smaller venues at this point in their career and to their own admission KOKO is the “nicest place they've ever played” and also the “grandest”.
A close look at the crowd saw a peculiar mix of people, but not a surprising one. There was the standard mix of students that had drunk too much, hard core fans gathered as close to the stage as they could squeeze and then the folk with an heir of cool shuffling around the dance floor but one thing connected them all; when Savoir Adore started to perform, they all stood and took notice, the floor turned into the dance floor that this venue is famous for, the glitter ball began to sparkle and all the kids danced to the sounds of Deidre Muro's fine synthesizer work. It's hard to fence this band into a genre for they seemingly spread across at least two, a subtle mix of Indietronica and Americana, this shouldn't work! But it does. They seem to marry the two together, which (considering the 2 genres are perhaps polar opposites, for one relies on old sounds and the other on new sounds) makes their sound truly unique. Muro's vocals were often so smooth you struggled to pick up what it was she was singing but it just added to the velvety soft aura that this band lets off. There was very little communication between the band and it's audience, perhaps this will come in time. Songs weren't introduced and apart from the declaration of love to the venue the audience were left well alone.
Savoir Adore's album 'In the Wooded Forest' could be criticized for being more than a couple of tracks too long, a grand total of 14 songs sees you tiring towards the end of the CD, songs like 'Wonderlake' and 'The Garden' have airy finishes and the less said about their disco track 'MERP' the better. This was problematic on stage also, for after twenty minutes or so it was clear that their audience were tiring. Songs began to roll into each other and evidently I wasn't the only fizzpickle in there waiting for the band to finish because the bars began to fill up and the smoking terrace was overflowing to the point of discomfort. They looked like sardines out there!
There is no doubt that Savoir Adore will go far, their album contains many great songs, 'Sarah's Secret' and 'Honestly' bring sincerity and charm where as other tracks such as 'Space Travel' and 'Bodies' bring with them the catch that sees you bopping away no matter where you find yourself. The band found it easier to engage in these songs and commanded the stage much more successfully which leads me to believe this style should be their focus in the future because it seemed to sit so comfortably with them. Savoir Adore are a very natural band, 'Forest' was a prime example of this, really showing off Deidre Muro's Synthesizer work, which comes to her with such ease.
This band won't be seeing people slying away towards the end of their gigs for much longer, with more material under their belt Savoir Adore are sure to please and they'll be able to leave the more forgettable tracks like 'Take Hollow Lane' firmly at the door. They release their second UK single, the Indietronic 'We Talk Like Machines' on July 26th with Cantora Records, the New York Label that launched MGMT. This band has a promising future and if they're following in the footsteps of MGMT, we can expect big things from them in a couple of year's time.