LIVE: Anna B Savage - Village Underground, Shoreditch, London - 28/03/2023 3

LIVE: Anna B Savage – Village Underground, Shoreditch, London – 28/03/2023

In the back streets of hipster Shoreditch, there lies a village underground. It’s not quite a Borrowers burrow or Wombles warren but you can get excellent craft beer for the price of a kidney. There’s a high stage and high ceilings that lends itself perfectly to live music. Here is where Anna B Savage is hiding deeper into the depths of this voluminous venue.

Anna released her second LP, InFlux, a few weeks ago now. A sprawling ambitious record with Mike Lindsay’s touch for the unexpected. One thing that didn’t change was the voice. She should be referred to as “the voice”, so extraordinary is what comes out of her mouth on stage and on tape.

This is her biggest headline gig yet, it’s a cavernous room, part of it looks like an old tube tunnel, and maybe it is. Anticipation is high. “The Voice” filling this space is going to be something special.

She starts with new album opener ‘The Ghost’, a natural choice and one that reverberates up into the high ceilings and dives back into the crowd. “Stop haunting me, please”. The size of the space and amount of people looks like it might of overwhelmed her, and it is packed out, but she steadies herself and launches through a large chunk of the latest album. ‘Touch Me’, ‘Feet of Clay’ and ‘I Can Hear The Birds Now’.

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Anna B Savage

Hungry’ is a wonderful Nick Drake homage. The delicate acoustic riff through a scale is so reminiscent but beautifully observed, and the emotional heft is profoundly echoing of Pink Moon and almost as sad were it not for Anna’s so obvious love for life.

Corncrakes‘ is just transcendental. The most incredible moment when the a cappella starts. Everyone knows it is coming and you could hear a pin drop. “I don’t know if this is even real/I don’t feel things/as keenly as I used to”.

Dead Pursuits‘ is just as incredible, the tracks from her debut LP A Common Turn utilising her stunning range and power that perhaps inFlux doesn’t, but Anna was on a different journey with her new record and the tone is different for the majority of the songs.

Two’ and ‘inFlux’ are probably the closest cousins across the two LPs, both with synthetic beats and synths to raise what is already a high tempo but giving it a boost of energy and left field twist.

Say My Name‘ is almost ruined by the bar deciding it was time to empty the glass bin and start bottling up but nothing can overshadow the overwhelming desperation and heart-wrenching lyrics and performance “Somebody say, my name”

A Common Tern‘ is probably the closest Anna gets to a rock song, the chorus is almost angry after the verse sets out the behaviour of her ex and the kind of language used by those not fully invested in a relationship emotionally or with the mental maturity to be in an adult relationship.

Despite a lot of Anna’s output having the subject matter of the mind fuck of love, loss, returning heartache and toxic relationships, her final song (she doesn’t do encores because they’re “weird”), ‘The Orange‘ is very hopeful and happy. “If this is all that there is/I think I’m going to be fine”, a tribute to family and friends.

This show demonstrates the leaps Anna has made since her debut LP came out two years ago. This is a big room and the love for her is palpable besides the cries and exclamations. She is an extraordinary talent and this felt like a turning point. Tomorrow, the world.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.