By Sarah Jost
Following London’s longstanding tradition of providing a host of entertaining, intellectual, creative, and free things to do around the city, Exhibition Road, snuggled among the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum, is this week presenting the Exhibition Road Show. Featuring everything from live music to space-specific dance performances to circus acts to food trucks to an antique board game playing area, the Road Show occupation offers a different schedule of entertainment every night, including surprise pop-up performances.
On Tuesday, I picked up one of the hundreds of public-use bicycles provided across London and stopped by Exhibition Road to see what was on. After being treated to an acrobatic dance performance 30 feet over my head, dancing to a marching band, and playing (all right, fine, losing) two old-fashioned board games, I was about to see what fun London might have in store for me elsewhere when I walked by a semi-truck-cum-stage where a group of unassuming young men were playing some of the best music I have heard in a long time.
I spent the next thirty or forty five minutes lost in a dance-y haze, moved along by the incredible sounds coming from the instruments of the five boys on stage. They transitioned from song to song, each sounding more brilliant and less like the one before it, so without fuss that I barely had a moment in between songs to dig out my program to find their name. The Savage Nomads.
Hailing from south London, The Savage Nomads is Cole Salewicz and Joe Gillick on guitar, Billy Boone on drums, Josh Miles on bass guitar, and Aviram Barath on trumpet and synth, and all of them contributing to the vocals. The result is a sound that is completely unique yet somehow familiar, as if you already know and like each song as soon as it starts. In today’s super-saturated world of music, The Savage Nomads have managed to create a sound that is truly their own. Though certain songs could draw positive comparisons to bands like Arcade Fire and Radiohead, Salewicz has asserted ‘‘We’ve always been interested in everything,’ and it shows. Their songs are consistently inventive, never cheap imitations or forced contrivances.
Every time I come to London I’m shocked at the progressiveness of their music scene, always two steps ahead of the rest of the world. This time, it seems like The Savage Nomads are the ones in the lead.
The Savages Nomad’s debut album Coloured Clutter is available now.
The Exhibition Road Show runs 6pm-11pm Friday, 9:30am-11pm Saturday, and 9:30am-10pm Sunday August 3-5.