Savages ready to ‘burn up’ the Cornstore in Draperstown

The Wood Burning Savages

The Wood Burning Savages

  • The Cornstore, 20a High Street, Draperstown
  • Bring your own beer [no glass]
  • Doors 7.30pm, Saturday, August 1 Admission £7
  • Support from Men of Mountains (8.30pm) and the Small But Massive Samba Band
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Derry alt rockers The Wood Burning Savages are set to launch their latest single in their ‘spiritual hometown’ at the Cornstore, Draperstown on Saturday 1 August.

Formed in late 2011, the four-piece have a few EPs and some impressive gigs under their belt, including a performance at Glastonbury last year.

The band’s influences are 90s alternative rock sounds such as the Manic Street Preachers as well as heavier grunge, but their sound is also reminiscent of more recent outfits such as The Killers and Arcade Fire.

They are singer and guitarist Paul Connolly and drummer Aaron McClelland from Derry City, bassist Dan Acheson from Holywood and lead guitarist Shea Tohill from Magherafelt.

See also - Video: From Glasgowbury to Glastonbury for Magherafelt guitarist
Their new single, released on Monday 20 July, is a polished number called Premier League, but as frontman Paul Connolly explains, it’s got nothing to do with football.

“It’s about people ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and trying to keep up with their neighbours, everybody wants to kind of buy a new car and live in a fancy house,” he said.

The Wood Burning Savages

The Wood Burning Savages

“But at the end of the day that stuff doesn’t really matter, it just matters that you have good people around you and that you are happy within yourself as opposed to being quite materialistic or a social climber.”

On announcing the gig, the band described the location as their ‘spiritual hometown’ as they have a strong connection with Draperstown thanks to the Glasgowbury team.

“From quite a young age, I went to a few of the workshops when I was younger and now I actually am a workshop facilitator myself, and work for them from time to time, mainly instrument tuition and songwriting,” Paul continued.

“They used to have the G Sessions, so it’s kinda harping back to that a wee bit, we went to a lot of those religiously when I was younger, it was always going to be a good night, it was always going to be a good band that you were seeing as well, so it feels kind of like that again.

It’s about people ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and trying to keep up with their neighbours, everybody wants to kind of buy a new car and live in a fancy house,

“It’s in their own space now which is great, we know quite a lot of people in the area, so it will feel more like a bit of a party than a gig. Obviously there are people in Co Derry who haven’t heard us as well - it will be a nice vibe.”

The band have a busy summer ahead and the Mid Ulster gig is less than a week before they head off for a tour of Scotland including slots at Belladrum Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe.

Paul adds: “It’s nice because we actually rehearse there from time to time as well, so we kind of know all the staff, so it’s nice for them to put on a gig and showcase their own venue.”