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March 5, 2015

WOMADelaide: Max Savage and the False Idols

Playing songs of this time and this place, local musician Max Savage's WOMADelaide set will fill audiences with visions of an Australia we often try to forget and the urge to dance.

  • Picture: Andre Castellucci

Max Savage’s second LP – Little Flame – is an evolution from his stomping, harmonic previous releases.


Max Savage and the False Idols play at 2pm, Sunday on the Speaker’s Corner 7 stage.

“I think the last release – I look at it like, as I was probably 22-years-old when we started recording that album. I’d just been living in the dessert for a really long time and that was a really good community and I’d started to work out what it was like to write songs so I came to South Australia and decided to cut a record with this great band [The False Idols],” he says.

“We listened to things like Ryan Adams, the Rolling Stones – real American and British influences and that record sounds like that. It could be from anywhere – there’s no landmarks in the sound or the writing to separate it as a thing that’s in a particular time and a particular place.”

For the new recording, Max has instead concentrated on truthfully reflecting his own voice, which in turn reflects a version of the Australian experience.

“The story I’m trying to tell is – well, I can’t tell anyone else’s story but my own and I can’t write in anyone else’s voice but my own. If at the end of everything it turns out that I only write songs that sound like Max Savage I’d be really happy,” he says.

“I try and tell stories that I have some ownership of, and I try really hard to tell stories that I can tell truthfully. The people I admire the most are the people that do that – Jimmy Barnes, as much as he is super cheesy, was a working class man.”

Bringing the songs to the stage for his first ever WOMADelaide, Max is happy to be stepping on to a stage that shaped his formative understanding of music.

“WOMADelaide is important – I think it’s probably part of the reason Adelaide has a music scene that punches above its weight,” he says.

“I remember the first Womad – I was three years old and I sat in a tree and it was incredible. We used to go every year the festival was on, it was a landmark of my childhood and there’s a whole generation of people for whom that’s true. I sat there as an eight year old and looked at the stage and thought ‘one day I want to do that’.”

And on Sunday, he will be.



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