Hailing from Glasgow, the Amazing Snakeheads — Dale Barclay, William Coombe & Jordan Hutchison — look like they sound: all pomade, shades, denim, leather and signet rings. Their debut record, Amphetamine Ballads is the soundtrack to the dark corners of nightclubs and those dimly lit alleyways off themain drag. The smell of smoke and liquor pervades everything. Recorded at night time at The Green Door Studio in Glasgow, this is a subterranean record – an album that can show you round the parts of a city that come alive after dark. “We had complete creative freedom when we recorded so we’d start late and work through the night. That affected the whole outcome of the record.”
The Amazing Snakeheads never really formed as such — their conception seemingly more preordained than planned. Dale and William had been friends since childhood; Jordan was Dale’s neighbor who became a close friend. While they each played music, they never really harboured ambitions to play in bands – the prospect of aiming high and missing was almost enough to put the trio off even trying. Dale explains.
“To me, music is a hallowed ground. If you’re going to do it, you had better get it right. I could only ever make music with people I have a bond with. I’m not a jammer. I can’t just turn up and start jamming. The three of us would go to gigs together, listen to records . . . our whole lives revolved around music. We’d always say, ‘man it would be fucking great to do this.’ We talked about it, then one week decided to go to a practise room. Any other week and we might have had other ideas and just not bothered . . .”
“I genuinely don’t know where the music comes from,” says Dale. “How I play music – live or in the studio – it is what it is and I struggle to know where it comes from. There’s been a lot of things written about the band, people say we’re angry and things like that – but to me it’s just us. There’s a hell of a lot of joy in the music.”
The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads
(Domino – July 22nd)
1. I’m a Vampire
3. Swamp Song
4. Here It Comes Again
6. Where Is My Knife?
7. Every Guy Wants To Be Her Baby
9. Heading For Heartbreak
10.Tiger By The Tail