IMG 20230902 231029 scaled

LIVE: Snash – Exchange, Bristol, 02/09/2023

In its short history, Bristol’s Attitude Festival has already proven very adept at booking bands who are just about to break through.

The first edition of the event in 2021 featured a certain Bob Vylan, largely unknown at the time the line-up was announced, just before the release of the now-iconic ‘We Live Here’. Then, last year was headlined by Kid Kapichi. These be two of the biggest punk bands in the UK now. Pretty solid work.

No surprise, then, that 25+ industry guests are lurking in the dark corners of the Exchange for this year’s event, metaphorical chequebooks firmly in hands. Seagulls and trawlers, and all that.

Attitude poster

The 2023 iteration of the event featured another cracking line-up, but the name that really jumped off the poster (the leaping Scottish salmon, if you will) was Snash. Formed in 2017, the Glasgow four-piece already have a rabid following in their hometown, and are now starting to spread their wings (er, gills?) south of the border.

The most obvious references for their music would be the likes of Soft Play and Libertines. Interestingly, though, the band also profess a love of late-90s/early-00s nu-metal, and perhaps that is where the harder edge to their sound comes from. Add in a broad Scottish accent, and you have a band with a feel all of their own.

“I love you Bristol, but you’re pissing me off!”

Snash started their day at 4am this morning in order to be here for tonight’s set, and they are clearly in no mood for half-hearted audience behaviour. Matching up to the notoriously feral Glasweigan crowds is a tough assignment at the best of times, let alone after a solid nine hours of non-stop punk rock, but excuses will not be tolerated.

Unsurprisingly, the Bristol crowd don’t need too much goading to get back into the game. Especially once the riffs start flying.

Opener ‘Pigs’ is a hell of a way to start. This is a track that really should be up there with the aforementioned ‘We Live Here’ and recent Soft Play release ‘Punk’s Dead’ as the great punk songs of the last five years. Steven’s distinctive chords, fierce on the recorded version, are even more explosive here, and Connan’s vocals just ooze anger and contempt. “Pigs, our life’s on the line, in this country of mine, the sun burns but refuses to shine.” The lyrics on this track are so good, they belong on a fucking tea towel.

Bassist McGhee spreads his arms, as if imitating the Gladiator ‘are you not entertained?’ meme. Why yes. Yes we are.

If Snash are van-lagged from their long journey today, it certainly doesn’t show. Andy’s ferocious drumming sets the solid base, and they are tighter than a duck’s arse, with fantastic musicianship to boot. The crowd respond with plenty of energy, aided by Connan making a few forays into the pit to gently remind folks what will happen if they even think about letting up.

Two things stand out about this band. As we’ve already said, one is the lyrics. The other is that everything has an edge. Snash take everything they do to the edge, and then push it just a little bit further.

Take ‘Adult Work’, for example. Thematically, you could compare it to the Arctlc Monkeys classic ‘When the Sun Goes Down’. But here, we go further, much darker. “Why, did he come so far, I swear that it’s not who we are, it’s just something that he’s into, never had this feeling and he hates the fucking thought of you.” It’s a little uncomfortable, and that’s a good thing.

IMG 20230902 231109 scaled

Each tune brings its own different angle of attack. ‘Warning’ has a bit of nu-metal to it and has the whole crowd screaming “Stop, drop and roll” in unison, ‘W.O.T.C. is a full-on punk assault, and ‘White Out’ is fast and bouncy. We are also treated to a couple of new tracks tonight, the second of which has a real thrashy feel to it.

It’s probably too early to predict widespread 2024 main stage festival appearances for Snash, but this is a band that definitely needs to be more widely heard. All the ingredients are there, and their live show is really terrific. Once the word spreads, one suspects the growth of this band could be very fast indeed.

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.