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LIVE: SNAYX – The Bullingdon, Oxford, 10/02/2024

When this channel last reported on Brighton’s SNAYX, this time last year, we saw a band that was progressing nicely, building a solid fanbase behind some catchy punk tunes, and an explosive (but inclusive) live show.

Twelve months on, and they have continued to grow, just as we expected, and perhaps even more so. For a start they have grown in numbers, with powerhouse drummer Lainey Loops joining as a permanent member of the band, alongside vocalist Charlie Herridge and bass guitarist Ollie Horner. Their fanbase has certainly increased too, with a nationwide tour in October selling out most dates and earning rave reviews across the board.

The slightly surprising part, though, has been the extent of the growth in their songwriting. Songs like ‘False Friends’ pointed to a keen ear for a melody, but the quality of their output over the last year has really exceeded expectations.

Most notably, they have added a real political edge to their writing, and shown themselves to be very good at it indeed. A prime example is the Better Days EP, which came out last Friday, and is certainly one of the best releases of the year so far.

Tonight sees the band headlining the second stage of the excellent Beam Me Up Festival, a two-day, two-city event which started in Lincoln last night before rolling down to Oxford today. Weirdly, SNAYX were advertised as only having a 30-minute slot, which seemed awfully short for a headliner, and almost put this author off attending. In the event, they played rather longer, but that’s something the organisers might consider rectifying for future events.

Beam Me Up banner

By all accounts, the crowd in Lincoln last night was very subdued indeed, but no such problems tonight. In fact, opener ‘Boys In Blue’ sees the opposite problem, with an overly aggressive moshpit leading to Herridge calling for restraint, and one particularly aggressive guest getting dragged out by his proverbial lughole. Good riddance. Hope you had the time of your life, motherf*cker.

‘H.A.N.G.’ (standing for ‘Hold Accountable Nefarious Governments’) keeps the energy going, minus the meatheadery. Combining incendiary lyrics (“With all their corruption, they need a reaction, well I say we hang them all”) with Horner’s bruising guitar line, it’s a real statement track.

The songs from Better Days are the real highlights of the night, though. ‘King’ is fabulous, with Horner’s groovy bassline combined with lyrics that cunningly hide satirical quips (“I’ll never be the king of England, with a castle in the middle of France”) within a broader theme of the protagonist’s disappointment about not being where they want to be in life. It is the band’s slowest song to date, but it is so clever and danceable, it may be their best.

More typical of the SNAYX sound is ‘Sink or Swim’, which is a real electro-punk rager. Again, there is a strong social message, commenting on the way that the establishment tries to force us to be dog-eat-dog (“Can you work like a dog? Can you kill on command?”) and that the best way is to just ignore it and live a life that you are proud of. Wise words indeed. The main feature, though, is the ridiculously fun guitar/synth line, which is impossible to stand still to.

That’s SNAYX in a nutshell, really. Saying lots of important things, but doing so in a way that is fun and uplifting, just full of joy. Closing with the ever-popular ‘Fayx’ and a rousing cover of The Prodigy‘s ‘Breathe’ (which Horner plays from the shoulders of an audience member), the party vibe is complete.

The continuing improvement on this band is staggering – tonight’s set is a huge step up, even from the October tour. Cannot wait to see what the next twelve months will bring.

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.