Spare Snare is a lo-fi band from Dundee. Founded in the early 1990s, the band have released 13 albums to date, released on their own Chute Records, or licensed to another label. They have also recorded four John Peel Sessions. In the 1995 John Peel Festive 50, the band were number 32 with “Bugs”.
Mike from Manic Pop Thrills has long championed Spare Snare and has suggested often that I’d like a lot of the material. I’ve never found the time to dip into the catalogue, in all honesty, unsure of where to start.
It was last year that I found myself at an event at Big Blue, the HQ of the Last Night From Glasgow (LNFG) record label. It was the launch of the book The Perfect Reminder, as mentioned within these pages last October. I got talking to someone and found him to be an entertaining and informative individual on all sorts of aspects of the music scene in Scotland. His name was Jan Burnett, the lead singer and mainstay of Spare Snare. We found ourselves getting along very nicely.
We agreed to meet up further and have now done so on a couple of occasions, the first of which saw Jan come up with a great idea to get me introduced to the band when he gifted me a 3 x CD box set, The Complete BBC Radio Sessions 1995 – 2018, offering up 42 songs. A couple of days later, LNFG re-released, on vinyl, a Spare Snare album from 2018. Sounds had been recorded at the Chem Underground studio with Steve Albini at the helm.
The collaboration came about after the band, as part of an idea to make that they had been making records for 25 years, got a ‘Yes’ after asking Steve Albini if he would be up for co-hosting a Scottish Engineers’ Workshop with the band, and to record 10 songs from their back catalogue for an album. The funding for it all came from Creative Scotland, the government-backed cultural organisation.
Having liked a lot of what I was hearing on the box sets, but even more so on Sounds, I sent off, via this Bandcamp page for a great deal of the back catalogue which I’m still working through with the idea of a compiling an ICA. I had hoped to get it done for today, but the building works of the past couple of months put paid to that.
Spare Snare have also not long announced that a further collaboration with Steve Albini is in the pipeline, with an album of new songs being recorded later this year in a studio in Edinburgh. It will likely prove to be one of the records of 2023 when it finally hits the shops.
In the meantime, here are a couple of songs to enjoy:-