After a much needed week-long rest, Blue Jam is back in the wild. Tonight Snapped Ankles play a session on Marc Riley’s 6Music show, then head on down to Deaf Institute for a sold out show. As I sit cold and wet on a late night 192, I begin writing up this review on my phone to avoid eye contact with the group of lads that clearly out match my physical prowess, I can only hope my headphones don’t disconnect themselves and they hear the childlike sound of Denim’s Novelty Rock. Anyway, back to the review.
Snapped Ankles are band that I only know by name, thanks to many of the wonderful presenters on 6Music, therefore I entered tonight with virgin ears, prepared for a consensual assault of sound.
Due to an early shift at work, I am forced to miss support act Charlotte Cannon. But so is the case when you are forced to work and study part-time in the pathetic attempts to create a career with genuine prospects, and have a viable way of sustaining my brutal gig addiction.
The Marc Riley session was a suitable starter that was consumed on a hurried bus journey into Manchester. It set me up for a frenetic entertainment, what it didn’t set up however, was the inimitable stage setup of the band.
9:30 – Snapped Ankles are yet to take stage.
As much as I love Marc Riley, I can’t help but feel his sessions sometimes mess up the set times of every gig a band performs on the same night. It has happened countless times where a band play a Riley session and ultimately takes to stage far later than planned, often making the set feel rushed.
9:50 – Snapped Ankles take to the stage.
My first reaction is one of amazement. I see a foliage foursome arrive and begin with a trudging sound that sounds nothing more than motorik. Around me are three ghillie suit clad dancers. Whether they were planted by the band or emphatic fans remains a mystery. They did however help to get a Wednesday night crowd moving like it was their last night on earth.
The band played for an hour, in what felt like 20 minutes. As I can’t name a single song from the set list I found it hard to tell when one song finished and another started. Due to no pause for applause, the band kept pounding and pounding away, not faltering for a second. This was nothing more than a performance, every aspect was encapsulating. They created sound (and image) that felt as though it was spawned in the jungle (geographically speaking, not musically). This was a show that was the definition of escapism, which is a daunting thought for those of us with an early start tomorrow.
I feel like many would compare Snapped Ankles to Talking Heads, however, I’ve never enjoyed Talking Heads. Snapped Ankles create a unique stage atmosphere, akin to freak-out peers MOLD, along with danceable synth parts that more pleasant but equally as enjoyable as Sex Cells. As I sit on this long bus journey, I try to think of whom else I can squeeze into a comparison to truly condense this sound. As the sound of Lawrence rings through my ears, I feel I have it pinned down. If you took all of the post-punk edge of Clinic and fused it with the awkward yet funky synth sounds of Go-Kart Mozart, you would give birth to the beastly creation that is Snapped Ankles.