North West London 1986, Mario's Cafe. A waitress called Silvia with
sultry Mediterranean looks, a mug of tea and a fried egg sandwich spots
three herberts at the table next to her, talking about their new band.
She only catches the occasional word as she reads her stars and dreams of Sicily. "Punk Rock... Motown... Minor Threat... Miners' Strikes... Motorhead... DC... early Who...Two-Tone... SX200... Hey ho, let's go..." Snuff are born.
They leave the cafe taking with them a vision of punk rock for a new
generation and the plastic tomato-shaped ketchup thing. Two years later
and the first single, 'Not Listening', and debut album, 'Snuff Said'
are released on Worker's Playtime and the band take their sounds from
the street out on the road in the trusty tour van, because they can't
get the amps on the back of the Lambrettas. Along the way the unlikely
lads convert thousands to the new sound of Piaggio Punk. Taking over
where the Specials left off, turning the deserted dance floors of ghost
towns into adrenaline and speed fuelled nights of stage diving where
punks, mods, skins and all the other young dudes storm the stage every
They add the bravest trombonist in the world about now and although they didn't know it then, they set about writing the blueprint for the sound of the California suburbs eight years later.
Green Day, Offspring, Blink 182? Man, Snuff wrote that fucking book, joined the dots and coloured it in long ago!
The next album, the delightfully titled 'Flibbidydibbidydob' is a covers
album paying homage to heroes and pissing on the graves of villains.
'Reach', released on their own 10 Past 12 label came out in 1991 and then the moment of a triumph for the band and the fans alike, a sold-out show at London's Kilburn National. The final vindication! The final show!
It took three years for Snuff to come back. A new deal with Fat Wreck Chords for the States, the addition of a Hammond organ and Loz in on a free transfer for Simon on guitar, and they were off again, stronger than ever, better than ever. An album, 'Demmamussabebonk' and an EP, 'Long Ball to No One' quickly followed. From Tufnell Park to Tokyo we learned to love them again, the man from the NME and the KwikFit fitter pogoing together at the LA2, the mohican doing Northern Soul steps at the Garage. The blistering appearance at the Reading Festival in '99. It took the NME 13 years to declare them "the best band in the world" and now, who'd have thought it, their time has come. They finished 2000 by selling out the Astoria and a European tour.
It was all academic from there, they followed up with heaps of hit songs
from albums like 'Tweet Tweet My Lovely' and 'Numb Nuts'; then there were
tours all over the world including a full North American tour with NOFX.
And all those years of magic have been captured for Snuff's latest release on Fat Wreck Chords entitled 'Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other 1986-2002'. It's a double-disc offering one disc of Snuff's greatest hits, and another disc of b-sides, rarities, and even a couple new unreleased numbers. This could be their quintessential release as it's an exquisite introduction for new fans and a nifty collection of hard-to-find tunes for the Snuff maven.
But lucky for us, the Snuff tale does not conclude there. Duncan kept himself busy writing, recording and touring solo and under the Billy No Mates moniker, collaborating with musicians around the world and keeping the Snuff tunes alive. The beginnings of Snuff's return came with a headline appearance at the Infamous Fest in Gainesville, Florida in 2009. A mere 3 years later and Snuff's first studio album in nearly a decade is set for release. Back on Fat Wreck Chords where they surely belong, the soon-to-be-classic 'In the Stocks' single will be released in Fall 2012 and its accompanying album, '5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps!' coming the first week of January 2013.
Tally ho. Tally ho? Yes, tally fucking ho. Snuff is back, so watch out.