What’s In The Red Box? – Spare Snare live


Spare Snare / Haystack Monolith / Esperi – New Portsound – Rio Community Centre, Newport-on-Tay – Saturday 17th September, 2016

A somewhat belated review for what was supposed to be the last Spare Snare gig of 2016.

First up was Esperi and Chris Marr’s blend of looped magic. The first couple of tunes were fairly straightforward,  acoustic numbers but thereafter Chris built up his mini symphonies using a multitude of instruments both conventional and downright obscure.

The construction of the songs is similar to that of Adam Stafford, but whereas Adam builds using simply a guitar and his voice, Chris builds his layers of sound with whatever seems to be lying around. It felt like we were watching a master technician at work and the effect was impressive.



Next up was Haystack Monolith another solo act (in fact the current operating name of Mark from St Kilda Mailboat) but with a far more stripped back approach. His set comprised quirky, funny acoustic pop songs very much in the vein of SKM but without the ray-guns and the sweeties. And who knew that bears lived on the shores of the Tay? Good stuff.


Haystack Monolith

Finally the headliners. I think it was the fourth time I’ve seen the Snare and they were every bit as impressive as on the previous three occasions.

The set was similar to last year’s ‘Live At Last’ shows but with a few different songs thrown in.

Amongst the highlights were a sinuous, seductive ‘Super Slinky’,  a dazzling ‘Smile, It’s Sugar’ a romping version of their Billordo cover and a poppy ‘I Am God’.

The real show stopper though was ‘Spot The Difference’ with Jan and Adam prowling the stage as if they were the Beastie Boys.

That was supposed to be the last song but such was the demand for a second encore that the band returned for a song that they apparently hadn’t even rehearsed in a year – a cover of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My name.

And the good news is that I will be seeing them again before too long as they’ve been added to the bill for Randolph’s Leap’s ICDTTM4 in Maryhill on the 8th of October. Tickets here.

PS – The answer to the question at the top of this page is clearly Dom’s shirts. Surely, everyone knew that?!


Spare Snare played:

1 Stop Complaining 2 As A Matter of Fact 3 I’ll Get By 4 We Are The Snare 5 Super Slinky 6 Wired for Sound 7 If I Had A H-Fi 8 And Now It Is Over 9 Billordo 10 Smile, It’s Sugar 11 I Am God 12 Grow 13 James Dean Poster 14 Bugs


15 Spot The Difference

Encore 2

16 Say My Name