“Snakeheads are over and are never ever ever ever coming back! It was a beautiful time in my life, something that I’ll always love, but it’s over and I can only hope that the people that were into what the Snakeheads were doing remember it for what it was; it was fucking real, it was beautiful, but it’s over, it’s in the past.”
Dale Barclay has been gradually building up to something since he ended the Amazing Snakeheads a couple years ago, and it’s our great pleasure to announce his new band And Yet It Moves.
The new band emerged out of relatively unlikely conditions and a couple of rather fortunate timings.
Barclay initially met drummer Jonas Duus at a jamming session in the wilds of Norway and got on like a house on fire; a meeting that may not have happened if Barclay hadn’t pushed himself to go.
From then things really kicked into gear as Duus, who also plays in Cozmik Onion Express with Fat White Family’s Taishi Nagasaka, soon after travelled to Glasgow to continue this process with Barclay alongside current band members Laura St. Jude and Roddie McGrath.
Handily Duus was based in Berlin and St. Jude’s own band, which Barclay and McGrath play in, was over in Germany on tour so the jamming sessions got a chance to continue and that was where Barclay was introduced to Duus’ friends Jesper Lapp and Michael Højgaard, who would go on to be part of the band.
Even luckier was the fact that Barclay had been asked earlier in the year to play a couple of shows in Hamburg and Cologne under his own name, slotting handily into St. Jude’s tour, which would become the first shows with this line up.
“Me and Jonas really connected musically so we decided to follow it up and get together, so he came to Glasgow to kick out the jams so to speak.
“We went to Berlin, and we just played; the music was cooking, there was a real connection and we were all feeling it and we were all getting into it.
“I had the Cologne and Hamburg shows, so I just said to the fellas “look do you want to come and play the shows?” They came and played and we knew this was going to be a band, there was absolute agreement that this was going to be a band.”
However, there wasn’t always this hope that a new band would ever happen; for a while, after the demise of the Snakeheads, Barclay felt that going solo was his only option:
“I was making music under my own name cos after the Snakeheads I didn’t really see where to go, the thought of starting another band or even being in another band made me feel queasy.
“Snakeheads was my life, that was my own band, that was the only band I wanted to be in, so when I scuttled that I felt there was nothing left to do but make music under my own name, it seemed the only thing I could do.
“It’s funny how things change and it’s the wonderful thing about life and making music; you keep doing it, you keep living, you keep playing, keep putting yourself out there musically and you never know what’s round the corner and that’s really exciting.
“I never wanted to make music under my own name, it was never something that excited me, it was something that came out of necessity, but meeting Jonas, Michael and Jesper, already having Laura and Roddie really changed things.”
Barclay is clearly an individual who has seen a lot of the darker inside of music industry and came out bruised from it, but And Yet It Moves seems like a fresh beginning.
When Barclay reminisces on his time in the Snakeheads he talks in positive terms, but is also eager to cement the band in the past:
“Amphetamine Ballads is like a Polaroid, it’s a snapshot of a time of my life in Glasgow, but when I think about it, it’s paper-thin.
“The experience of being in the Snakeheads let me see all the bullshit; if you’re into truth and honesty then being in the music industry well, it’s a long shot, but it’s fine cos there’s no other way we can do this and whoever we bring into this world we’re creating is going to be the right people and that’s the be all and end all.
“This is all about the music, all my experiences up to now have led me to know what I want from music and what I don’t want from music, it’s as simple as that.
“We want to make music, we want to connect with people musically in an environment that is positive and healthy… you have to feel like it’s a worthwhile experience, cos it’s a wonderful thing to get to do.”
This new project is set to be released with the management of Gerry Blythe and Black Sheep Records and Barclay is keen to point out that Blythe is someone that he trusts wholly to do the right thing with the band and allow him to concentrate on the music without all the power struggles of the past.
But what can we expect from And Yet It Moves? A sampler of the hugely expansive, shiver inducing ‘No Way Back To Lunch’ has emerged online and shows a new step in Barclay’s musical output.
Describing the direction of the new band is something Barclay finds difficult to express, but one thing is clear: that his music has come on a long way from the Snakeheads’ straight up rock‘n’roll.
“To my ears and to my thinking this new band are going to make the Snakeheads sound like children’s music, I can feel myself getting more into the music… it’s getting wider, it’s get deeper and it feels good.”
Barclay is a man thriving on a new beginning, a beginning the initial rumblings of are very exciting.
The new track is an intense 12-minute cacophony of post punk tinged brilliance, all with Barclay’s familiar sneer of the top of it, but Barclay feels there is no end what the new band could do.
“It’s more like a collective, it’s the six of us, but the exciting thing for me is who else can we bring in to play with us to enhance the music, push the music on.
“We also have three, well two definite vocalists, in Michael and Laura, and one, me, well shouter/mumbler; it’s going to be real interesting to see what we can do, the music we have just now is prominently just my voice, but the fact we have three vocalists in the band is really exciting.”
A full UK tour is booked under Barclay’s own name for late July, beginning in Cardiff on the 20th and finishing back in Glasgow 10 days later, and although the tour is under his own name this will be the first chance for a UK crowd to see the new band in action before they’re unleashed under And Yet It Moves title.
The tour is an exciting prospect and anyone who has witnessed Barclay live, whether that be in the Snakeheads or even as part of St. Jude’s band, will testify to that.
Whether we’re going to get the high-octane, taps aff punk energy Barclay embodied in his Snakeheads days, or something completely different not even Barclay knows.
“I don’t see myself as being a frontman, or even a singer and never have and I don’t really know what goes on when I play music live, something happens and when it’s working, when the music’s cooking I just go somewhere else in my mind and think that’s always going to be that way.
“I can only urge anyone that’s interested to come and make up their own mind, I could talk all night long about what this new band is going to be, but it would be doing it a disservice.
“We’re not creating an exclusive club for ourselves, we want people to come and get down to the music and get something from it; I know that it’s possible, I felt it with the Snakeheads; somehow the music you make can connect with strangers, you can move mountains, and I want that again.”
Tour Dates (July 2016):
20th Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
21st Bristol – The Stag and Hounds
22nd London – Seabright Arms
23rd Brighton – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
24th Manchester – Soup Kitchen
28th Edinburgh – Henry’s Cellar Bar
29th Dundee – Buskers
30th Glasgow – Broadcast