Photo – Katy Cotterell
Brighton outfit The Snivellers descend on The Pipeline in a chaotic, sweat-drenched display of high-octane punk-rock madness.
The Snivellers are something of an underground supergroup. An amalgamation of members from Garden Centre, Porridge Radio, Joanna Gruesome and Spill, the Brighton punk quintet and self professed pathetasists, have bewildered audiences with their idiosyncratic brand of punk. This evening, they’ve almost choked The Pipeline.
Willing participants are crowbarred in at the front, or stood on benches that run down the flanks, like ants in a nest, clamouring for a half decent view. I push my way through the dense sea of bodies and find the small clearing that will act as their stage. Frontman Max Levy (having aborted his usual ritual of full body, hair product abuse) hunches over the microphone with a beaten up violin. He attacks the doomed instrument with manic abandon, disonent stutters, jabs and sustained moans shrill and grind like teeth through metal until it’s tossed aside and the band nosedive into the wretched splutterings of ‘Wet Look’. A number that can’t help but feel like a wry poke at the archetypal, haircut obsessed boy-bands of glum, post-shame britannia.
Its scrappy to the bone, schizoid drums are festooned in repetitive, break neck crunching and choruses of choppy chords. Levy’s high pitched ranting and tantrum throwing turns the whole stage into the fragments of a William Burroughs nightmare. Think The Residents meets ‘Neat Neat Neat’. I’m convinced it’ll fall apart at any moment and descend into utter incoherence. But somehow, they teeter gloriously on the very edge, touching the void, teasing their self implosion, a skill that few bands ever manage to achieve.
Levy thrashes and fidgets ceaselessly as they burst into the absurd ‘Prostrate’. He thrusts his hands to the heavens and gets down on his knees, begging, throwing himself to the ground. He pounds the boards, wheezing “I lower myself onto my belly and wriggle about like a worm” and pushes his head into the floor, forcing it across the room like a human dust broom in one final act like of submission, that looks as if he’s trying to kiss feet and cling to ankles. After ten minutes, their four song set grinds to an abrupt halt. Bystanders are left standing in a perplexed stupor, wondering what the fuck they just witnessed, and where they can get some more.
By Omar Girling