Snapped Ankles’ first gig at Huddersfield’s Parish not only brought the group’s viscerally energetic heat to the cold West Yorkshire streets, but also featured literal usage of their environment in homage to their latest album (the sublimely melodic ‘Forest of Your Problems’); an enthralling audience-enveloped sermon during the title track of said album; as well as a kick drum skin which perished at exactly 22:22 on the 22/02/22. To say it was an incomparable live experience would be quite the understatement.
With a spectrum of inspiration and dynamism subsumed from the likes of Can – as evidenced by their Violations covers EP – the rhythm section Snapped Ankles mounts at it’s core is a feast to witness live. It was especially apparent on this night given the motorik rhythms were exposed for every gig-goers present, as the band’s bassist and drummer ploughed buoyant grooves while the rest of the enigmatic, ghillie-suited troop emerged one by one.
These heady grooves perpetuated into the opener: an elongated version of the punchy, incessantly catchy ‘Rhythm is Our Business’; a track from 2021’s ‘Forest of Your Problems’ ripe for a krautrock-y extension.
The set was awash with the band’s absorbing, literal use of the environment – in an ebullient performance of the album’s central tenets: percussive hits of the tree trunk mic stand accentuate the already jagged, staccato magic of the music; Snapped Ankles shamanistic frontman also parking mic in the forest-like audience, continuing Forest Of Your Problems’ idiosyncratic monologue enveloped by the enraptured gig-goers. This almost ceremonial experience also included the masked frontman pointing the mic towards a nearby audience member, a bewildered, surreal sound issuing forth.
Not only did this represent the distinctiveness Snapped Ankles carry from their music to venues – and the performance art aspect of the band – it was also a dramatic and wholly therapeutic inverse to the socially-distanced gigs of less than 18 months ago.
Snapped Ankles’ set, spiking the already feverish levels of rhythm-contagion, culminates with several tracks which gave the group their reputation for intoxicating, surging grooves, burgeoning amid uber-melodic synths. The likes of ‘Rechargeable’, ‘Johnny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin’, and ‘I Want My Minutes Back’ send reverberations through all gathered, their inherent dance-ability exciting every synapse.
Snapped Ankles’ UK tour continues; they are also heading on their very first tour of the US. Tickets for all Snapped Ankles shows here.