Abhor all you want, but The Sneaky Nixons are beginning to do away with disrepute to make waves beyond ill reputation, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke found the elusive foursome for a chat.
“For every three people that hate us two people love us, and they proper love us,” says Charlie Daniels, ringleader and guitarist of The Sneaky Nixons, the student band who, though armed only with a minimal back catalogue, have been eliciting all extremities of emotion from their peers in the Liverpool scene.
“All these [Merseyside] bands that are better than us, no one will remember them,” Daniels spits. “Even if someone’s sitting there slagging us off then that’s what entertainment is, distracting someone from their shit and otherwise bland life, whether it’s football, film, art, media, anything. And if they’re sitting there talking about my band rather than anyone else’s then I consider it winning,” says Charlie.
We’re joined by co-frontman Dan Mousley, bassist Jamie Gosling and drummer Lisa Fawcett as Getintothis tracks the group down to the affably dingy Pilgrim Pub, a regular haunt, the current incarnation of a band, still nine months old that didn’t quite hit the ground running.
“We’ve split up three times, sacked the singer, sacked the drummer, and before that we were splitting up every other week,” the guitarist adds.
“People have come up to me, people who are in a band that I don’t even know have come up to me and hated me,” says Dan, back on the subject of unwarranted antagonism that his fellow guitarist hints at. “I think its pathetic,” says Jamie. For Charlie, however: “I find it amusing. I think it says more about the individual who refuses to listen to us because of our reputation.”
What’s more, that reputation is proving itself a boon for the group, particularly when it comes to their increasingly prolific presence on the live circuit – that infamous name translating into quite the draw on an otherwise anonymous bill. “We can get better support slots because people think ‘I’ve heard of them,’” Charlie points out. “If we were called… The Pilgrims or something, and we asked for a gig with Jimmy & The Revolvers they’d just tell us to fuck off.”
“Someone said to me the other day that there are bands better than us but we get more attention, and I think that’s fair,” he continues, and surprisingly enough the band aren’t all that eager to return the hostility, quick to sing the praises of Strange Collective, Sugarking, Brasshaus, Indigo Moon and the aforementioned Revolvers. “There’s always gonna be someone better than you. Unless you’re The Libertines.”
It’s that slot alongside Jimmy & The Revolvers tonight (October 4, The Pilgrim) that’s to be the band’s next outing, and the group are to appear intermittently over the coming months.
“We’re playing in the Krazyhouse too,” says Lisa, bringing up what seems to be a hilarious prospect for the foursome. “I saw Sankofa there a few years back and ever since they smashed it there I’ve always wanted to play there” explains Charlie, “It’s a pound in and a free drink, tell them that, the haters, tell them to come in and lob the drink at us.”
As for their debut ventures further afield, talks are in place for London, Leicester, Stoke and Manchester.
“We were looking at Northern Ireland for a bit,” recounts Charlie. “I’ve got numbers in Amsterdam but fuck paying all that money to play a 20 minute show in front of a bunch of Dutch fellas who’ll just go ‘what the fuck is this?’ Maybe we’ll just throw in a bunch of Beatles tunes and then they might like us.”
For now then things are remaining all things Liverpool, and with studio plans imminent, the group are soon to emerge on record from beneath their infamy, and shambolic or triumphant its sure to be worth hearing.
“We’re gonna go in the studio, Crown studio. Danny wants to release an EP, I want to release an album,” Charlie states. “I told you, I just wanna release an album then split up, then in five years time there’ll still be graffiti on the wall. Look at The La’s, they’ve only got one tune really, maybe two, and they’ll last forever.”
What’s most striking then about The Sneaky Nixons is the extraordinary way in which they’ve already begun to build their legacy; for such a swathe of the Merseyside scene to hold an opinion on a band with only two scrappy demos online is, like it or not, something of a promotional masterstroke.
What’s more, its worth noting that many of those opinions are indeed positive, and the hatred would seem to be water off a duck’s back – its a win-win situation for the group.
Many will most likely remain entrenched and incensed, and whether or not the band will produce the musical goods to shirk their considerable baggage remains to be seen. For now though we’ll have to be contented with a group imbued with the polarising personality and above all the sheer attitude to lend Liverpool a welcome scintilla of satisfying scrappiness.
Exclusive Sneaky Nixons photo gallery by Getintothis’ Michael Sheerin.