A tiger taken by the tail – in memory of Dale Barclay.

Do I remember my first time seeing The Amazing Snakeheads? It was 2015 and the NME Awards tour was fast approaching. Slaves were still looking for Debbie’s car, Fat White Family were tampering with sanity and Palma Violets weren’t fucked up on coke.

I was a mere 16-year-old that couldn’t keep it in her knickers. The Amazing Snakeheads were bad and just really bloody cool. Gotta be something about that filthy Scottish accent growling overtop of frenzied guitar, grounded by sultry bass and steady drums.

About two weeks before the gig, the news was my favourite band had split…and they would not be carrying on with the tour. I wasn’t going to see the lads in their rotten, primal glory tearing up the stage. My stomach felt like a hollowed out pit, desolate and yearning. And this is how I feel now.

It is harrowing finding out that a celebrity, someone people have idolised, a real diamond in the rough, has died. Reflect on the hysteria when Bowie and Prince died.

The death of The Amazing Snakeheads’ Dale Barclay, I find considerably more sad.

When my boyfriend broke the news to me in the early hours of this morning, a torrent of sorrow flushed over me. It really did. It’s disturbing that someone so talented and grimly special could go relatively unnoticed through their career. Now without the chance to spit in the face of indie rock and say “HERE I AM!”

At only 32-years-old, Dale Barclay lost his ongoing battle with brain cancer.

He was a tiger taken by the tail.


Words: Megan Berridge

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