The Sneakies were a young and naive pop band discovering the world of music from a distinctly dunedin perspective. In original member Matthew Bannisters’ Positively George Street book, which describes their experience and neglectance to accept the ‘Dunedin Sound’ that had been labelled around them, he was quick to point out how they differed from other bands.
Whilst the clean and the Chills were indulging in Toy Love inspired post-punk, raised on a diet of the Velvet Underground and West-Coast psychedelia, the Sneakies were more accessibility orientated troubadores, attempting to ingulf pop, country, folk and blues influences into their simple, gritty rock – and with some success. ‘Theres A Chance’ is one of the landmark tracks from the brilliant Dunedin Double album that brought together the Sneakies with fellow Dunedin City up-and-comers the Chills, the Stones, and the Sneakies eternal brother band, the Verlaines.
Though Bannisters book tries to say elseward, the Sneakies would never quite raise to the level of Graeme Downes talented troupe, but through-out the years (they eventually broke up in the late 80s, Bannister going on to form the Dribbling Darts Of Love) they did produce the odd great pop track (the hit single ‘Husband House’ being another stand-out), and some solid releases. Unlike their contemporaries, the Sneakies went through few line-up changes, original bassist Kat Tyrie leaving as the band started to gain speed, but Bannister, Martin Durrant, John Kelcher and David Pine survived the majority of their existance.
Discography (picks in bold)
- Dunedin Double 4xep [1982 W/ The Stones, The Chills, The Verlaines Flying Nun Dun1/2] Rn
- Better Than Before 7″ Single [1982 Flying Nun Fnfeed1]
- ‘Be My Friend’/’Amnesia’ 7″ Single [1983 Flying Nun Fn015]
- Send You 12″ Mini-Lp [1983 Flying Nun Fnfeel1] Rn
- Live At Windsor Castle Cassette [1984 Industrial Tapes Industrial017]
- Take Sides Cassette [1985 Compilation Flying Nun Fnmcfeel001]
- Husband House 12″ Ep [1985 Flying Nun Fnfeel2] Rn
- ‘Better Than Before’/’Wouldn’T Cry’/’Here’S To The Other Six’ 12″ Single [1986 Flying Nun Fnfeel3]
- ‘Better Than Before’/’Wouldn’T Cry’ 7″ Single [1986 Flying Nun Fnfeel3]
- ‘Coming True’/’Wasted Time’ 7″ Single [1986 Flying Nun Fnfeel5]
- Sentimental Education [1987 Flying Nun Fnfeel6 / Fne14]
- ‘Trouble With Kay’/’Its So Easy’ 7″ Single [1987 Flying Nun Fnfeel7]
- Waiting For Touchdown [1987 Au Go Go / Flying Nun Fn Anda / Fnuk2]
- Hard Love Stories [1988 Flying Nun Fn112 / Fne26]
- Long Time Gone 7″ Single [1988 Included W/ Fn1192Flying Nun Fn119]
- Send You [1992 Reissue Flying Nun Fn205]
- Positively George Street [2000 Compilation Flying Nun Fn441]