The Snake Corps came together in 1984 following the break-up of Sad Lovers & Giants (SL&G) the previous year.

Aiming for a harder-edged sound, core members Tristan Garel-Funk and Nigel Pollard advertised in the Melody Maker for the necessary musicians. After many auditions they settled on Marc Lewis and Liam McGuinness on vocals and bass respectively. This original incarnation set about establishing its own sound - recording demos of songs later to appear on the band’s albums as well as a video of Look East for Eden at Kingston Poly where Marc was a student.

After some initial success building a local following and reconnecting with many of the fans of SL&G, Nigel left the band and was replaced by Jon Greville from the extreme hardcore three-piece Rudimentary Peni. This line up went into record the first album: Flesh on Flesh, released on Midnight Music.

Tours in Europe helped to build and consolidate the band's following, but at home the story was one of press and radio indifference.

Feeling a need to broaden the scope of the Snake Corps sound the band decided to add keyboards. This resulted in the return of school friend and SL&G founder member David Wood. With the addition of Jim Blanchard from label-mates The S-Haters replacing Liam on bass guitar, this line-up recorded the band's second album Smother Earth.

More gigs followed but UK recognition continued to elude the Snake Corps despite growing interest from around the world; the bulk of the band's record sales going overseas.

David Wood eventually quit the band and Ian Gibson (recently having left the Mk2 version of SL&G) replaced him on keyboards.

Free of their contract with Midnight Music but with their commitment to release the next album as a one-off, this line-up went in (at their own expense) to record The 3rd Cup at Midnight-owned Berry Street Studios. With Brad Grisdale at the controls, it seemed for the first time there was a creative meeting of minds between the band and their engineer. The result was what many consider to be the Snake Corps finest album.

But behind the scenes all was not well. Continuing UK indifference to their music had left spirits at an all time low and it was feared that the album would be released into a vacuum. Then, after years of financial hardship Midnight Music went into receivership and was bought up lock stock and barrel by Cherry Red Records. The band suddenly found that all their music: back catalogue, stock and copyright was now owned by someone else. This proved too much and the Snake Corps split. It seemed that the best-of compilation Spice subsequently released by Cherry Red would probably be the band's swan-song.

Thankfullly, the finished master tapes of The 3rd Cup were already in the band's possession when Midnight went under but it was to be couple of years before the album was finally released on CD by Ophidian an off-shoot of the Oxford label Rotator.

Releases on Ophidian Records

The 3rd Cup


  • Siren Song
  • Yesterday With You
  • Fireflies
  • Take Off
  • Stonehead
  • Nothing
  • Ill Wind
  • We're All Fine
  • Some Other Time
  • Party's Overture
Released: 1993
Catalogue #: OPHD 3001

The Snake Corps Official Website