Tribute to David 'Snake' Mann
1966 - 2013
When I first met Snake he was a cock of the north (Rotherham) gobby little fucker walking thru Northampton town centre - always the grand plaza for meeting strangers - he just came up to me and starting talking at a hundred miles an hour about my music which was disconcerting as I didn't think anyone cared that much but he knew a lot about what Reducer were trying to do at the time..he kept pestering me to let him join the band ..as I didn't know him I was naturally reticent but eventually his hustling paid off and Reducer became three - we played all kinds of instruments and generated sound from multiple sources and media such as tape loops, short wave radio & percussion, using what are now called world music instruments such as water drums - tabla etc..also utilising synthesizers and any other electronic instruments we could find in small four track studios - as Reducer developed Snake grew into a Vocalist/Toaster (as it was known then) He was a natural , and it suited Dave & I as we could concentrate on creating Rhythm & Noise.
Snake lived, as we all did to some degree, at a thousand miles an hour - his lifestyle and his performances were intertwined - sometimes spiraling out of control and spilling over - sometimes spiraling into control and getting it spot on...his lyrics at their best were intuitive and righteous - always in your face - passages from Crowley mixed in with raggamuffin sound system bragging and boasting - He was sharp, funny and had a cheesy smile that won him a lot of admirers. We had our differences that's for sure - on occasions he even managed to shock me and Dave such as when he came on stage in full lingerie without so much as a word to us..bit of a shock when I turned round from fiddling with buttons and no mistake - you have to take your hat off to him - that takes balls - I know, I saw them. So yes Snake was charming, witty and full on, he also had what is now called issues - that was par for the course, we all did in one way or another - that's part of what bought us together - we wouldn't have been any good without them, not because they were our life, but that they were where the edge was and you know the old saying "if your not living in the edge your taking up room" Snake sure as fuck lived on an edge in and out of the band but he was essential to the mix that blossomed into Reducer. Snake shared our love of reggae and was instrumental in getting R.U.S.S. set up & running - he always had an eye for fresh kick arse tunes and always had the most up to date lyrics to chat 'pon the wire - toasting suited him - his ego and his wit shone. RUSS played some serious sounds back then and we stood alone as an all white sound system and that always spurred us on - we used the music and our street knowledge to mash it up inna wicked & wild style.. demanding respect by being utterly genuine ..Snake (and us) wanted to do the same as the black guys doing a sound - He wanted to play great reggae and chat pon the wire about how good it was, how he was feeling and about what he saw and felt, always full of energy, confidence and swagger...Snake was right on that vibe all the way. Hooly.
When I first met the Snake man many moons ago he was just a pup with an attitude full of willingness....he would come to many gigs that I was involved in with Antisect back in the day and became a bit of a groupy and one had to respect his commitment and enthusiasm for a particular way of life that's for sure...through this he had made the decision to move to Northampton with a friend and start a new passage in his life....and along this road he then became involved with the Human Aerial and the birthrites of Reducer and its cells were multiplying....when I chose to leave Antisect to their own devices I became a fully fledged member of the Reducer growth hormone and its tribal callings...myself and Snake were on vocals and together with his natural and unique blurberings on the mike we had a rapport of spontaneity and energy that seemed to work together as one along with the rest of the Reducer posse......he was a creative and open hearted chap with a mouth to suite and never quite knew how to keep it closed at times but I can forgive him for that.....we all had our respective differences that's for sure.....it seemed to be the order of our chaos that gifted Reducer with life......and Snake the beloved creature will always be apart of that.....and deeply in our hearts he will remain......love and respect.....do what thou will Snakey boy.....bless his soul...Rich.