Spare Snare have shared a video claiming there are similarities between a recent Blur track and one of their recordings from 2018.
The Scottish indie legends spotted the striking likeness between the intro to what was the lead single from the Britpoppers’ comeback album ‘The Ballad of Darren’, and the Snare’s ‘And Now It Is Over’, originally released a decade ago on their eighth long-player ‘Victor’, but re-recorded on the 2018’s higher-profile release ‘Sounds’, which was recorded by Steve Albini.
Band frontman Jan Burnett said: “We are fully aware how the intro of Blur’s ‘The Narcissist’ sounds more than a bit like one of our songs.
“Not just the notes, but also the actual sound, production and feel.
“It might be petty, but I emailed their management to raise this, really just for an acknowledgement.
“I received a sturdy email response from their publisher.”
The band produced a video in response to this rebuttal, featuring the passage in question and asking the London act “Could we have a word?”
Burnett added: “This isn’t a knee jerk, I’ve sat on the video for three months.
“Basically we want to sit down with their people and agree that there is a case to be had.”
Spare Snare and Blur share other loose connections – both having come to prominence in the 1990s, the Dundonian act’s biggest hit – Smile It’s Sugar’, which made the Indie Top 10 – was released on the Steve Lamacq-founded Deceptive Records, making the band labelmates of Elastica – the Britpop act fronted by Damon Albarn’s then-girlfriend Justine Frischmann.
Coincidentally, Elastica themselves garnered a reputation for their magpie-like approach to songwriting with their biggest hit ‘Connection’ bearing a striking resemblance to Wire’s ‘Three Girl Rumba’, while ‘Waking Up’ was the subject of a court case which saw The Stranglers being awarded songwriting credits – although a similar match up with ‘Vaseline’ versus Blondie’s ‘Sunday Girl’ never made it to the courts.
“I like Blur,” Burnett confessed, “but I’m less keen on bully tactics of managers and publishers pretending there is nothing to see, or hear.
“It would be a shame to take it to court, but we can. We have a fantastic lawyer who agrees with us.”
The band are, according to the singer, also keen that the matter “doesn’t distract” from other Snare-related activities, including an upcoming album of remixes and an as yet unannounced hometown Christmas show, as well as the recent reissue on their Chute Records of tracks from 80s act Seccession.
While Blur have not previously been the subject of public plagiarism claims, Damon Albarn’s cartoon side-project Gorillaz was notably accused of copyright infringement by reggae star Eddy Grant when ‘Stylo’, from the virtual act’s 2010 release ‘Plastic Beach’, was noted to share certain traits with Grant’s 1982 track ‘Time Warp’. Grant described the alleged plagiarism as “pure piracy”, adding that he felt like he had been “thrown under a bus”.
Burnett added: “I’m expecting Spare Snare to get some hate from worldwide Blur fans. We’ll try not to take it personally.”
You can compare and contrast the full versions of the two tracks below…