This London, England-based quartet, formed in 1994, was led by the singer Skin. After attending a furniture design course at Teesside Polytechnic in Middlesbrough, she returned to the capital and started meeting musicians on the local circuit. Her original band was shelved for being too 'rockist', but she retained the services of bass player Richard 'Cass' Lewis and in January 1994 began rehearsing with Skunk Anansie, alongside guitarist Martin 'Ace' Kent and drummer Robbie French. After signing to One Little Indian Records they released their debut single, 'Little Baby Swastikkka', available only through mail order from BBC Radio 1's Evening Session programme. March 1995's controversial 'Selling Jesus' single was followed by work on labelmate Björk's 'Army Of Me' single. The band's debut album contained the predicted brew of agit prop and funk metal, while Skin's lyrics remained forceful, but over the course of a full album, it was clear that there was a lack of development in style and in terms of the issue-led subject matter. The singles 'I Can Dream' and 'Charity' skirted the fringes of the UK Top 40 in June and September respectively.
The band toured with Therapy" and Senser and as part of the New Musical Express' Bratbus coalition, and appeared on the first edition of Channel 4's The White Room television programme. Featuring new drummer Mark Richardson (ex-Little Angels), Stoosh was a harder-edged collection, characterized by metal-edged guitar and Skin spitting out her lyrics. Controversial lyrics can sometimes sound deliberately contrived, but on this collection, Skin sounded as though she meant it. Her anger on the excellent opening track, 'Yes It's Fucking Political', was almost tangible. The band also reaped the rewards with four UK Top 30 singles in 1996, 'Weak', a reissue of 'Charity', 'All I Want' and 'Twisted (Everyday Hurts)'. The band parted company with One Little Indian shortly afterwards, signing a worldwide contract with Virgin Records. Post Orgasmic Chill was premiered by the thunderous clatter of UK Top 20 single, 'Charlie Big Potato', but the album's indifferent reception hastened Skunk Anansie's demise. Skin released her solo debut, Fleshwounds, in June 2003.
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