Shampoo Biography

Adorned in ra-ra skirts, pigtails and dayglo T-shirts, Shampoo’s arrival on the 1994 UK pop scene brought kitsch back to centre stage with a bang. ‘The Kylie and Dannii of Baby Tears Punk Rock Pop’, as the New Musical Express decreed, Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew arrived fresh from school in Plumstead, London. The duo’s early endeavours included writing a fanzine, Last Exit, about the Manic Street Preachers, appearing in one of their videos and earning a reputation for being ‘around town’. They then met Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley at a party and talked him into giving them a contract on his Icerink label. The resultant single, ‘Blisters & Bruises’, earned a Melody Maker Single Of The Week award for its naïve, spunky charm. They wrote the lyrics, while Lawrence Hayward of Denim wrote the music and produced. Shampoo were fully launched with the release of the delinquent ‘Trouble’ and hopelessly amateur ‘Viva La Megababes’, the latter a cheap and unruly take on the Voodoo Queens’ ‘Supermodel’: ‘Riot girls, diet girls, who really gives a fuck’. ‘Trouble’, meanwhile, was bizarrely used by BBC Television to publicize a Frank Bruno boxing match, and sold over 150, 000 copies in breaking into the UK Top 20. Fabulously popular in Japan, their lyrical concerns for their debut album had expanded to encompass video games, throwing up after dodgy kebabs and sentimental love songs. Their success was eclipsed and their girl-power crowns grabbed in one fell swoop by the Spice Girls in late 1996. Askew and Blake soldiered on in their own inimitable fashion, however, releasing a third album over their own website.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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