Huggy Bear

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Brighton, England-based three female/two male band at the forefront of the ‘Riot Grrrl’ collective philosophy on female emancipation in the music industry. Riot Grrrl had origins in America, a subversive counter-culture dedicated to ‘cutting the tripwires of alienation that separate girls from boys’. In the UK, Huggy Bear were at the leading edge of this movement, their activities incorporating fanzine production (Huggy Nation) as well as the band. Their musical arm comprised Jo Johnson (vocals, bass), Nicki Elliot (vocals), Chris (vocals), Karen (drums) and John Slade (guitar), though their ethos had more to do with musical access than practice. Despite this, their stirring proto-punk anthems, particularly the rallying ‘Her Jazz’, helped stir considerable media interest in 1993, despite the fact that they still resisted attempts to be interviewed by the mainstream music press. Their antagonistic stance led to two significant...

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