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Skeletal Family

No doubt influenced by the emergence of gothic punk in the early 80s, the Skeletal Family emerged from Bingley in Yorkshire, towards the end of 1982. Early demos recorded in September and December featured the input of Anne Marie Hurst (lead vocals), Trotwood (b. Roger Nowell; bass), Stan Greenwood (guitar), Steve Crane (drums) and Karl Heinz (synthesizer). After a debut single, ‘Just A Friend’, on the Luggage label in March 1983, the band signed to Yorkshire’s established indie, Red Rhino Records. By this time, Howard Daniels had taken over on drums. ‘The Night’ shared the same influences championed by the band’s ‘goth’ counterparts - the Cramps, Bauhaus and the Birthday Party. ‘Alone She Cries’ in January 1984 featured new drummer Martin Henderson, and was followed by ‘So Sure’ in June, alongside Recollect, a 12-inch EP comprising early demos. By the advent of Burning Oil in August, Skeletal Family had attracted a sizeable following, principally through support slots to the Sisters Of Mercy. This ascent continued with ‘Promised Land’ in February 1985, where they were aided by Graham Pleeth on synthesizer, the a-side backed by a cover version of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’. Futile Combat fared well in the UK independent charts, securing a contract with Chrysalis Records, but singer Hurst had left to join Ghost Dance. Recruiting drummer Kevin Phillips and Katrina on vocals, it was a new, more commercial Skeletal Family that issued ‘Restless’ in March 1986 and ‘Just A Minute’ in August, but neither made significant headway and the band were soon dropped (a fate that Ghost Dance would soon come to share).
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Goth Anthology

Disc 1

2. From The Fire

3. Martha's Harbour

4. All Tomorrow's Parties

5. Walk Into The Sun

6. Blind

7. E.S.T (Trip To The Moon)

8. Church Of No Return

9. Somewhere

10. Reward

11. The Tenant

13. Cats Or Devils Eyes (Rosetta Stone Mix)

14. Orchid Dreaming

15. Sunshine Superman

Disc 2

2. Zerox

3. Headhunter

4. One More Nightmare

5. I Walk The Line

6. Haloes

7. Snake Dance

8. Temptation

9. Night Creatures

10. Kristen

11. She Cries Alone

12. Hex

13. Cesium 137

Disc 3

1. Eloise

2. Pretty In Pink

3. Power

4. Beating My Head

7. Sharp Teeth Pretty Teeth

8. Side Show

10. Morbid Silence

11. Gutter Glitter

12. So Sure

13. Remembering Love

14. Forest Whispers My Name

x

Track List: This Is Gothic

Disc 1

1. Now I'm Feeling Zombified

2. Baby Turns Blue

3. Desire

4. Moya

5. Spectre

6. Snake Dance

7. Spinning Round

8. Seven Hail Marys

9. The Bus

10. In Her House

11. Promised Land

12. Sex Beat

13. Evil

14. Girlsoul

15. I Am A Horse

Disc 2

1. Gothic Girl

2. The Witch

3. Gutter Glitter

4. Permanent Red

5. Nazarene

6. Patient

7. Mr. 44

10. Orchid Dreaming

11. Sidelined

12. The Omen

13. Cyberium (On Speed)

17. New Skin

Comments

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Of their 2 original albums Futile Combat was by far the better, and includes the ready good single Promised Land. Burning Oil featured too much unnecessary yelping, rather than singing, and overly derivative songwriting. Oh and for Sisters fans, Singer Anne Marie Hurst would subsequently join up with Sisters founding member Gary Marx in the ill-fated Ghost Dance
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jasonobits
Instrumental l y it reminds me a bit of Some Girls era Sisters, vocally quite reminicent of Souixsie. All good stuff...
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like it. "Goth" is a bit young for me, but Id say my taste fits it anyway
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pandora23188
Iris Redcrow's analysis is spot-on.
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I'd like to hear more.
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I think of the Skeletal Family as a love child between 45 Grave and Bow Wow Wow. More Bat-Cave-y than Ant Music-ish of course. It's just the voice makes me think of Annabella. Phantom Limbs and Cinema Strange (along with the afore-mentio n e d 45 Grave) are most similar musically. A comp. is available entitled "Skeletal Family-The Singles Plus 1983-85" (Cherry Red Records Ltd) As to similar artists--thi n k about Dead Can Dance's'Dead Can Dance' album era not the Spirit Chaser era. :)

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