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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: Eternal: Singles, Albums, Rarities, BBC Sessions, Live, Demos 1982-2015

Disc 1

1. Lies (Original Demo)

2. Trees

3. Just A Friend

4. The Night

5. Waiting Here (B-Side Version)

6. She Cries Alone (12" Version)

7. The Wind Blows

8. Eternal

9. So Sure

10. Ritual

11. Burning Oil

12. And I

13. 11: 15

14. Someone New

15. Black Ju Ju

16. Woman And Child

17. She Cries Alone (7" Version)

18. Waiting Here (Alternative Version)

19. The Night (Alternative Version)

20. Trees (A Flexible Response Version)

Disc 2

1. So Sure (12" Version)

2. Batman

3. Promised Land (12" Version)

4. Stand By Me

5. Hands On The Clock

6. Move

7. This Time

8. Don't Be Denied

9. Far And Near

10. No Chance

11. Streetlight

12. She Cries Alone

13. What Happened?

14. Promised Land

15. Puppets

16. Guilt

17. Waltz

Disc 3

1. Black Ju Ju (Live - John Peel Session 19/5/83)

2. The Wind Blows (Live - John Peel Session 19/5/83)

3. Someone New (Live - John Peel Session 19/5/83)

4. And I (Live - John Peel Session 19/5/83)

5. Don't Be Denied (Live - Kid Jensen Session 30/4/84)

6. 11: 15 (Live - Kid Jensen Session 30/4/84)

7. Burning Oil (Live - Kid Jensen Session 30/4/84)

8. Promised Land (Live - Kid Jensen Session 30/4/84)

9. Far And Near (Live - John Peel Session 8/10/84)

10. Hands On The Clock (Live - John Peel Session 8/10/84)

11. Move (Live - John Peel Session 8/10/84)

12. No Chance (Live - John Peel Session 8/10/84)

13. Waltz (Live - Janice Long Session 19/3/85)

14. Mixed Feelings (Live - Janice Long Session 19/3/85)

15. Watch Me (Live - Janice Long Session 19/3/85)

16. Trees (Live - Janice Long Session 19/3/85)

17. What Goes Up (Live - Janice Long Session 25/11/85)

18. Restless (Live - Janice Long Session 25/11/85)

19. Split Him In Two (Live - Janice Long Session 25/11/85)

20. The Wizard (Live - Janice Long Session 25/11/85)

Disc 4

1. Deception (1986)

2. So Sure (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

3. Ritual (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

4. Burning Oil (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

5. Don't Be Denied (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

6. And I/Trees (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

7. Someone New (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

8. Black Ju Ju (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

9. Waiting Here (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

10. She Cries Alone (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

11. The Wind Blows (Live In Folkestone At Peter Pipers 1984)

12. Burning Oil (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

13. Full Circle (Alias This Time) (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

14. Move (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

15. The Night (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

16. Promised Land (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

17. Restless (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

18. Watch Me (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

19. The Wizard (Live In Glasgow At Queen Margaret Union 1986)

20. Knocking On Heaven's Door (Feat. Andrew Eldritch & Wayne Hussey) (Bonus Track - Live In Hamburg At The Markethalle 1986)

Disc 5

1. Don't Let Go (New Demo)

2. Time's Running Out (New Demo)

3. When I Call (New Demo)

4. Only For You (New Demo)

5. So Sure (Old Demo)

6. Age Of Consent (Old Demo)

7. Lost And Found (Old Demo)

8. Making Waves (Old Demo)

9. Now (Old Demo)

10. Put It In Brown (Old Demo)

11. Split Him In Two (Old Demo)

12. The Wizard (Old Demo)

13. She Cries Alone (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

14. Don't Let Go (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

15. Move (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

16. Hands Off The Clock (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

17. So Sure (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

18. Promised Land (Bonus - Live Reunion At The Scala, London, 2009)

x

Track List: Best Of...

1. Trees

2. Just A Friend

3. The Night

4. Waiting Here

5. She Cries Alone

6. The Wind Blows

7. Eternal

8. Waiting Here (Version)

9. The Night (Version)

10. So Sure

11. Batman

12. Lies

13. Promised Land

14. Stand By Me

15. Puppet

16. Waltz

17. Guilt

Comments

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Happy.
Report as inappropriate
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...
Report as inappropriate
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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