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Shampoo is a tough duo of punk rock Barbie dolls who started in the recording industry when they were barely out of their teens. Hailing from Plumstead, England, Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew both handle vocals in a highly energetic and barely intelligible fashion, and both have enough attitude and downright sass to make critics on both sides of the Atlantic go ga-ga over their primitive punk and sly innuendoes. Even though their talent is barely discernible (their singing often sounding like punk rock karoake) Shampoo never lacks wit and are always loads of fun.

We Are Shampoo, their full-length debut, features all of the jaw-dropping singles released in Britain including their anthem, "Trouble," which was featured on the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers soundtrack. Girl Power followed in 1996. In the past few years they have become very successful in Japan. Now they have released a new album, Absolute Shampoo, which has all of their fans excited.

New songs like "Inspector Gadget" and "Take A Break" are some of their best recordings to date. To their benefit, they have reunited with Saint Etienne on part of this record yet again. I talked to them recently about their new CD which they have marketed themselves over the internet.

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AL: I have a bunch of questions for you. First, did you try to make the album Absolute Shampoo more accessible and mainstream?

Shampoo: We didn't try and make it more "anything" it just came out the way we wanted it to!

AL: That's funny. A few of the songs on the new album sound like they are funkier than previous stuff. How do you feel about that?

Shampoo: Lots of people have different opinions about our latest album, some say it's the same and some say it's totally different... which is bizarre.

AL: What is your favorite food now?

Shampoo: Sweets, curry and chips... all on the same plate.

AL: What is your favorite color?

Shampoo: Silver and pink

AL: Has living in South London been an influence on you? Plumstead is very famous now.

Shampoo: It made us want to get out of the place as soon as we could!

AL: Did the fact that the Mercury Prize has been denied to you for several years affect the way you approached music in the past two years?

Shampoo: We've never been fussed about what people think of us, so awards like that don't matter to us

AL: What are your diaries like?

Shampoo: Pink and full of swear words

AL: I always wondered. How much does nature have to do with your music?

Shampoo: Erm.....we like cats (???)

AL: Does the perception of Brit-pop or Girl Power mean anything anymore?

Shampoo: Nah, Girl Power is a load of rubbish, who the hell thought that one up anyway?

AL: You did, of course. How did you approach writing the new tracks?

Shampoo: We just hang out together, have a laugh then it tends to come naturally (with the help of alcohol! )

AL: Sounds good. What was your experience of Japan like? You are bigger than The Beatles there.

Shampoo: It was the best experience to have, it was nice to go home and be normal though!

AL: What was it like to work with Saint Etienne?

Shampoo: They're our mates anyway, so it was a good laugh to work with each other again after all these years.

AL: Are films ever an influence, and would you like to make a soundtrack for a feature film?

Shampoo: We wrote the title track for Barb Wire after reading the script, but it turned out to be a pile of crap (the film not our song!). We'd love to write the entire soundtrack for a Chinese action film though!

AL: What is your favorite TV show?

Shampoo: Crimewatch UK.

AL: Have you ever been a fan of house music, which is still very popular in America?

Shampoo: No!!!

AL: What are your favorite cities?

Shampoo: London, Tokyo and New York

AL: There's a lot of "Yeah's" on the new album. Are you more positive about life and music than in the past?

Shampoo: Nah, we just like saying "yeah" a lot

AL: Do you read what is said about you and your music on the Internet?

Shampoo: Yep, we're great fans of the internet

AL: Any advice for people and fans of yours who would like to make records?

Shampoo: Just do it, you will never know until you try!.... Well we managed didn't we?

AL: How are you doing today?

Shampoo: Alright, we've had our fix of sweets now!

check out: www.shampoo.org.uk



-ALEXANDER LAURENCE





Lyrics
"Shampoo's Cupboard"

He-Man, She-Ra, Roger Red Hat, Hong Kong Phooey, Playaway, Button Moon
Smell of Playdoh, Weeble wobble, Little Pony, Etch-a-Sketch, Buckeroo
Flat head Sindy, Mork and Mindy
Pogosticks, KerPlunk! and Meccano
Panda Pops, Corona, Um Bongo
Here's some things from our cupboard,
Memories from the young Shampoo girls
Here's some things we remember
Here's some things that we used to know, yeah
Itchy beard, itchy chin
Jimmy Hill, skill
Double Dutch, Game and Watch, Top Trumps, Speak and Spell
Deely Boppers, Space Hoppers, school bean bags, cheapo strap on roller skates
Batwing jumpers, bodywarmers
Disclosing tablets, toothache and braces
Thanks to cola cubes, space dust and Pacers
Here's some things from our cupboard,
Memories from the young Shampoo girls
Here's some things we remember
Here's some things that we used to know, yeah
Mr Men, Grange Hill, Crackerjack, Rent-a-Ghost
Action Man with Eagle Eyes, MiniPops, Stylophones
There's a lot of old junk
Stored up in Shampoo's cupboard
Such a pile of old junk
But it's ours, and yeah, we love it
Super Ted, Dangermouse, Roland Rat, Tiny Tears
Pig shaped crisps, Donkey Kong, Care Bears, white dog poo
Itchy beard, itchy chin
Jimmy Hill, skill
Double Dutch, Game and Watch, Top Trumps, Speak and Spell
Mr Men, Grange Hill, Crackerjack, Rent-a-Ghost
Action Man with Eagle Eyes, MiniPops, Stylophones
Super Ted, Dangermouse, Roland Rat, Tiny Tears
Pig shaped crisps, Donkey Kong, Care Bears, white dog poo  


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freewilliamsburg@yahoo.com | April 2001 | Issue 13