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Cornershop (band)
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Cornershop Band

Background information
Origin Leicester and Wolverhampton
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock, alternative dance
Labels Wiiija, Rough Trade, Ample Play, Luaka Bop, Warner Bros.
  • Tjinder Singh
  • Ben Ayres
  • Nick Simms
  • Peter Bengry
  • Adam Blake
  • Pete Downing
  • James Milne
  • Avtar Singh
  • David Chambers
  • Anthony Saffery
  • Wallis Healey
  • Pete Hall
  • Cornershop are a British indie rock band best known for their 1998 UK number-one single "Brimful of Asha". The band were formed in 1991 by Wolverhampton-born Tjinder Singh (singer, songwriter, and guitar), his brother Avtar Singh (bass guitar, vocals), David Chambers (drums) and Ben Ayres (guitar, keyboards, and tamboura), the first three having previously been members of Preston-based band General Havoc, who released one single (the "Fast Jaspal EP") in 1991.[1][2] The band name originated from a stereotype referring to British Asians often owning corner shops. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, Britpop, alternative and electronic dance music.


    Formation and early years: 1991-1996

    Tjinder Singh formed the General Havoc whilst a student at Lancashire Polytechnic in Preston, in 1987.[1] He relocated to Leicester, where his brother and sister lived, and formed Cornershop in 1991 along with his brother Avtar, and Chambers and Ayres, while working as a barman at Leicester's Magazine pub, also a popular local music venue.[3] The band played their first gig at Leicester's O'Jays venue.[3] In the early 1990s, when popular singer Morrissey was being vilified by the UK music press after accusations of racism, the band were invited to comment and the Melody Maker ran a story featuring the band burning a picture of the singer outside the offices of EMI.[4]

    Their debut release, the In The Days of Ford Cortina EP, was pressed on "curry-coloured vinyl",[2][5] contained a blend of Indian-tinged noise pop. The sound mellowed somewhat with the release of debut album Hold On It Hurts in 1994, described by Trouser Press as "a politically charged popfest, ten tracks of noisy delights that meld incisive social commentary with a firm hold on British post-punk."[6] The album impressed David Byrne sufficiently for him to sign the band to his Luaka Bop label.[2] Although David Chambers left the band in 1994, replaced by Nick Simms, the band re-emerged in 1995 with the "6 a.m. Jullandar Shere" single and the album Woman's Gotta Have It, also touring the United States including some dates on the Lollapalooza tour.[2] The band also toured Europe with Beck, Stereolab and Oasis.[2]

    Mainstream success: 1997-2001

    The band released their critically acclaimed album When I Was Born for the 7th Time in September 1997. The album featured collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Paula Frazer, Justin Warfield and a Yoko Ono- and Paul McCartney-approved cover of "Norwegian Wood" recorded in the Punjabi language. The album was produced by Tjinder Singh and Dan the Automator. Rolling Stone called it one of the essential recordings of the 1990s. The album was ranked No. 1 on Spin's list of 'Top 20 Albums of the Year' (1998)

    The track "Brimful of Asha" topped the legendary Festive 50 rundown of John Peel's tracks of the year in 1997.

    Norman Cook (a.k.a. Fatboy Slim) loved the track and remixed the song, which became hugely popular and captured the attention of the world. The song was a tribute to the prolific Indian playback singer, Asha Bhosle, and Tjinder's musical influences such as Trojan Records and vinyl culture in general.

    In 2000 Ayres and Singh released a disco inspired album Disco and the Halfway to Discontent as part of their side-project, Clinton. This album inspired the launch of the London-based clubnight called Buttoned Down Disco, which took its name from the third track on the album.

    Further success: 2002-2010

    Their next official Cornershop release was the 2002 album, Handcream for a Generation, which featured Noel Gallagher on guitar.[2]

    According to their official website, Cornershop have been making a film about London's independent music industry since 2003. In 2004 the band released the track 'Topknot' featuring the vocals of Bubbley Kaur on Rough Trade Records. In February 2006, some four years after their last album, they released another single "Wop the Groove" featuring guest vocals from Happy Mondays backing singer Rowetta.

    In 2008, their song "Candyman" was featured in the Nike advertisement for the Lebron James VI shoe, called the Six "Chalk" commercial.

    Cornershop released an album Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast in July 2009, preceded by the single "The Roll-Off Characteristics (Of History in the Making)" in May on their own record label called Ample Play.

    Recent years: 2011-present

    In 2011, Cornershop were awarded a prize for Commitment to Scene in the UK Asian Music Awards.[7]

    An album Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of, a collaboration with Punjabi folk singer Bubbley Kaur, was released in March 2011 to critical acclaim in the UK. The band also set up the Singhles Club Club, a subscription service featuring a series of musically diverse collaborations and exclusive digital artwork.

    The band's eighth album Urban Turban was released on 14 May 2012 and the ninth and recent album Hold On It's Easy was released on 2 February 2015.[8]. In July 2015 they released a single "Pinpoint" with Welsh singer Angharad Van Rijswijk aka Accü [9]

    In 2017 they gave an instrumental track called 'Demon is a Monster' to the anti-Brexit podcast 'Remainiacs' to use as a theme tune [10]. The track was then released digitally [11].

    Band members

    Current members
    • Tjinder Singh - vocals, guitars, bass, dholki (1991-present)
    • Ben Ayres - guitars, tamboura, keyboards, tambourine, vocals (1991-present)
    • Nick Simms - drums, vocals (1995-present)
    • Peter Bengry - percussion (1995-present)
    • Adam Blake - sitar, guitars (2009-present)
    • Pete Downing - guitars (2009-present)
    • James Milne - bass (2009-present)
    Former members
    • Avtar Singh - bass, guitars, vocals (1991-1995)
    • David Chambers - drums (1991-1995)
    • Anthony "Saffs" Saffery - sitar, guitars, keyboards (1994-2002)
    • Wallis Healey - guitars (1994-1995)
    • Pete Hall - percussion (1995)



    Release Date Title Charts
    January 31, 1994 Hold On It Hurts -
    October 23, 1995 Woman's Gotta Have It -
    September 8, 1997 When I Was Born for the 7th Time 17
    Apr 1, 2002 Handcream for a Generation 30
    July 27, 2009 Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast 145
    March 14, 2011 Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    May 14, 2012 Urban Turban - The Singhles Club -
    February 2, 2015 Hold On It's Easy -


    Release Date Title
    July 19, 1993 Elvis Sex-Change
    March 4, 2013 Snap Yr Cookies
    April 22, 2013 The Hot for May Sound


    Release Date Title Charts Album
    1993 "In The Days of Ford Cortina EP" - Non-album Single
    1993 "Lock Stock & Double Barrel EP" -
    January 10, 1994 "Reader's Wives" 91 Hold on it Hurts
    March 28, 1994 "Born Disco, Died Heavy Metal" -
    March, 1994 "Seetar Man"
    (split single with Blood Sausage)
    - Non-album Single
    1995 "6 a.m. Jullander Shere" - Woman's Gotta Have It
    1995 "My Dancing Days are Done"
    (split single with Prohibition)
    February 26, 1996 "6 a.m. Jullander Shere: The Grid and Star Liner mixes" -
    June 24, 1996 "W.O.G. - The U.S Western Oriental mixes" -
    November 25, 1996 "Butter The Soul" - When I Was Born for the 7th Time
    June 9, 1997 "Good Ships" / "Funky Days Are Back Again" 107
    August 18, 1997 "Brimful of Asha" 60
    February 16, 1998 "Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)" 1
    May 4, 1998 "Sleep on the Left Side" 23
    October 26, 1998 "Candyman" -
    March 4, 2002 "Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III" 37 Handcream for a Generation
    August 19, 2002 "Staging (The Plaguing of the Raised Platform)" 80
    July 26, 2004 "Topknot" / "Natch"
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    53 Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of...
    February 6, 2006 "Wop the Groove"
    (Cornershop featuring Rowetta)
    145 Non-album Single
    May 25, 2009 "The Roll Off Characteristics of History in the Making" - Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast
    May 3, 2010 "The School of Soul EP" -
    August 9 2010 "Brimful of Asher (12" Bosom Mix by The Naked Ape)" - Non-album Single
    August 30, 2010 "The Electronic E-Mail Mixes"
    (Cornershop & Matsuki Ayumu)
    November 22, 2010 "The Battle of New Orleans EP" -
    January 17, 2011 "Topknot" / "Natch" (reissue)
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    - Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of...
    February 14, 2011 "United Provinces of India"
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    May 9, 2011 "Supercomputed"
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    May 30, 2011 "Non-Stop Radio"
    (Cornershop featuring Celeste)
    - Urban Turban - The Singhles Club
    June 27 17, 2011 "What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?"
    (Cornershop featuring Castle Hill Primary)
    May 30, 2011 "Non Stop Radio (The Italian Job Remixes)"
    (Cornershop featuring Celeste)
    September 19, 2011 "Don't Shake It (Let It Free)"
    (Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
    - Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of...
    April 9, 2012 ""Milkin' It""
    (Cornershop featuring in Light of Aquarius)
    - Urban Turban - The Singhles Club
    June 25, 2012 "Who's Gonna Lite It Up"
    (Cornershop featuring Izzy Lindqwister)
    July 9, 2012 "Solid Gold"
    (Cornershop featuring Katie)
    November 5, 2012 "Something Makes You Feel Like"
    (Cornershop featuring Soko)
    December 3, 2012 "Every Year So Different"
    (Cornershop featuring Trwbador)
    - Non-album Single
    July 15, 2015 "Pinpoint"
    (Cornershop featuring Accu)
    December 4, 2015 "Let the Good Times Roll" -
    April 1, 2016 "Hold The Corner EP"
    (Cornershop featuring Mike Flowers Pops)
    October 20, 2017 "Demon is a Monster" -


    1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1. 
    2. ^ a b c d e f Buckley, Peter (2003) The Rough Guide to Rock, Rough Guides, ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0, p.229-230
    3. ^ a b Cornershop at the Leicester Bands website Archived 9 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
    4. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (1996) "Cornershop: Bhangra Punk!", CMJ New Music Monthly, February 1996, p. 20, retrieved 19 November 2010
    5. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p.99-100
    6. ^ McCaleb, Ian & Reno, Brad "Cornershop", Trouser Press
    7. ^ Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 2011. 
    8. ^ "Cornershop announce new album 'Urban Turban' | News". Nme.Com. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
    9. ^
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    External links

      This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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