This is an archive of the band profile for Skeletal Family.
Skeletal Family were one of two bands, New Model Army being the other, that sprung forth from the industrial wasteland of Keighley, West Yorkshire in the early eighties.
Following the demise of The Elements in December 1982, guitarist Stan Greenwood, bassist Roger 'Trotwood' Nowell, sax/keyboard player Karl Heinz (Spud) and drummer Steve Crane recruited vocalist Anne-Marie Hurst and became Skeletal Family.
The band released their debut single 'Trees' on their own Luggage record label, selling copies at gigs they also handed a copy to Radio One DJ and champion of new music John Peel. Peel played the single on his Radio One programme and the remaining copies of the record were quickly snapped up via mail order.
In 1984 the band signed to York independent label Red Rhino (home of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Red Guitars) and promptly lost their drummer. Crane was replaced by Howard Daniels for the recording of the bands first John Peel session and their debut single for Red Rhino 'The Night'. The single entered the Independent chart at number 41.
Martin Henderson (formerly of The Last Laugh) replaced Daniels and the next singles 'She Cries Alone' and 'So Sure' faired better, reaching number 8 and 2 in the independent chart. A further Peel session was broadcast along with a session on the early evening Kid Jensen show.
The autumn of 1984 saw the release of the bands debut album 'Burning Oil', which went on to top the independent album chart. It also saw the band touring extensively with fellow Goths The Sisters of Mercy, who were promoting their debut long player, First And Last And Always, on their Black October Tour.
The Sisters tour took in 23 dates, beginning in Edinburgh on October 4th and culminating in Aylesbury on November 2nd with a date at the London Lyceum on Halloween night.
In 1985 Red Rhino released the single 'Promised Land' and the album 'Futile Combat' both high entries in the indie chart and the band recorded their first session for Janice Long.
Chrysalis signed the band and Anne-Marie and Martin Henderson left for new projects. The singer went on to front Ghost Dance with ex-Sisters of Mercy guitarist Gary Marx while Henderson joined forces with ex-March Violet vocalist Simon D on his new project The Batfish Boys.
Vocalist Katrina Phillips, who had recorded the single 'Thinking Of You' with Terry Hall for his band The Colourfield, and had a TOTP appearance under her belt, replaced Hurst with drummer Kevin Hunter, and additional guitarist John Clarke, joining the new line-up.
The new look Skeletal Family recorded two sessions for Janice Long and two singles for Chrysalis. Enjoying moderate chart success with the singles 'Restless' and 'Just A Minute' the major label inexplicably dropped the band.
Although still a big draw on the British/European gig circuit, without a record deal and disillusioned by the relative failure of the Chrysalis singles the band split-up.
Anne Marie enjoyed further cult success with Ghost Dance and Martin Henderson recorded two albums with The Batfish Boys before moving to America and drumming with The Quireboys.
Stan Greenwood continues to play guitar in Keighley group The Big Bang, with Trotwood now bass technician for bands such as Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene.
Steve Crane has now replaced his drumsticks for paint brushes and is an accomplished local artist. Howard Daniels went on to audition for The Stone Roses. Kevin Hunter went on to become the tour manager for the Manic Street Preachers and Katrina is currently in New York performing with Rap musicians.
One other Skeletal Family member was ex Waterboys saxophonist Anthony Thistlethwaite, who never technically a band member, did guest on various recordings and live shows.
With the current interest in Goth acts like Marilyn Manson, the Skeletals found their old recordings resurfacing on Goth Rock compilations. Cherry Red records also re-released 'Burning Oil' on CD as well as releasing two compilations 'Singles Plus' and 'Promised Land - The Best Of Skeletal Family'.
With renewed interest in the band and the return of drummer Martin Henderson to England, Skeletal Family have reformed. The band are currently in rehearsals for planned British/European and American dates for the later half of 2002/early 2003..