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Background information
OriginLeicester, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock, alternative dance, Britpop[1]
Years active1991–present
LabelsWiiija, Rough Trade, Ample Play, Luaka Bop, Warner Bros. Edit this at Wikidata
  • Tjinder Singh
  • Ben Ayres
  • Nick Simms
  • Peter Bengry
  • Adam Blake
  • Pete Downing
  • James Milne
Past members
  • Avtar Singh
  • David Chambers
  • Anthony Saffery
  • Wallis Healey
  • Pete Hall

Cornershop are a British indie rock band best known for their single "Brimful of Asha", originally released in 1997 and, in a remixed version, topping the UK chart in 1998. The band was 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.[2][3] The band name originated from a stereotype referring to British Asians often owning corner shops. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, indie rock, alternative and electronic dance music.


Formation and early years: 1991–1996[edit]

Tjinder Singh formed the General Havoc whilst a student at Lancashire Polytechnic in Preston, in 1987.[2] 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.[4] The band played their first gig at Leicester's O'Jays venue.[4] In the early 1990s, when 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.[5]

Their debut release, the In The Days of Ford Cortina EP, was pressed on "curry-coloured vinyl"[3][6] and 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."[7] The album impressed David Byrne sufficiently for him to sign the band to his Luaka Bop label.[3] 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.[3] The band also toured Europe with Beck, Stereolab and Oasis.[3]

Mainstream success: 1997–2001[edit]

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[edit]

Their next official Cornershop release was the 2002 album, Handcream for a Generation, which featured Noel Gallagher on guitar.[3]

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[edit]

In 2011, Cornershop were awarded a prize for Commitment to Scene in the UK Asian Music Awards.[8]

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 album Hold On It's Easy was released on 2 February 2015.[9] In July 2015 they released a single "Pinpoint" with Welsh singer Angharad Van Rijswijk aka Accü [10]

In 2017 they gave an instrumental track called 'Demon is a Monster' to the anti-Brexit podcast 'Remainiacs' to use as a theme tune.[11] The track was then released digitally.[12] Cornershop were fiercely anti-Brexit.[13] In March 2020, they released a new album, England is a Garden to generally positive reviews. The first official video from the album accompanying the track 'St Marie under Canon' was released in February 2020.[14]

Band members[edit]

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
31 January 1994 Hold On It Hurts -
23 October 1995 Woman's Gotta Have It -
8 September 1997 When I Was Born for the 7th Time 17
1 April 2002 Handcream for a Generation 30
27 July 2009 Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast 145
14 March 2011 Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of -
14 May 2012 Urban Turban -
2 February 2015 Hold On It's Easy -
6 March 2020 England Is a Garden -


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

Singles and EPs[edit]

Release date Title Charts Album
1993 In the Days of Ford Cortina EP - Non-album singles
30 April 1993 Lock Stock & Double Barrel EP -
10 January 1994 "Reader's Wives" 91 Hold on It Hurts
28 March 1994 "Born Disco, Died Heavy Metal" -
March, 1994 "Seetar Man"
(split single with Blood Sausage)
- Non-album single
17 April 1995 [16] "6 a.m. Jullander Shere" - Woman's Gotta Have It
1995 "My Dancing Days Are Done"
(split single with Prohibition)
26 February 1996 "6 a.m. Jullander Shere: The Grid and Star Liner Mixes" -
24 June 1996 "W.O.G. – The U.S Western Oriental Mixes" -
25 November 1996 "Butter the Soul" - When I Was Born for the 7th Time
9 June 1997 "Good Ships" / "Funky Days Are Back Again" 107
18 August 1997 "Brimful of Asha" 60
16 February 1998 "Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)" 1
4 May 1998 "Sleep on the Left Side" 23
26 October 1998 "Candyman" -
4 March 2002 "Lessons Learned from Rocky I to Rocky III" 37 Handcream for a Generation
19 August 2002 "Staging (The Plaguing of the Raised Platform)" 80
26 July 2004 "Topknot" / "Natch"
(Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
53 Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of...
6 February 2006 "Wop the Groove"
(Cornershop featuring Rowetta)
145 Non-album single
25 May 2009 "The Roll Off Characteristics of History in the Making" - Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast
3 May 2010 The School of Soul EP -
9 August 2010 "Brimful of Asher" (12" Bosom Mix by The Naked Ape) - Non-album singles
30 August 2010 "The Electronic E-Mail Mixes"
(Cornershop & Matsuki Ayumu)
22 November 2010 The Battle of New Orleans EP -
17 January 2011 "Topknot" / "Natch" (reissue)
(Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
- Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of…
14 February 2011 "United Provinces of India"
(Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
9 May 2011 "Supercomputed"
(Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
30 May 2011 "Non-Stop Radio"
(Cornershop featuring Celeste)
- Urban Turban - The Singhles Club
27 17 June 2011 "What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?"
(Cornershop featuring Castle Hill Primary)
30 May 2011 "Non Stop Radio (The Italian Job Remixes)"
(Cornershop featuring Celeste)
19 September 2011 "Don't Shake It (Let It Free)"
(Cornershop presents Bubbley Kaur)
- Cornershop and the Double 'O' Groove Of…
9 April 2012 "Milkin' It"
(Cornershop featuring in Light of Aquarius)
- Urban Turban - The Singhles Club
25 June 2012 "Who's Gonna Lite It Up"
(Cornershop featuring Izzy Lindqwister)
9 July 2012 "Solid Gold"
(Cornershop featuring Katie)
5 November 2012 "Something Makes You Feel Like"
(Cornershop featuring Soko)
3 December 2012 "Every Year So Different"
(Cornershop featuring Trwbador)
- Non-album singles
15 July 2015 "Pinpoint"
(Cornershop featuring Accu)
4 December 2015 "Let the Good Times Roll" -
1 April 2016 Hold the Corner EP
(Cornershop featuring Mike Flowers Pops)
20 October 2017 "Demon Is a Monster" -
27 July 2018 "Double Denim" / "Sugar Sugar" -
26 November 2019 "No Rock: Save in Roll" - England Is a Garden
27 January 2020[17] "St Marie Under Canon" -


  1. ^ Madison Bloom (26 November 2019). "Cornershop Announce First Album in 8 Years, Share New Song: Listen". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ a b "Leicestershire Live - Latest local news, sport & business from Leicester". Archived from the original on 9 October 2006.
  5. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (1996) "Cornershop: Bhangra Punk!", CMJ New Music Monthly, February 1996, p. 20.
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p.99-100
  7. ^ McCaleb, Ian & Reno, Brad "Cornershop", Trouser Press
  8. ^ Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Cornershop announce new album 'Urban Turban'". 8 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Cornerhop ft. Accü 'Pinpoint' - ample play records". YouTube. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  11. ^ "The one with Gina Miller". 22 September 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ "CORNERSHOP 'Demon is a Monster' Remainiacs Podcast theme tune - Ample Play Records". YouTube. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  13. ^ Wyatt, Malcolm (20 February 2020). "No Looking Back for Cornershop as their Music Continues to Develop". Lancashire Evening Post.
  14. ^ "The Quietus | Reviews | Cornershop". The Quietus.
  15. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: Chris C. - CZR". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Cornershop - 6 A.M. Jullander Shere" – via
  17. ^ Cornershop 'St Marie Under Canon' - ample play records, retrieved 3 February 2020

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]