Shampoo (band)

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Origin Plumstead, London, England
Genres Pop rock, pop punk, bubblegum pop, power pop
Years active 1993–2000
Labels Icerink, Food, Parlophone, EMI[1]
Members Jacqui Blake
Carrie Askew

Shampoo were an English girl duo in the 1990s, formed by Jacqueline "Jacqui" Blake (born 23 November 1974 in Woolwich) and Caroline "Carrie" Askew (born 4 May 1977 in Plumstead). They were best known for their hit song "Trouble".


Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew were best friends at a secondary school for girls in Plumstead, London, called Plumstead Manor School.[2] In the early nineties they started writing Last Exit, a fanzine for the Manic Street Preachers, and later appeared in the video for "Little Baby Nothing". They also wrote a fanzine for Fabulous.

During this time they formed Shampoo (derived from their schoolyard nickname of 'the shampoo girls', for using the old 'washing their hair' excuse whenever turning down a date request).

Their first single "Blisters and Bruises" with the b-sides "Paydirt" and "I Love Little Pussy" was released by Icerink records (a short-lived label created by Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs) on 7" pink vinyl in 1993. [3] This and their following single "Bouffant Headbutt" received favourable reviews in the music press, such as the NME and Melody Maker, but were largely ignored by the general public.

Whilst their first two singles were typical of the Riot Grrl bands then coming to notice, the following year saw the release of their most famous song, "Trouble" and the album We Are Shampoo which displayed a much more radio friendly sound, but still with much of their previous abrasiveness: "Dirty Old Love Song" panned Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (whose "I Will Always Love You" had been the previous year's biggest selling single in the UK). "Shiny Black Taxi Cab" about a night on the town gone wrong (ending with a spoken section by the 'taxi driver' complaining to a new passenger about two drunken girls who had thrown up all over his cab the previous week). We Are Shampoo sold over a million copies, with the majority of sales in Japan and the rest of Asia.[4]

"Trouble" reached No. 11 on the charts, landing the girls on Top of the Pops and the cover of Smash Hits magazine. For the remainder of 1994 Shampoo did well, finding fans in both the mainstream and alternative music scenes – boosted in part by their links to Manic Street Preachers fanscene; however they also drew scathing comment from those within the small UK Riot Grrrl scene who saw the band as a repeat of We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It's "sellout" to commercialism – future artist Lucy McKenzie (then in the short lived Riot Grrrl band 'Batfink') wrote scathingly in her schoolgirl fanzine Poppy/Violet that "Shampoo = Miss June And July of the Paedophile Calendar".

The band became moderately successful in Japan. "Trouble" became famous for its inclusion in the soundtrack to the Angelina Jolie movie Foxfire and the film, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. The hit "Delicious" is heard in the movie Casper: A Spirited Beginning. The song "Don't Call Me Babe" was included in the soundtrack of the 1996 movie Barb Wire.

However, by the time they released their next album Girl Power in 1995 (the phrase thought to have come from a 1993 Helen Love record and much used by Riot Grrrl devotees, later also used as a slogan by the Spice Girls) their sales were in decline, and the third Shampoo album Absolute Shampoo was released solely on the internet in 2000, due to an inability to acquire a recording contract. The duo disbanded shortly afterwards.

Shampoo combined a poppy girlishness and a love of all things plastic, kitsch, and pink (the album artwork for We Are Shampoo featured a collage of Barbie dolls and sweet wrappers) with a punk sensibility. They often cited their main influences as being the Sex Pistols, Gary Numan and the Beastie Boys, whilst also claiming to be huge fans of East 17 and Take That.

In May 2007 the album We Are Shampoo was re-issued in the UK with bonus tracks of the B-Sides.[5]


Shampoo discography
Studio albums 4
Compilation albums 2
Video albums 1
Music videos 2
Singles 10

The discography of Shampoo consists of four studio albums, two compilation albums and ten singles.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
UK[6] JP
1994 We Are Shampoo 45 8
1995 Shampoo Or Nothing
  • Labels: Toshiba EMI Ltd
  • Notes: Japanese Release of Girl Power
1996 Girl Power
  • Labels: Food Records, Parlophone
  • Notes: UK Release of Shampoo Or Nothing
2000 Absolute Shampoo
  • Labels: Shampoo Records
  • Notes: Internet only

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
1995 Delicious
  • Labels: Toshiba EMI Ltd
  • Notes: Japan only: B-sides/Rare tracks
1998 The Greatest
  • Labels: Toshiba EMI Ltd
  • Notes: Japan only


Year Single Chart positions
UK[6] JP AUS[7]
1993 "Blisters and Bruises"
"Bouffant Headbutt"
1994 "Trouble" 11 81 17
"Viva La Megababes" 27 97
1995 "Delicious" 21 76
"Trouble" (re-release) 36
"War Paint" (Japan only)
1996 "Girl Power" 25 22 120
"I Know What Boys Like" 42 131
"Yea Yea Yea (Tell Me Baby)" (Japan only) 95
  • All Japanese figures are from the Oricon Singles Chart. "Trouble" also reached No. 16 in the Netherlands, as well as No. 17 in Belgium.[8]


  • We Are Shampoo (1995) – Japanese video collection containing videos for "Trouble", "Viva La Megababes", "Delicious" & "Bouffant Headbutt".
  • There are two different videos for "Trouble". The original features the girls trying to get home from central London after a night out. The re-make features new footage of the girls singing to the camera, intercut with film footage from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.


  • Delicious (1995, Japanese book)

Use of audio in other media[edit]

Covers by other bands[edit]

"Trouble" was covered by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, and can be found as a B-side on their "The Young Offenders Mum" single.[11] It was also sung by the cast of the 2007 film St Trinian's and featured on the film's soundtrack.[12] In 2009, Japanese rock band Vamps included a cover of the song as a B-side to their single "I Gotta Kick Start Now". In the same year, Zebrahead also included a version on their 2009 cover album, Panty Raid.


  1. ^ "Sky Songs | Download We Are Shampoo by Shampoo". Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  2. ^ White, S. (2014) YinPop: Women in Indie and Alternative Rock, Vol. 1: UK Bands, Fly-By-Night Books, ISBN 978-0-9905386-0-8, p. 251
  3. ^ White, S. (2014) YinPop: Women in Indie and Alternative Rock, Vol. 1: UK Bands, Fly-By-Night Books, ISBN 978-0-9905386-0-8, p. 264
  4. ^ Pride, Dominic (20 September 1997). "EMI Still Hungry for Food". Billboard: 44. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shampoo Biography – Page 2". Absolute Radio. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 493. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ Australian ARIA Chart) peaks:
  8. ^ "Shampoo - Trouble (Song)". Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pop/Punk Princesses". Billboard: 18. 5 August 1995. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Stone, Doug. "Jawbreaker [Original Soundtrack]". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 662
  12. ^ Long, Chris (2007). "Various Artists St Trinian's: The Soundtrack Review". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 

External links[edit]