Skeletal Family

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Skeletal Family
Skeletal Family.jpg
The band performing in 2005
Background information
OriginKeighley, West Yorkshire, England
GenresPost-punk, gothic rock
Years active1982–1986, 2002-2009, 2012–present
LabelsRed Rhino, Chrysalis, Gepek Records
Associated actsGhost Dance, the Batfish Boys, Say You
MembersStan Greenwood
Roger "Trotwood" Nowell
Anne-Marie Hurst
Adrian Osadzenko
Past membersIan "Karl Heinz" Taylor
Steve Crane
Howard Daniels
Martin Henderson
Richard "Dik" Hawkins
Kevin Hunter
John Clarke
Katrina Phillips
Claire Bannister
Johnny Lorrimer
Owen Richards
Anne-Marie Hurst at Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2017 in Leipzig

Skeletal Family are an English rock band formed in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in December 1982.[1] The band was formed from the remaining members of an earlier group called the Elements, and took their name from the title of the song "Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family" from the 1974 David Bowie album, Diamond Dogs.


The original line-up of the band was Anne-Marie Hurst (vocals), Stan Greenwood (guitar), Roger "Trotwood" Nowell (bass guitar), Ian "Karl Heinz" Taylor (keyboard/saxophone) and Steve Crane (drums).[2][3] In 1983, after their first single, "Trees", the band signed to independent record label Red Rhino Records. They recorded their first single for Red Rhino, "The Night", shortly after losing their original drummer Crane,[2] who was replaced by Howard Daniels.[2] Daniels soon left, joining My Pierrot Dolls, and was replaced by Martin Henderson (formerly of The Last Laugh).[2] Skeletal Family's first album, Burning Oil, recorded in four days at a cost of £640, was released by Red Rhino in August 1984.[1] It topped the UK Independent Chart, staying in the top 10 until the end of the year.[1][4] The band began touring with the Sisters of Mercy during the Sisters' First and Last and Always tour. Skeletal Family released the Futile Combat album in 1985, along with the "Promised Land" single.

The group then signed with Chrysalis Records and released two 1986 singles, "Restless" and "Just a Minute". Hurst and Henderson left the band to develop new projects. Hurst eventually teamed up with Gary Marx in Ghost Dance.[2] Henderson joined former March Violets vocalist Simon Denbigh to create the Batfish Boys. Former Colourfield backing vocalist Katrina Phillips replaced Hurst, while Kevin Hunter replaced Henderson. John Clarke joined as a second guitarist. The group disbanded later in 1986 after being dropped by Chrysalis.[2] Trotwood and Hunter formed a new band, Say You.[2]

In 2002, Skeletal Family reformed with a line-up of Greenwood, Nowell, Taylor and Hurst. The latter had to drop out due to family commitments, replaced briefly by Phillips, and then by new vocalist Claire Bannister. They played several high profile shows, including Wave-Gotik-Treffen three times as well as the Drop Dead Festival in New York City. This line-up released an album, Sakura, in May 2005 on Gepek Records.

Skeletal Family's next album, Songs of Love, Hope and Despair, featuring new bassist Johnny Lorrimer, was released by Gepek in September 2009. Two months later the group announced that it had disbanded again.[5]

In 2012, Hurst, Nowell and Greenwood reformed Skeletal Family with Owen Richards on guitar and Adrian Osadzenko on drums.[6]


Current members
  • Stan Greenwood – guitar (1982–1986, 2002–2009, 2012–present)
  • Roger "Trotwood" Nowell – bass (1982–1986, 2002–2009, 2012–present)
  • Anne-Marie Hurst – vocals (1982–1985, 2002, 2012–present)
  • Adrian Osadzenko – drums (2012–present)
Former members
  • Ian "Karl Heinz" Taylor – keyboards/saxophone (1982–1983, 2002–2009)
  • Steve Crane – drums (1982–1983)
  • Howard Daniels – drums (1983)
  • Martin Henderson – drums (1983–1985, 2002–2009)
  • Richard "Dik" Hawkins – drums (1985)
  • Kevin Hunter – drums (1985–1986)
  • John Clarke – guitar (1985–1986)
  • Katrina Phillips – vocals (1985–1986, 2002)
  • Claire Bannister – vocals (2002–2009)
  • Johnny Lorrimer – bass (2009)
  • Owen Richards – guitar (2012)


Studio albums[edit]

  • Burning Oil (1984), Red Rhino Records) UK Indie No. 1
  • Futile Combat (1985), Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 7[4]
  • Sakura (2005, Gepek Records)
  • Songs of Love, Hope & Despair (2009), Gepek)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Trees" 7" EP (1983, Luggage) UK Indie No. 50[4]
  • "The Night" 7" single (1983, Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 41[4]
  • "She Cries Alone" 7"/12" single (1984, Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 8[4]
  • Recollect 12" EP (1984, Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 7[4]
  • "So Sure" 7"/12" single (1984, Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 2[4]
  • "Promised Land" 7"/12" single (1985, Red Rhino) UK Indie No. 2[4]
  • "Restless" 7"/12" single (1986, Chrysalis Records
  • "Just a Minute" 7"/12" single (1986, Chrysalis)
  • "All My Best Friends" (2004, Roach Daddy Records)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Together cassette combining Burning Oil and Futile Combat (1985, Red Rhino)
  • Ghosts (1986, Onsala)
  • The Singles Plus 1983–85 (1994, Anagram)
  • Burning Oil/Futile Combat (1995, Dojo)
  • Promised Land – The Best of Skeletal Family (2001, Anagram)
  • Eternal: Singles · Albums · Rarities · BBC Sessions · Live · Demos 1982–2015 (2016, Cherry Red Records)


  • Live at Sheffield 1984 VH (1984, self-released)
  • Promised Land – Live 1983–1984 DVD (2007, Cherry Red)


  1. ^ a b c Kelly, Danny (1985) "Waiter, There's a Bone in my Curry!", NME, 2 February 1985, p. 8
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 506
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Indie & New Wave, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0231-3, p. 386-7
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980–1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 207
  5. ^ Knights, David. "Keighley band", Keighley News, Keighley, 12 November 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  6. ^

External links[edit]