Cornershop are a British indie band formed in Leicester 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. The band name originated from a stereotype referring to British Asians that they often own street corner stores. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, British indie rock, and electronic dance.
Tjinder Singh formed The General Havoc whilst a student at Lancashire Polytechnic in 1987. 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. The band played their first gig at Leicester's O'Jays venue. In the early 1990s, when popular singer Morrissey was being vilified by the UK music press (particularly the NME) after accusations of racism, the band were invited to comment and the NME ran a story featuring the band burning a picture of the singer outside the offices of EMI.
Debut single, the In The Days of Ford Cortina EP, which came in "curry-coloured vinyl", was a blend of Indian-tinged noise pop, the sound mellowing somewhat by the release of debut album proper "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." The album impressed David Byrne sufficiently for him to sign the band to his Luaka Bop label. Although David Chambers left the band in 1994, the band re-emerged in 1995 with the "6 a.m. Jullander Shere" single and the album Woman's Gotta Have It, also touring the United States including some dates on the Lollapalooza tour. The band also toured Europe with Beck.
The departure of Avtar Singh around the end of 1995 led to a major line-up change, with Anthony Saffery (sitar, keyboards and harmonium), Nick Simms (drums) and Peter Bengry (percussion) joining.
They were more widely noticed after the success of a Fatboy Slim remix of their song "Brimful of Asha", from their 1997 third album When I Was Born for the 7th Time. The song was a tribute to the prolific Indian playback singer, Asha Bhosle, and the entire Indian music industry in general. Norman Cook mixed the track without charging a fee because he liked it so much. Paula Frazer appears as a guest vocalist on the track "Good To Be On The Road Back Home". Allen Ginsberg recites his poem "When the Light Appears Boy" on the track with the same name.
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.
According to their official website, Cornershop have been making a film about London’s independent music industry since 2003. In February 2006, some four years after their last album, they released a new single "Wop the Groove" featuring guest vocals from Happy Mondays backing singer and The X Factor finalist Rowetta.
In 2008, their song "Candyman" was featured in the Nike Advertisement for the Lebron James VI shoe, the commercial was entitled, The Six "Chalk" Commercial Ad.
Cornershop's latest album Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast was released in July 2009, and was preceded by the single "The Roll-Off Characteristics (Of History in the Making)" in May.
- Hold On It Hurts (1994)
- Woman's Gotta Have It (1995)
- When I Was Born for the 7th Time (1997) UK #17
- Disco and the Halfway to Discontent (as Clinton) (1999)
- Handcream for a Generation (2002) UK #30
- Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast (2009)
- "In The Days Of Ford Cortina EP" (1993)
- "Lock Stock & Double Barrel EP" (1993)
- "Reader's Wives" (1993)
- "Born Disco, Died Heavy Metal" (1994)
- "Seetar Man" (1994) (split single with Blood Sausage)
- "6 a.m. Jullander Shere" (1995)
- "My Dancing Days are Done" (1995) (split single with Prohibition)
- "6 a.m. Jullander Shere: The Grid and Star Liner mixes" (1996)
- "W.O.G. - The U.S Western Oriental mixes" (1996)
- "Butter The Soul" (1996)
- "Good Ships" (1997)
- "Brimful of Asha" (1997) UK #60
- "Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix)" (1998) UK #1
- "Sleep on the Left Side" (1998) UK #23
- "Buttoned Down Disco" (as Clinton) (1999)
- "People Power In The Disco Hour" (as Clinton) (2000)
- "Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III" (2002) UK #37
- "Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform" (2002) UK #80
- "Topknot" (2004) UK #53
- "Wop the Groove" (2006) UK #154
- "The Roll Off Characteristics Of History In The Making" (2009)
- "Who Fingered Rock And Roll" (2009)
Biography from Wikipedia