Skeletal Family is a gothic rock band which formed in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England in December, 1982. The band formed from the remaining membership 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".
Skeletal Family is the only group that sprang up from Keighley, West Yorkshire in the early 1980s. The original lineup was Anne-Marie Hurst (vocals), Stan Greenwood (guitar), Roger Trotwood' Nowell (bass), Ian 'Karl Heinz' Taylor (keyboard/sax), and Steve Crane (drums). In 1984, the band signed on to indie label Red Rhino and recorded their first single for Red Rhino, The Night, just after losing their original drummer Steve Crane. Crane was replaced by Howard Daniels. Daniels was soon replaced by Martin Henderson (formerly of The Last Laugh). Skeletal Family's first album Burning Oil was released by Red Rhino in the autumn of 1984. The band began touring with the likes of The Sisters of Mercy during the Sisters' First and Last and Always tour. The group released Futile Combat in 1985 along with the Promised Land single. The group then signed with Chrysalis Records.
Fast forward to 2009...
Skeletal Family was no more and Anne-Marie was now a member of the band Ghost Dance...
After playing what was to unknowingly be her last major public performance with the band Ghost Dance in Amsterdam, Monday, December 4th 1989, and a hiatus from performing of almost 20 yeas. Lead vocalist Anne-Marie Hurst is back!!! Her first show in 20 years was on Saturday, 31 October 2009 at Gasworks Bar, Great Horton Road, Bradford, United Kingdom.
Following a chance meeting in 2008 with former Skeletal Family guitarist Stan Greenwood this led to discussions regarding the possibility of the pair working together again. The idea being, to simply write and play new material, in an atmospheric, acoustic setting.
Early 2009 saw the pair participating in numerous rehearsals / song writing sessions, leading to a collection of songs the duo were eager to perform.
Fast forward to April 2009... At a front room party session, before a hand full of old friends, the new acoustic material was premiered to surprising outstanding applause.
The problem then lay, what to play next? Despite an initial unwritten agreement between the pair that no Skeletal Family or Ghost Dance material was to be involved, suggestions lead to attempt a few of the old Skeletal Family song. Despite not playing them together for 25 years, the reaction from both audience and performers alike to the ramshackle renditions was amazing.
Inspired, and cajoled by the favourable response, a rehearsal was set up with drum machine and bass sequencer. Due to a combined bout of technophobia and impatience this was quickly jettisoned in favour of human musicians.
For the Bradford Gasworks gig, founder Skeletal Family bassist Trotwood (currently on a break from working with Paul Weller) was drafted into intense rehearsals; which along with local guitarist Ed Kellet and drummer Rob Caswell - resulting in a five piece guitar band - played songs from both Ghost Dance and Skeletal Family, that have not been aired for two decades, plus new original material.
With a back catalogue of three studio albums, numerous compilation CD’s and a plethora of top independent charting singles, including Promised Land, The Grip Of Love and River Of No Return the influential queen from the vanguard of “Old Skool” Goth Rock had made a triumphant return.
Fast forward to August 2014 and you will experience Skeletal Family on stage at Alt-Fest!