HistoryJacqui Blake and Carrie Askew were best friends at a secondary school for girls in Plumstead, London, called Plumstead Manor School.
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.
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)."Trouble" crashed up the charts to No. 11 and landed 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 (1996 film) 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.In recent years rumours have circulated that the band were made offers to reform for a tour of Japan.