Everyone, apparently, needs a bosom for a pillow, or so Cornershop told us on their 1998 single 'Brimful of Asha'. The track was a tribute to Indian singer Asha Bhosle and, with a remix from Norman Cook and a hook advocating some rather uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, went to No.1 in the UK charts.
Cornershop, however, were happier away from the limelight. They had, after all, spent years in relative obscurity, with only the occasional stunt getting them any kind of attention. Tjinder Singh (vocals, guitar), Ben Ayer (guitar), Avtar Singh, Tjinder's brother (bass) and David Chambers (drums) came out of Leicester, with a mix of Asian music, shambolic punk and fiercely held anti-racist views. During Morrissey's somewhat suspect flirtation with mod and skinhead imagery Cornershop burned pictures of the singer at gigs and outside the offices of his record label.
In 1994 sitar player Anthony Saffery joined, as did guitarist Wallis Healey. Avtar and David left, replaced with drummer Nick Simms and percussionist Pete Hall. They began picking up well-known fans, most notably Brian Eno and David Byrne. Their 1995 album 'Woman's Gotta Have It' was released on Byrne's Luaka Bop label.
The real breakthrough came with 1997's 'When I Was Born For The Seventh Time', which featured the smash 'Brimful Of Asha' and a collaboration with Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Somewhat frightened by success, Cornershop took a break, returning in 2002 with 'Handcream for A Generation'.