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Sneaker Pimps

Sneaker Pimps
Origin Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Genres Trip hop, electronica, downtempo, alternative rock
Years active 1994–2005
Labels Clean Up Records
Virgin Records
Tommy Boy Records
Website (archived)
Past members Kelli Dayton
Chris Corner
Liam Howe
Ian Pickering
Joe Wilson
David Westlake

Sneaker Pimps were a British trip-hop band formed in Hartlepool, England, in 1994. They are best known for their first album, Becoming X (released in 1996), and particularly the singles "6 Underground", "Spin Spin Sugar", and "Tesko Suicide" from the same album. They took their name from an article the Beastie Boys published in their Grand Royal magazine about a man they hired to track down classic sneakers.

The band's founding members were Liam Howe and Chris Corner, who then recruited Kelli Dayton (formerly of Lumieres, now recording under the name Kelli Ali) for vocal duties and long-time friend Ian Pickering to provide lyrics. After the first album, the band felt that demos for the second album (on which Corner provided the guide vocals) better suited his voice, especially in regard to the more raw, personal quality of the lyrics. Following the promotional tour for Becoming X, Kelli was dismissed from the group, and Corner became the singer.[1]


  • Side projects 1
  • Members 2
  • Discography 3
    • Albums 3.1
    • Singles 3.2
    • Promo singles 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Side projects

Chris Corner began working on a side project in 2003 and released five solo albums in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013 under the moniker IAMX titled Kiss + Swallow, The Alternative, Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, Volatile Times and The Unified Field.[2] He has also sung guest vocals for TNT Jackson, Moonbootica and The Strike Boys, as well as produced material for Robots in Disguise. Corner also collaborated with Sue Denim from Robots in Disguise, under the name Sibling.

Past member Joe Wilson formed Trash Money with Chris Tate in 1999 and plays live with Client.

Liam Howe has become a successful writer / producer and has written and produced the likes of Marina and the Diamonds, Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding. He is signed to Columbia records for his solo project which includes collaborations with Alan Vega, Neneh Cherry and Princess Superstar. David Westlake currently plays drums in Trash Money, has done session work for Natalie Imbruglia, Mediaeval Baebes, and Zero-G, and played drums with Ultrafox on tour.

Kelli Ali (Dayton) recorded her third solo album Rocking Horse at the beginning of 2008 and released it through One Little Indian late autumn 2008. She is quoted as saying this is a very different affair from her two previous solo albums, Tigermouth and Psychic Cat. Rocking Horse was produced by Max Richter.

Ian Pickering is a lyricist/songwriter currently writing and recording with the band Polaroid Kiss with Brandun Reed whose debut album 'Weakness of the Beautiful Souls' is due for release in 2011. He wrote lyrics for a number of tracks on the IAMX albums "Kiss + Swallow" and "The Alternative" and released the album All These Lines Make Noises in 2005 as singer/songwriter/lyricist with the band transporter. He is also currently contributing lyrics to a number of other projects and has previously written lyrics for Anomie Belle, Natalie Imbruglia, Neil Barnes from Leftfield and The SuperDead.


In the studio, the band share instrumental duties, however in the live environment they could usually be observed playing the following:

Also note:

  • Chris Tate (friend of Joe Wilson and stand-in for Liam Howe on synthesiser during Bloodsport)
  • Kelli Dayton (ex-vocalist, asked to leave after making their first album Becoming X)



  • Becoming X (1996) – #27 UK, #111 U.S., #1 U.S. Heatseekers – BPI: Gold
  • Becoming Remixed (1998) – #24 U.S. Heatseekers
  • Splinter (1999) - #80 UK
  • Bloodsport (2002) – #16 U.S. Electronic, #46 U.S. Indie
  • SP4 (unreleased) – most songs ended up on Chris Corner's IAMX project



Year Song UK Singles Chart[3] U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Modern Rock U.S. Hot Dance Club Play Album
1996 "Tesko Suicide" - - - - Becoming X
1996 "Roll On" - - - - Becoming X
1996 "6 Underground" 15 - - - Becoming X
1997 "Spin Spin Sugar" 21 87 - - Becoming X
1997 "6 Underground (re-issued)" 9 45 7 - Becoming X
1997 "Spin Spin Sugar (remixes)" 46 - - 2 Becoming X
1997 "Post Modern Sleaze" 22 - - - Becoming X
1999 "Low Five" 39 - - - Splinter
1999 "Ten To Twenty" 56 - - - Splinter
2002 "Sick" 100 - - 16 Bloodsport
2002 "Bloodsport" - - - - Bloodsport
2002 "Loretta Young Silks" - - - - Bloodsport
2005 "Low Five (digital remix EP)" n/a n/a n/a n/a The Mix You Miss website
2005 "Loretta Young Silks (digital remix EP)" n/a n/a n/a n/a The Mix You Miss website

Promo singles

  • 2002 "Kiro TV"
  • 2002 "M'Aidez"


  1. ^ "Kelli Ali". Kelli Ali. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  2. ^ "IAMX Discography at Discogs". 1974-01-23. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 511.  

External links

  • Sneaker Pimps Official Website (archived)
  • Sneaker Pimps Unofficial Website (including discography) (links to download or play music/videos are broken or no longer work)
  • Sneaker Pimps Unofficial italian Website
  • Kelli Ali – official website
  • Kelli Ali Interview for magazine
  • Band members' comments about their songs ( copy)
  • Trash Money Official Website
  • Gashaus Profile with concert photos from June 21st 1997 in Prague's Akropolis
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