The Slits

The Slits

Infobox musical artist |
Name = The Slits

Img_capt = The Slits in NYC 2007
Background = group_or_band
Origin = London, England
Genre = Punk rock
Years_active = 1976 – 1981
2006 - present
Label = Island Records
CBS Y Records
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Ari Up
Hollie Cook
Michelle Hill
Tessa Pollitt
Anna Schulte
Past_members = Kate Korus
Suzy Gutsy
Viv Albertine
Bruce Smith
Adele Wilson

The Slits are a UK punk rock band. The quartet was formed in 1976 by members of the bands The Flowers of Romance and The Castrators. The members were Ari Up (Arianna Forster) and Palmolive (Paloma Romera, who later left to join The Raincoats), with Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt replacing founding members Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy. Palmolive was replaced by male drummer Budgie (aka Pete Clarke), formerly of The Spitfire Boys and later to join Siouxsie & the Banshees.


At their outset, the Slits played a brand of brash, fun, snotty, catchy punk rock naturally suited to supporting The Clash on their 1977 "White Riot" tour along with the Buzzcocks and the Subway Sect (documented both on- and offstage by Don Letts in "The Punk Rock Movie").

As also captured on a legendary Peel Session, the Slits' originally extremely raw and raucous live sound was subsequently cleaned up and considerably polished by the time of their reggae influenced, dub heavy, Dennis Bovell produced 1979 debut album "Cut" (Island Records). The album's cover art depicts the band naked save for mud and loin-cloths.

Their sound and attitude became increasingly experimental and avant-garde during the early 1980's, when they formed an alliance with Bristol post punk mavericks The Pop Group, sharing a drummer (Bruce Smith) and releasing a joint single, "In The Beginning There was Rhythm" / "Where There's A Will" (Y Records). The band toured widely and released a second LP "Return Of The Giant Slits" before breaking up.

Other projects

Kate Korus went on to form the Mo-dettes in 1979. Various Slits became involved with the On-U dub-jamming project New Age Steppers, along with free improvisers such as Steve Beresford and also a young Neneh Cherry. The band has had such fans as Johnny Rotten, Frank Zappa [Frank Zappa (interview) on The Dick Cavett Show 1980 (PBS)] and British DJ, John Peel. Albertine also collaborated with Singers & Players and The Playgroup. Ari Up has appeared on albums with Rip Rig & Panic, The Slackers, Dubblestandart, and several others.


Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt reformed the band with new members in 2005, and in 2006 released the EP "Revenge Of The Killer Slits". The EP features former Sex Pistol Paul Cook and Marco Pirroni (ex-Adam & the Ants, and Siouxsie & the Banshees) as both musicians and co-producers. In fact, Cook's daughter Hollie is a member of the current line-up, singing and playing keyboards. Other members of the reformed band were NO (of The Home office) in guitar, German drummer Anna Schulte, and Adele Wilson on guitar.

The band toured the United States for the first time in twenty five years during 2006's "States of Mind" tour. In 2007 they toured Australia as well as returning to the United States where they opened for Sonic Youth at NYC's McCarren Park Pool. [ [ Slits Set for U.S. Summer Tour] Pitchfork, July 6 2007.] In their first ever visit to that country the band did a short tour of Japan in October 2007.

In 2008 the band again toured America. Adele Wilson left the band and No was replaced by American guitarist Michelle Hill.

A book celebrating the Slits and their seminal album Cut is being written by music writer Zoe Street Howe, due for publication in 2009 through Omnibus, to mark the 30-year anniversary of the album's release.


tudio albums

*"Cut" (Island Records, 1979)
*"Return of the Giant Slits" (CBS, 1981)
*"Revenge Of The Killer Slits" (EP),(2006)

Live albums

*"Bootleg Retrospective" (Rough Trade, 1980)
*"Live at the Gibus Club
*"Typical Girls - Live in Cincinnati & San Francisco USA" (Basic Records, 1980)

Compilation albums

*"The Peel Sessions" (Strange Fruit, 1988)
*"In the Beginning" (Jungle Records, 1997)


*"Typical Girls"/"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Island, 1979) UK #60
*"In The Beginning There Was Rhythm" (split single with The Pop Group), (Y Records/Rough Trade, 1980)
*"Man Next Door" (Y Records/Rough Trade, 1980)
*"Animal Space" (Human Records, 1980)
*"Earthbeat" (CBS, 1981)


*Slits drummer, Palmolive, dated Clash frontman, Joe Strummer.
*Ari Up's mother Nora married John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols.
*The Slits also appear in Don Letts' "The Punk Rock Movie" (1979) and live footage of the band playing at London's Vortex Club is included in the "Punk! The Early Years" DVD.
*The Slits are namechecked in the song 'Losing My Edge' by LCD Soundsystem
*Former band member Kate Korus famously bit the ear of Shane MacGowan at a 1976 Clash concert.


* Guinness Book of British Hit Singles - 16th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-190-X
* Guinness Book of British Hit Albums - 7th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-619-7

External links

*The Slits [ Official Site]
*myspace|theslits|The Slits
*Punk 77 - [ The Slits]
*Women of 1970's Punk [ The Slits]
*Ari Up [ official site]
*Palmolive [ official site]
*the home office []


*3am Magazine [ Tessa Pollitt interview]


* [ PUNKCAST#1062] Live @ Syrup Room, Brooklyn on Nov 3 2006 (Realplayer, mp4)
* [ PUNKCAST#1184] Live @ McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn on Jul 28 2007 (Realplayer, mp4)

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