Sneaker Pimps

Sneaker Pimps

Sneaker Pimps are a British Trip-hop band formed in Hartlepool, England in 1995. 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 Chris Corner and Liam Howe (both ex-DJs), who then recruited Kelli Dayton (formerly of Lumieres, now recording under the name Kelli Ali) for vocal duties. After the first album, the band felt that demos for 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. Combined with the fear of being identified with the fad for trip-hop acts (e.g. Portishead), Dayton was asked to leave the group, and Corner became the singer.

Side projects

Chris Corner released two solo albums in 2004 and 2006 under the band name IAMX titled "Kiss + Swallow" and "The Alternative". He has also sung guest vocals for TNT Jackson and Moonbootica, as well as produced Robots in Disguise. He also collaborates with Sue Denim from Robots in Disguise, under the name Sibling. Joe Wilson formed Trash Money with Chris Tate in 1999 and plays live with Client. Liam Howe records music under the name The Zip as well as producing Free Repeater. David Westlake currently plays drums in Trash Money, has done session work for Natalie Imbruglia, Mediaeval Baebes, 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 will be releasing it through One Little Indian late Autumn 2008. She is quoted as saying this is a very different affair to her two previous solo albums, Tigermouth and Psychic Cat. Rocking Horse was produced by Max Richter.


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

Also note:

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



  • Becoming X (1996) - #27 UK, #111 US, #1 US Heatseekers
  • Becoming Remixed (1998) - #30 UK, #24 US Heatseekers
  • Splinter (1999) - #38 UK
  • Bloodsport (2002) - #59 UK, #16 US Electronic, #46 US Indie
  • SP4 (unreleased) - most songs ended up on Chris Corner's IAMX project
  • SP5 (Currently in production) (2008)


Year Song UK singles U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Modern Rock U.S. Hot Dance Music/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

  • 1996 "Firestarter"
  • 2002 "Kiro TV"
  • 2002 "M'Aidez"

Fifth album

From 2006 to 2008 the band sporadically worked on album number 5, having recruited a new, yet unknown, female singer. The following tracks were leaked onto the internet in December 2006:

  • "Samaritan"
  • "Sun Ate the Moon"
  • "Rush"
  • "The Shutdown"
  • "Elias"
  • "Girl in a Box"
  • "Satellite" (a loop of the music can be heard at the official Sneaker Pimps site)

There is a significant question among the listeners as to the authenticity of these leaked tracks. Fans theorize that they may be audition recordings, rough cuts, or outright forgeries. Reasons cited by skeptical fans include the distinct discrepancy in style and tone, and low complexity of the tracks - as compared with other releases by the Sneaker Pimps. There is, as of yet, no official word on the leaked tracks.

The band also remix and produce other artists under the name Line of Flight.

In addition, the Sneaker Pimps collaborated with Marilyn Manson for the 1997 single "Long Hard Road Out of Hell".

External links

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