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.
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.
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 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. 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.