Kenickie (Lauren Laverne) photos
Between 1995 and 1998, Kenickie released over 60 tracks, packed with stories of teenage life and sparkling with wit. Given they were doing their A levels at the same time as charting, they had a unique voice: Walrus sounds like a dig at a teacher, Sk8tebdn Song talks about the thrill of learning to ollie, and there are tales of drinking, dating, and dressing to thrill. Around at the same time as the Spice Girls, Kenickie were the real embodiment of Girl Power - writing their own material and performing it live with wit and verve.
Sean's photographs of Kenickie
Where are they now?
Johnny X is the only one still releasing records, as far as I know. He now records lo-fi acoustic songs under the name J Xaverre. His debut album These Acid Stars is well worth checking out, although it's very different to Kenickie.
After Kenickie split, Lauren released a five track EP and guested on 'Don't Falter' by Mint Royale. Lauren is now a DJ with XFM and appears regularly on TV as a commentator and host. Lauren told The Word magazine April 2006 issue: "[The most important thing I learned with Kenickie is] that bands don't last forever and that's OK. It's a good lesson and it helps me in what I do now. I don't have any kind of anger about music. You know how some people are full of rage? I can look at bands like the Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys and I know that if I'd been 14 now... my heart bursts just thinking about it. I would've loved them, but I know I'll never live it in the same way as I did and I don't know if you ever can." She told the magazine her ambition is to be a DJ of the level of Terry Wogan.
Emmy-Kate and Marie were in the band Rosita shortly after Kenickie split. They released at least six tracks and played some gigs, but were short lived. They sounded like a cross between a 50s girl band and Kenickie. Their records (mostly vinyl) come up on Ebay from time to time.
Above all else, you should try to pick up a second hand copy of debut album At The Club. The only Kenickie CD still in print is The Peel Sessions, which includes live versions of tracks from the debut album and selected b-sides. Highly recommended, not least for Johnny X's sleeve notes about the sessions and the journey Kenickie took through the music industry. "Kenickie were always misunderstood," he writes. "I hope this record does something to redress the balance. I'd like to think that in the future, when tombstones have CD-Roms incorporated, Kenickie's should contain the version of Come Out 2Nite, herein."