23 Skidoo

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23 Skidoo
General information
Genre (s) Industrial , experimental music , post-punk , alternative rock , hip-hop
founding 1979
resolution 2003
Founding members
Johnny Turnbull
Fritz Catlin
Sam Mills
Last occupation
Johnny Turnbull
Alex Turnbull
former members
Tom Heslop

23 Skidoo was a British band that moved between industrial , experimental music , post-punk and alternative rock . She took up various models in her music, including drum music from Burundi and Japan ( Taiko , Fela Kuti ), early New York hip-hop and the amalgamation of industrial, post-punk and funk , as seen in the contemporary bands A Certain Ratio , Throbbing Gristle , Cabaret Voltaire , The Pop Group and This Heat .


23 Skidoo was founded in 1979 by Fritz Catlin, Johnny Turnbull and Sam Mills and later joined by Alex Turnbull and Tom Heslop.

Their first single Ethics was released in 1980, followed by the single Last Words (produced by Stephen Mallinder and Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire). The debut album Seven Songs was released in 1982. The EP Tearing Up the Plans was released without the Turnbull brothers, who were touring Indonesia at the time. Guitarist Sam Mills and singer Tom Heslop left the band shortly afterwards. With the addition of bassist Sketch, the lineup stayed the same until they broke up in 2003.

When the Turnbull brothers returned from Indonesia, they were influenced by Gamelan and recruited Aswad's horn players for their EP Coup , which also contained samples from Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola . The Culling Is Coming (1983) and Urban Gamelan (1984) followed next and were criticized at the time for their approach to abstract tones.

After that, 23 Skidoo did not publish any new material until 2000. Only one compilation, Just Like Everybody , was released in 1987.

In 1989, when they turned their attention to hip-hop , the Turnbull brothers founded the Ronin label and released material by Deckwrecka , Roots Manuva , Rodney P and others. In 1991 they signed with Virgin Records and the advance payment enabled them to build a new studio. In 2000 they published 23 Skidoo , which included contributions from Pharoah Sanders and Roots Manuva. This was followed in 2002 by a compilation of singles, The Gospel Comes to New Guinea , and for the first time on CD, new editions of Seven Songs and Urban Gamelan .

The group was disbanded by the Turnbull brothers in 2003.


The name of the band refers to the phrase "23 Skidoo" from the USA in the 1920s , which was very well known at the time and which means something like "get away quickly" or "get away while you are still doing well".


  • 1982: Seven Songs
  • 1983: The Culling Is Coming (featuring David Tibet )
  • 1984: Urban Gamelan
  • 1987: Just Like Everybody (compilation)
  • 2000: 23 skidoo
  • 2002: The Gospel Comes to New Guinea (compilation)
  • 2002: Just Like Everybody Part 2 (compilation)

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