Six Inch Killaz: Shoot to Kill #2

Six Inch Killaz live at Cyberia
↑ Live at the Planet Patrol launch at Cyberia, Summer 1995. Photo by Pearl

Part 2: Destroy your way of life

Believe it or not, as I said before, drag and trannies had been modish, almost trendy in the few years previous to the Killaz formation in 1994. This was kinda worrying to us 'cos the last thing we wanted to be seen as was some sort of bandwagon jumping novelty freakshow. Luckily we avoided the heyday of the drag superclubs like Kinky Gerlinky in the Empire Leicester Square. By the time we hit the streets it was subsiding back into being a slightly seamy subculture again.

The other thing that was happening, of course, was the Internet. It was beginning to spread like a rash across the country by 1995. Almost impossible now to imagine a world without it isn't it? But in early 1995, hardly anyone in the UK had ever received an email, let alone launched a web browser. it's as mindboggling as the fact that few people had mobile phones back then. Remember having to look for a working payphone? Wow.

(And the other other thing that was happening was Britpop. More about that later.)

Anyway, I was one of the early adopters, a first jobber at one of London's first web and online agencies. It was a mad time, a bit like the wild west, with crazy schemes being launched left right and centre and disappearing as quickly.

One such crazy scheme we were working on was Planet Patrol, a very before-its-time online social networking system aimed at the Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgendered community. I was a junior designer on it, as well as having fun moderating its Transgender boards. With consumer brands chasing the incredibly affluent "pink pound" it seemed natural that this service was being funded by the booze giant Allied Domecq.

So late one night, I was talking to Dave Cook, Planet Patrol's lovely editor, while we were struggling to get the final version live, and he mentioned that he was looking for an act for the launch party. When I described the Killaz, his eyes lit up.

Now if I'd been him, knowing that the CEO of Allied Domecq plc and a lot of other grandees would be in attendance, I would probably have wanted to hear us rehearse or at the very least asked for a demo, but bless him, he clapped his hands together and immediately asked us to play. Think about it. Five volatile trannies (at least one of them probably completely insane), an enclosed space, rock and roll, and an almost endless supply of free booze courtesy of one of the world's largest drinks groups...

What could possibly go wrong?

What it does highlight is people's continuing willingness to book us unheard. It's because people were always mistakenly expecting something neutered, ironic, safe and glam. Not the horror, the horror. It's funny. They never fucking learned.

Kick it till it breaks

By this time, I'd written my first song for the Killaz. It wasn't one of my finer moments, a rather limp rip off of Here Comes The Summer by The Undertones called Go Go Go Go Girl. It really was as bad as it sounds and we dropped it pretty quickly. But it was good to have cracked one off and I later wrote several songs that I'm still proud of today.

Songwriting in the Killaz is the part I felt we were pretty good at right from the start. Back then of course, we all thought we were pretty good at everything; we also had a lot of (for us) energy at the beginning which made it all seem forward moving and exciting.

But looking back, like I say, it's the writing that remains particularly positive for me.

We broke into a few different writing groups. Mona would write a lot of songs by herself. They were pretty wonderful. Luis also pretty much exclusively wrote by himself.

Holly would contribute as well, adding verses and chopping things around, though she was the least active at writing among us. And of course there was the odd song that we'd thrash out as a band, but this tended to be rare.

I wrote whole songs by myself too, but to this day I generally prefer to work with a lyricist, and I found that Jasmine was pretty constantly turning out sheets and sheets of A4 with snippets of lyrics and poems and ramblings. It was all pretty raw, but she definitely had a great knack for a turn of phrase and some really good imagery.

Mona CompleineJasmine Salome
↑ Left, Mona, right Jasmine, at Cyberia 31/8/95. Photo by Pearl

Mona and I would divvy Jasmine's words up and go and hone them and fit them to music. I really enjoyed that process of taking her raw material and making it work, and then bringing it back to the next practice and trying it out. It's the opposite of how I wrote for subsequent band, Electric Shocks, where I'd work out the music for a song, including some idea of a melody, then singer Dan would go away and write lyrics to fit in. It works that way but it feels less involving for me.

Some of the songs I later wrote with Jasmine remain my favourite of all my compositions, including Superstar which the Shocks later covered and She Calls Angels, a late song from '98 which never made it past a rough demo with just me singing and playing guitar. I'll be presenting them both in a future part of this series.

In this early, creative phase, Mona was coming up with gem after gem. I think she wrote (in my and many others' opinion) the Killaz' best song (musically and lyrically) around this time. This was P.I.G.

P.I.G. was inspired by the Andy Warhol / Paul Morrissey film Women In Revolt, which features three disenchanted women (played by Factory drag queens Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis) who join a militant feminist organisation called PIGS (Politically Involved Girls).

It's the perfect Killaz song in a nutshell, short, noisy, witty, relentless and catchy, with a Warhol / Factory reference and an Angry Brigade, situationist attitude.

Mona's lyrics are fantastic, with a sloganeering call / response style which was ideal for Holly and Jasmine's delivery (Jasmine added the third verse because she thought it was too short):

We're the girls from P.I.G.
We're making our own history
P.I.G. is here for you
We're gonna show you what to do

Into the streets of London Town
Blow it up or burn it down
Kick it
Till it breaks

We're the girls from P.I.G.
Ending the century
(Burn baby burn baby burn YEAH!)
P.I.G. is here for you
We're gonna show you what to do
(Burn baby burn baby burn YEAH!)

Into the streets of London Town
Blow it up or burn it down
Kick it
Till it breaks

Politically Involved Girls
Politically Involved Girls

Baader-Meinhoff had their fun,
Patty Hearst load up your gun
(Gotta burn baby burn baby burn YEAH!)
Come and kill some time with me
In your town in your city
(Gotta burn baby burn baby burn YEAH!)

Into the streets of London Town
Blow it up or burn it down
Kick it
Till it breaks

Politically Involved Girls
Politically Involved Girls


Two versions of P.I.G. for you to enjoy. The first is a 4 track demo recorded in July 1995 (our first recording session, fact fans). The second, for comparison is the same song recorded for a single (unreleased) in a 24-track digital studio in 1998. They're both fantastic recordings of the song, though for me the earlier version has much more attack and anger.

Also a couple more of the early songs, including a rare song by Luis, the psychedelic Peppermint Cat which I don't think we ever performed live (probably as it was too long).

  • Play P.I.G. (Mona C / Jasmine S) 2.25 4 track demo recorded at Chrissie Valentine Jeep's, July 1995
  • Play P.I.G. #2 (Mona C / Jasmine S) 2.22 Recorded at Big Fucking Digital, Britannia Row, June 1998. Produced by Robert Mune, engineered and mixed by Martin Overdog-Eden
  • Play Peppermint Cat (Luis H) 3.47
    4 track demo recorded at Chrissie Valentine Jeep's, July 1995
  • Play Shoot To Kill (Mona C / Miss K / Luis H / Holly C) 2.05 4 track demo recorded at Chrissie Valentine Jeep's, July 1995

All songs Copyright Control © 1994 - 2008 Six Inch Killaz.

» Hear more at

Cock out

So, there we were rehearsed up with a short set of great songs for the evening of the Planet Patrol gig. It was to take place at Cyberia on Whitfield Street, which was Britain's first Internet Café.

↑ Soundchecking at Cyberia 31/8/95. Photo by Pearl

I think, looking back, that it was a fairly momentous time for me. It had been years since I'd last played live, and never to such a big and guaranteed audience. Also it was the first time I'd performed dressed in public as well.

But funnily enough I wasn't nervous. I felt tingly and excited but not nervous. I guess I'm not the type to get nerves. Other band members I've played with did and do (and it can be horrible for them - it can result in anything from an attack of the ashen shakes, to needing repeatedly to have a shit), but I'm lucky that I haven't ever had the problem as I absolutely love performing live.

Ahh, nerves. I guess we all deal with it in different ways. Jasmine of course got absolutely slaughtered on the free booze. Holly's friend Dolly (aka Pearl who took most of these shots) almost got chucked out for trying to nick bottles of spirits from the free bars. Holly herself was pretty good natured throughout, as was Mona.

Holly CockJasmine
↑ Holly and Jasmine on top of the booze at Cyberia 31/8/95. Photos by Pearl

But Luis of course stole the show again. We'd successfully managed to talk him out of a repeat performance of the dogfood and ketchup throwing; I guess he compensated by getting coked off his head (his very sweet middle aged sugar daddy Manou always had a supply stashed on his person) and spending most of the evening stripped to the chest, showing off, Iggy-like, a brand new series of razor cuts all over his skinny torso. He also got his cock out during the show and was so impatient to play that he cut off host Dave Cook's launch speech half way through with a volley of swearing so we could get on.

Luis says:

At the Cyberia gig, I just settled for throwing some of the free doughnuts at the rotating ceiling fans. One tiny correction - my partner of the time's name was actually Pussy Minou, okay? Glad to have cleared that one up.

Luckily the PR shots with the Allied Domecq bigwig (where I'm almost sure Jasmine got on his lap) were done before we'd played or had too much to drink. And I think he'd been safely marshalled out of the building before we were allowed on.

After a certain point in the evening, I can't remember a thing. A good time was had by all, I'm sure.

was-Minou says:

Please keep it coming Miss K, it's wonderful, memories are oozing up, as I sit here in the rubber room at the Mrs Shufflewick Home for Elderly Drugettes. Thanks for the adjectival overkill but aren't all sugar-daddies sweet and middle-aged? And sulphate fuelled Luis's iggy moments, as it fuelled iggy's iggy moments; you seem not to remember, but Luis could metabolise it.

I am looking forward to your memory of the H2O gig; I remember 'the horror' having the form of Luis chasing the audience with a microphone stand, guitar and chair then hitting him over the head; I looked on in wonderment, dressed as a baby circus elephant.

& Luis, (hello dear Luis, if you are here checking, as I am, for the next instalment) please, now was-Minou, I was just-Minou. Pussy-Minou, like sweet sugar daddy, is solipsism. Manou, Miss K, though not as I spelt it, seems cruel but fair...

Miss K's sleb factoid:

At the time of the Planet Patrol gig, I'd been in email conversation with none other than the wonderful actor and writer Stephen Fry the week before - we'd started corresponding as I had, like some huge busybody, emailed him to point out a broken link on his website! - and he had promised to come down and support the evening, but mailed me earlier in the day to apologise for missing it due to a 'double booking'. Pah! I'd really been looking forward to meeting him.

Mona says:

Wow - remember the Planet Patrol theme song? It seems like we worked hard for that gig. My best memory of it was that Holly & Jasmine couldn't believe the drinks were really all free all night, so they collected a secret stash in the corner that were never touched. I think I stayed sober, worried about my guitar. Luis had good hair.

Miss K says:

My friend Clint was filming the event, Andy Warhol-style, on my beloved Canon 815E Super-8 film camera. He got burgled a couple of days later and the camera was nicked. I was furious about the camera at the time, but now I'm more curious as to what the film would have been like. The exposed cartridges were nicked with the camera so were never developed.

We want to shag Oasis, then we want to kill Oasis

Things started to happen quite quick after that.

We'd been practicing and writing a lot more and we even managed to record a few tracks (Teenage Whores, P.I.G., Shoot To Kill, Wonderful, Peppermint Cat, Trashola, Too Bad) in Camberwell that summer on a 4-track cassette portastudio owned by our friend Chrissie from the band Valentine Jeep.

I still remember going to a party at Mona and Charlotte's in Stratford the day after we'd done the recording. We were feeling pretty good about it, and we put it on the stereo. I recall being puzzled by the rather embarrassed reaction of most of the listeners. We didn't play all the tracks on the tape...

Around that time, we also made the first of our television appearances. One of the people who'd been doing a summer job at my work was now a director for a late night local "subculture" programme on ITV called Shift and he wanted to do a segment about us.

Almost simultaneously, we were offered our first mainstream gig, in a pub venue called The Swan, in Fulham. We agreed that that night would be the best time for them to film the piece. There would be an interview and some clips from the show.

The Swan, Fulham, 31/01/96
↑ One of Mona's amazing flyers. The Swan, Fulham 31/1/06.

Mona says:

I enjoyed doing the flyers. I kept big scrapbooks at the time so was never short of images.

Miss K says:

I was in awe of your amazing flyers. I'll probably do a post in this serial that focuses on just them - they were so good. With the greatest of respect to Luis, whose initial vision the band was, I think your flyers far outstripped his in terms of summing up the ethos of the band. I remember being intensely jealous of your wonderful scrapbooks as well. You bitch.

In the event, as would often happen, I arrived very late due to work and missed the soundcheck and the interview. The four of them did the interview though and it was great, with Luis a twitchy mess on one side and Mona, Holly and Jasmine exuding a sexy and dangerous charm. Holly fixing the camera with an evil stare and declaring "We want to shag Oasis. Then we want to kill Oasis." when asked about the top band of the day was a great moment.

"We want to SHAG Oasis, then we want to KILL Oasis"
↑ "We want to SHAG Oasis, then we want to KILL Oasis". Still from the SHIFT TV piece, 31/1/06.

I did shoot a short interview myself while getting dressed in the cellar, but it was so embarrassing and mannered that I'm glad none of it survives.

When we got onstage, we could see that there was a scattering of friends in the audience, but mainly, it was locals, who were staring up at us with a mixture of fear, horror and disbelief.

As if on cue, Luis, whose puffy little boobs were now definitely showing on his scarred, naked chest leapt forward, seized a microphone and sneered:

"Good evening! We are Six Inch Killaz. And we've come to DESTROY your way of life!"

And, d'you know, that's exactly what we did to them that night. It was January 1996, the beginning of the KIllaz' best year.

Mona says:

"We want to FUCK Oasis, and then we want to KILL Oasis" - Holly was the funny one. When she swore at the audience she never sounded really mean like Jasmine did. At this time Holly and Jasmine were like one person most of the time. They had names for each other that nobody else used. They would never venture out without a big plastic bottle of vodka and coke. I started drinking vodka and coke because of them.

Miss K says:

Yes, me too. I still default to V&C when I need a pick me up on tour or am otherwise some way into a long night. I remember that they had special names for each other. Jasmine was "Jean" wasn't she? What was Holly's? A shame how that closeness evaporated towards the end.

NEXT TIME: More songs from the vaults, lots of gigs, PRIDE in the Park, and Dr Rhythm has a showdown with a drumming rival...

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