Stiltskin is a Scottish post-grunge/rock band, who first achieved widespread popularity in the mid-1990s. Stiltskin's longest-standing current member is vocalist Ray Wilson. They are best known for their 1994 UK chart-topper, "Inside".
The band was formed by guitarist Peter Lawlor and bassist James Finnigan in 1989, with drummer Ross McFarlane joining shortly after. Finnigan had previously worked with Hue and Cry, whilst Lawlor was returning from New York. Many people were auditioned for the role of lead singer including Naomi Cleaver, who is now a successful television presenter. In the region of forty people attended the various auditions at the Primrose Hill studios of Lawlor's company, Water Music Productions. A failure to find a suitable vocalist left the band on hold until 1993, when they came across vocalist Ray Wilson, who had been in a road traffic accident and required a lift to make the gig he was performing later that evening. After watching his performance, the band immediately offered him the position of vocalist. The completed band set to work on the music Lawlor had written for the British Levi's television advertisement, "Creek". The resulting single, "Inside" topped the UK Singles Chart in 1994, but the band failed to produce further chart successes with the follow-up single "Footsteps" reaching No. 34. The Ambrosian Singers performed Lawlor's choir-like intro vocals to "Inside". All instruments on the band's hit "Inside" were played by Peter Lawlor; this was also the case on the album track "An Illusion". Lawlor and bass player James Finnigan worked together in various line-ups since the late 1980s, with Ross McFarlane on drums being drafted in later. The original line-up released only one album, The Mind's Eye, which achieved a silver record in the UK, and sold in decent quantities throughout Europe. The band made significant critical inroads in the US music scene, but little was to follow in the way of sales, though "Inside" reached No. 37 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.
Stiltskin originally split up in 1996, during the recording of their uncompleted second album, for which James Finnigan had been replaced on bass by Aubrey Nunn, who later worked with Faithless.
Lawlor still works for Water Music Productions - he wrote the music for the BBC One 'Rhythm & Movement' idents and also the theme for their 2000 Olympic Games coverage and the theme for the Premier League and FA Cup football matches shown on TV.
McFarlane went on to work with The Proclaimers and achieved another number one in the UK charts. He is now drumming in Sharleen Spiteri's new band.
Ray Wilson joined Genesis and recorded Calling All Stations with the band (released in 1997) and toured Europe the following year. In 1999 he formed Cut_. In 2002 he launched a solo career, followed by a Stiltskin "reunion" in 2005, which featured no original members except for Wilson himself and touring keyboardist Irvin Duguid (who later left the line-up).
The band released the album She in 2006. The band toured Europe during 2006 and 2007, and a live album entitled Stiltskin Live, recorded on 25 October 2006, with material from this tour, was released in April 2007. In 2008, Stiltskin toured across Europe. A new Stiltskin album called Unfulfillment was released in 2011.
- Studio albums
- 1994 The Mind's Eye (CD/LP/MC) UK No. 17
- 2006 She (CD)
- 2011 Unfulfillment
- Live albums
- 2007 Stiltskin Live (CD)
- 1994 "Inside" (CD/7"/12"/MC) UK No. 1
- 1994 "Footsteps" (CD/7"/MC) UK No. 34
- 1995 "Rest In Peace" (CD/7"/MC)
- 2006 "She" (CD)
- 2006 "Lemon Yellow Sun" (CD)
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Image from Discogs