Is Shirley Manson from Garbage a natural redhead?

9 Mar

Friday. The end of a very long and stressful week. Then suddenly, salvation comes in the form of a press release. Garbage has a new album coming out and I a massive fan. Suddenly I am happy and the countdown to release begins…

In background, I discovered this band many, many years ago while living with a friend who made it his mission to properly introduce me to groups ranging from the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins to REM and, of course, Garbage.

While some REM of them failed to make a lasting impact, I loved Shirley Manson right from the start – her sass and strut, her rebellious attitude and her ability to just make damn good music. So naturally, when the news of a new album came through, I decided to make her today’s knowledge quest. And the first question I wanted to answer? Is she a natural redhead?

Now, this might seem like a pretty shallow query given her pedigree and talent, but as someone with a good deal of red up top myself, I’ve always felt an affinity with other women whose hair apparently offers fair warning of their temper. Plus, I’ve seen her try a wide variety of shades, most notably that eye-catching blonde do in the video for Cherry Lips.

After a good deal of research, I happened upon this slightly NSFW story, which confirmed without doubt she is indeed a natural redhead. So with a bit of time up my sleeves, I decided to find out a handful of other interesting things about the performer. Here they are. She . . .

* Is a cast member of video game Guitar Hero 5.
* Once modelled for Calvin Klein.
* Dropped out of school at 16.
* Suffers from body dysmorphia.
* Featured in TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
* Wrote a song called Sleep Together for the Love and Other Drugs soundtrack.
* Was named after an aunt who was herself named after Charlotte Bronte’s novel Shirley.
* Was invited to join Garbage after producer and muso Steve Marker saw her in the Angelfish video for Suffocate Me.

So there you have it. And in case you’re wondering what my favourite Garbage song is, I can’t narrow it down. Instead, let’s just say there are six that hold court – Only Happy When It Rains, Androgyny, Vow, Why Do You Love Me, Paranoid and Cherry Lips. The latter particularly holds a special place in my heart as I used it to start teaching my nephews about good music from when they were very little and could only manage to sing the “Go baby go” bit of the lyrics. And no, for the record, I did not let them watch the film clip. But you can…

So finally, back to the new album. It’s called Not Your Kind Of People and is due out in May. The first single, Blood For Poppies, will be released on March 20. And this is what Shirley has to say about it: ““The song is meant to feel sort of like an abstract dream. The inspiration came from a story I had read in The Los Angeles Times about the opium trade and also from watching the documentary Restrepo. It’s not literal in any sense whatsoever but it’s a song about disorientation and delusion and the human struggle to stay sane in the face of insanity.” Hear the band reveal the track listing below.

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