Born in Edinburgh in 1966, oor Shirley is the "Rock-chick" supreme, a new millennium Chrissie Hynde with attitude. The lead singer, guitarist and all-round front person with Garbage, this wee lassie packs a big punch alright, a real "sex kitten with claws".
She is, in truth, every bit the forthright, no holds barred individual that the records tend to suggest she is, and has little problem with speaking her mind either privately or in public. This is the girl who famously expressed her sincere wish that The Spice Girls ought to be "tarred and feathered." Miaaoww!
This is also the girl who, on leaving a journalist alone in her hotel room for a few minutes, told him "Don't wank on my sheets."
And, sure enough, he didn't dare.
Shirley cut her teeth (and presumably her sharp tongue too) with Edinburgh band "Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie", joining them in 1984 before waving goodbye to them in 1993. She then joined "Angelfish" and it was whilst touring America with them in 1994 that her big break came along.
So, that's where Bin Laden has been hiding ...
Opportunity came knocking in the form of musicians/producers Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker from Madison, Wisconsin, a place Shirley now describes living in as being "like "Fargo", but without the funny bits"! The trio had spotted her in an Angelfish video on late night MTV. (Lucky? It was only ever shown once!) On the evidence of that, they invited her to audition for the band they were putting together and the rest, as they say, is history.
Once described as "possibly the world's first gothic-grunge-disco band", it is hard, if not impossible to imagine Garbage without Shirley Manson. Her rich, smoky, haunting voice provides the perfect complement to the band's highly charged pop sound, with the ability to snarl and seduce in the same breath. In the intro to "Queer", when Shirley slides in with the words, "Hey boy take a look at me, let me dirty up your mind", somehow you just know she means it.
In a music world that is littered with sanitised Celines and pouting pubescent Britneyvirgins, she is a delightful and much needed breath of foul air.
Tracks you simply must hear before you die include "Stupid Girl", "Queer", "Vow" and "Push it".
SHIRLEY MANSON TRIVIA FOOTNOTE:
Until quite recently Shirley used to like eating burnt matches, describing it as "just one of my perversions"! We can't imagine why she gave it up.