I’m going to go to the website of Chemikal Underground today:-

The evocatively dark, neo-gothic visions of ex-Vaseline founder Frances McKee found a new outlet in 2000 with her band Suckle. Joined on vocals by her sister Marie, Suckle would go on to release one album and two EP’s with Chemikal Underground, garnering praise from all quarters and cementing her reputation as a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter.

It was of course Frances’ earlier musical incarnation, The Vaselines with Eugene Kelly, that brought her work to prominence: hailed as Kurt Cobain’s favourite band, The Vaselines would have three of their songs covered by the ill-fated band – notably Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam which appeared on the now legendary MTV Unplugged album.

From Chemikal Underground’s point of view, getting the chance to work with Frances was a real honour, having been longtime Vaselines fans. 

A review in a Sunday newspaper back in 200o suggested that Suckle “….brought to mind Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds fronted by the vocal duo from Stereolab.”

I’ve only a couple of songs, courtesy of their inclusion on two different Chem compilations, so I can’t really say if that’s entirely accurate.

mp3: Suckle – Saturn
mp3: Suckle – To Be King

It certainly wasn’t what I expected…..



  1. Suckle was more of a departure from The Vaselines than any of Eugene’s bands (collaborations excluded).

    As a fan boy since back in the day I was curious to hear this output after such silence from Frances. Initially, I was disappointed – my expectations not met, whatever those expectations were. But… repeat listens gave the songs room to breathe without the weight of The Vaselines – which I had cast upon them. And so, I became a fan of Suckle.

    When hearing Saturn for the first time I remember thinking it sounded like folk from the 60s – e.g. Pentangle I then had to listen to Pentangle as I’d never knowingly listened to them. I was in the ball park. Who knew?

    Favourite three Scottish bands…

    1. Cocteau Twins
    2. The Associates (also known as Associates)
    2. The Vaselines

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