Skunk Anansie - Live Review
Traffic jams and crap weather all over the country played havoc today and stopped London based openers BONES from getting to the venue tonight and it has been a truly miserable day. As a consequence we are treated to some 70’s funk rock blasting out of the speakers, keeping us entertained.
Skunk Anansie launched straight into Tear The Place Up with Skin bouncing all over the stage in her black and silver jumpsuit literally tearing the place up. Once the hood came down the cap she wore had some serious spikes on it – woe betide anyone who confronts her whilst she wears it.
There was no let up from the band as they set forth to deliver their high energy punk/metal clit-rock to a packed Albert Hall delivering I Believe In You and That Sinking Feeling with total gusto. Skins energy refusing to let up as she strides over to and balances on the crowd barrier, coercing the audience to join in the chorus. A few people who front bands could take a lesson or two from her especially as she is 48 now and she has more energy than people half her age.
Because Of You shows her voice is in top form as she hits the high notes perfectly whilst continuing to jump and spin around the stage like a deranged madwoman but she still took the time to dedicate God Loves Only You to all the people who think God is only for them.
They are out promoting their new album Anarchytecture and Death To The Lovers is being released as a single. It is a dark song which slows things down somewhat but still retains a commercial edge. The band play 7 songs from the new album and all are received like old friends (the new album is excellent and YOU should buy it because it is released independently by the band themselves).
This is our first gig in ages and it feels wonderful declares Skin before the band launch into a stomping rendition of Bullets during which the audience joins in; she isn’t wrong, it is almost two years since they last played live and she celebrated this fact by performing her first stage dive and crowd surf of the evening. Everyone jumps up and down to Twisted (Everyday Hurts) as the crowd pleasers kept coming and coming. Skin continues her forays into the audience walking on their hands; I promised myself I wasn’t going to go into the crowd anymore she says, an epic fail that no-one was complaining about.
Another new tune In The Back Room went down very well with its New Order groove as did Without You and Beauty Is Your Curse. Even late into the set Skin still commands the whole stage with I Can Dream still sounding fresh and vital, her voice still faultless. The rest of the band allowing her to just do her stuff whilst remaining musically solid but not the focus; bassist Cass and drummer Mark Richardson providing a solid rhythm section over which Ace layers his stunning guitar work.
The encore includes 100 Ways To Be A Good Girl with its ska vibe and has the Albert Hall buzzing again, the band following it with Hedonism for which they received the biggest cheer of the evening. They were just blown away by the reaction of the crowd, this being the start of this warm-up mini-tour. For the last song Little Baby Swastikka Skin was, unsurprisingly, back in and on top of the audience again, a fine way to end the show.
If you have never seen this band live then you have to next time they tour, this was a monstrously energetic and powerful performance, and I am looking forward to their return already!
Words: Anthony Firmin
Photographs: Charlotte Wellings