Tonight it is Rock City, Nottingham for British rock band Skunk Anansie with the tour marking the 25th anniversary of the band – slightly delayed again due to Covid. Formed in 1994, they consist of four members – Deborah ‘Skin’ Dyer (lead vocals), Martin ‘Ace’ Kent (guitar), Richard ‘Cass’ Lewis (bass) and Mark Richardson (drums) – who have all been present pretty much throughout the entire history of the band. Exploding onto the music scene in 1995 with multiple music awards, they have become synonymous for the instantly recognisable vocals of Skin coupled with their hard-hitting, sometimes politically charged, lyrics.
The band walks on stage one by one, with Skin running onto the stage wearing a magnificent headpiece (that is once again a slight change from previous gigs, ensuring a treat for us photographing at the front). As ever she is beaming from ear to ear, I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen a performer smile quite as much!!
For a band that have been around 25 years, forming before I was even born, it’s a testament to the quality of their music which has encompassed different generations and continues to be popular not just with original fans but new younger fans who would not have been around for this in the mid-90s. Hard-hitting songs such as the opening ‘Yes It’s Fucking Political’ manage to convey lyrics that could have been written only last week, again demonstrating the power of their song-writing skills. But praising their strong political vocals would be a disservice to Skunk Anansie, they are so much more than that. With the night blending from powerhouse rock sounds and transitioning seamlessly into the acoustic version of Weak, it’s clear the enforced doctor’s rest has worked.
At the front of the stage, Skin traversed up and down on the platform throughout the night, with the backing vocalist and guitarists Ace and Cass also joining her. Between songs, Skin converses with the crowd, discussing influences for the tracks with some more personal notes and adding a dedication to Ukraine and other countries before launching into ‘This Means War’.
Skin commands the crowd throughout the whole evening – she truly is captivating, with newer tracks ‘Can’t Take You Anywhere’ and ‘Piggy’ both being well received by the crowd who have joined in throughout.
After such an enigmatic performance it’s clear to see why many of their upcoming gigs are sold out and with a set at Glastonbury already booked, they have a great summer lined up. I’d urge anyone to go see them, they will categorically not be disappointed!!
For tickets and tour info check out Skunk Anansie’s website here.
Yes It’s Fucking Political
I Can Dream
Because of You
Twisted (Everyday Hurts)
My Ugly Boy
Can’t Take You Anywhere
Love Someone Else
I Believed in You
God Loves Only You
Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
This Means War
Intellectualise My Blackness
Tear the Place Up
Charlie Big Potato
Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
Little Baby Swastikka