3 September 2019
There is something to be said about a sold out Rock City show. Tonight, the crowd is as diverse as a fun fair and there is a hint of excitement in the air – it appears that celebrating 25 years of Skunk Anansie is definitely worth dusting off the dancing shoes for.
If the intro of The Prodigy’s Firestarter was meant to be an ‘in memoriam’ or a sign of things to come both were achieved, the roof of the Rock City was positively flapping when Skunk Anansie entered the stage to the first riffs of Charlie Big Potato. Vocalist Skin was draped in an outfit that appeared to be made out of several miles of gold tin foil, bouncing around like an early retro Christmas present and to be fair, that is exactly what the ‘queen of crowd surfing’ was. The sound was big, the band was tight and Skin lasted to the third song before she was carried all the way back to the mixing desk by endless hands, not missing a note of All In The Name Of Pity. The crowd had no chance to come up for air in between songs that spanned a quarter of a century. I Can Dream, Twisted (Every Day Hurts) and My Ugly Boy were perfectly mixed in with Charity and Weak but just when the crowd thought they had a minute to find their bearings the Skunks tore the place up some more. Skin parted the wild mob in front of her to walk right through the middle, threw herself off a side railing onto admiring hands, altogether disappeared into a good natured mosh pit and the energy was a seriously infectious mood boost. Mark, the powerhouse engine, Ace, string hero extraordinaire and Cass, phenomenal bass master were grinning ear to ear, the stage is where this band comes alive and it was evident that they were having just as much fun as the crowd. The beautifully executed Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good) turned into an epic sing along and politically charged songs like Intellectualise My Blackness and Yes It’s Fucking Political are as relevant today as they were on the day they were written. New tunes What You Do For Love and This Means War were both as enthusiastically received as any of the old favourites, proving that being true to yourself and sticking to a recipe that works is what makes this band so fantastic. They made quick work of two hours and 23 songs. When the show came to a close after having squeezed in a cheeky Highway To Hell cover and the climax of Little Baby Swastikkka, Skunk Anansie looked clearly humbled by the response from an euphoric crowd. This was a perfect, kick-ass rock show and definitely one for the memory bank.