WORDS AND IMAGES BY DESH KAPUR
Skin Strutted And Stalked Across The Stage, Fierce And Captivating, Her Voice Big, Bold And Beautiful,
The O2 Victoria Warehouse was already very busy when I got there, very busy indeed. Tonight was the twice re-arranged gig for 90’s heroes Skunk Anansie, fronted by the ever so charismatic Skin. This band have the reputation of always putting on a show, plus Skins outfits are legendary. So the fans were assembled; the buzz of anticipation in the air.
Skunk Anansie are Skin (lead vocals, guitar), Cass (bass, guitar, backing vocals), Ace (guitar, backing vocals) and Mark Richardson (drums and percussion). Formed in 1994, disbanded in 2001 and reformed in 2009, the name “Skunk Anansie” is taken from Akan folk tales of Anansi the spider-man of Ghana, with “Skunk” added to “make the name nastier”.
They have released six studio albums, one compilation album, and have had several hit singles from this back catalogue, including “Charity”, “Hedonism”, “Selling Jesus” and “Weak”. In 2004, they were named as one of the most successful UK chart acts between 1952 and 2003 by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, with a total of 142 weeks on both the singles and album charts ranking them at No. 491.
I missed the first band (sorry), but I was very happy to be in time for a band I have heard talk about quite a lot lately, Gen and The Degenerates, fronted by the enigmatic Gen.
Gen and The Degenerates are a new Liverpudlian quintet, who recently released their debut EP, “Only Alive When in Motion”. The band already had early success with their debut singles, “Underwear” and “Runaway Blues” and now they were touring nationally with SKUNK ANANSIE! Imagine how chuffed they are.
By now, the O2 Victoria Warehouse was pretty much full and as the lights went out, the Degenerates walk onto the stage closely followed by Gen herself, resplendent in a black and white (what I hope was) mock fur coat. The place erupted, it seems word has already got out about this band.
As they launched into the first song of the night, what immediately struck me is Gen herself. She has the X-factor and a voice to match. You can’t take your eyes off her as she prowls, twirls and dances across the stage – I’m sure she covered every inch of it, even daring to strut her stuff on the no-go front platform, tut-tut.
Gen and The Degenerates are hard-hitting and anthemic with amazing vocals and soaring choruses, and the crowd are loving it; not that dissimilar in sound to the band they were supporting tonight, to be honest. Full throttle and punky, lush, layered and unique. This band have something to say and the potential to become something very special.
So, after the very excellent Gen and her Degenerates, it was time for the main event, and as is the norm, the stage went black, the crowd noise started to rise and the band walked onto the stage followed by Skin, who was looking very much like Malevesant in a pink suit, extraordinary black headgear and the whole of the O2 Victoria Warehouse went nuts.
“Hello Manchester” and the first chords of “Yes It’s Fucking Political” echoed around the venue. Skin in her element, prowling, snarling and grinning inanely at the crowd in front of her.
What can you say about Skunk Anansie that hasn’t most likely been said already in their 25-year music career? They have done it all, and you can tell, they are so comfortable on the big stage; they use every inch of it, to perfection. Musically they are so tight and completely on point at all times, like a well-oiled machine.
Skin strutted and stalked across the stage, fierce and captivating, her voice big, bold and beautiful, filling the whole venue. She is a natural superstar.
Skunk Ananaise are a powerhouse of rock. Sharp-edged with confrontational, political lyrics and sentiment, songs such as ‘Little Baby Swastika, ‘Yes it’s Fucking Political’ and ‘Intellectualise My Blackness’. And they put on one hell of a show. Both visually and musically they are as fresh and individualistic as they have always been.
So as the night ended with the obligatory encore consisting of two covers “Highway to Hell’ by AC/DC and a very poignant “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters. Skunk Anansie are a force of nature, and nobody is left disappointed. Brilliant stuff.
1/ YES IT’S FUCKING POLITICAL
2/ I CAN DREAM
3/ BECAUSE OF YOU
6/ MY UGLY BOY
7/ CANT TAKE YOU ANYMORE
8/ LOVE SOMEONE ELSE
9/ I BELIEVED IN YOU
10/ GOD LOVE ONLY YOU
12/ WITHOUT YOU
13/ THIS MEANS WAR
14/ INTELLECTUALISE MY BLACKNESS
15/ TEAR THE PLACE UP
16/ CHARLIE BIG POTATO ENCORE
19/ HIGH WAY TO HELL (AC/DC
20/ LITLE BABY SWASTIKKKA
21/ BEST OF YOU (FOO FIGHTERS)
FOLLOW SKUNK ANANASIE
FOLLOW GEN AND THE DEGENERATES
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.