A long time ago, in a blue football stadium, I saw Skunk Anansie support a certain 80s rock band (ohh ok, it was Bon Jovi, now shush). The day wasn’t a great one, the weather was crap, the PA system poor and the entire day was largely forgetable. At the time Skunk Anansie were about as popular as they got, and I can remember how disappointed I was coming away from that gig.
Last night, reformed and with a Greatest Hits package to push, they appeared in Glasgow and OH MY GOD they really delivered. It took a couple of songs to get going but it’s easily the most energetic performance I’ve seen for a while, and the crowd reacted in kind.
It’s fair to say that the lead singer Skin, is pretty out there, but she really was enjoying herself and the reaction from the crowd and soon the energy was flowing back and forth. Somehow, amongst all her bouncing around, and one epic crowd surf from the stage to the end of the main standing area and back, she continued to deliver with that stunning voice of hers.
It’s obvious that this is a band that is well versed in performing live, with very few rough edges on show, and part of me felt that they really should’ve been somewhere larger but given that usually means the horrid big red shed (S.E.C.C.) I’m certainly glad they didn’t. One thing that the O2 Academy always delivers, if the band manage to generate it, is atmosphere in spades. Accused of being the loudest audience of the tour so far, the grin that broke across the faces of the band as we raised the roof once more was a genuine sign that they too were having fun.
And that’s the one thing I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting it to be loud, vicious at times, hauntingly beautiful at others, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so much damn fun. If this band get their next album right, and some of the new songs* on their Greatest Hits package suggest they aren’t going too far wrong, then we could have another great rock band back on the scene. Welcome back, Skunk Anansie!
* note to record labels: parking new tracks on a Greatest Hits compilation album isn’t going to make us buy the album.