Skunk Anansie - O2 City Hall, Newcastle 25.04.2022
From the bombastic opening of 'Yes It’s Fucking Political' right through to the emotional tribute to Taylor Hawkins with the Foo Fighters 'Best Of You' through the PA ending the night Skunk Anansie captivated the Newcastle crowd and had them hanging on every last word and note.
Wearing a latex head piece Skin took to the stage looking somewhere between Medusa & Maleficent with its tentacles creating shadows and images with the lights. She takes to the raised walk way front stage almost immediately pacing back and forth belting out the lyrics which still have as much meaning if not more today!
This tour should have been the 25th anniversary tour but the world shut down for a while so after a couple of rescheduled dates we are celebrating 28 ish years and while the set has the hits we also get some new songs like 'Can’t Take You Anywhere' written about that friend everyone has, who you just don’t have the same opinions as but you still love them. The band sound massive Cass is as cool as ever on bass with Mark just pounding away at the drum kit and Ace’s guitar work is just class he makes it look so simple but those riffs are just HUGE, adding even more depth to that sound though is Erika Footman on keyboards, percussion and vocal and I found her to be a really big compliment to the four piece I last saw a couple of years ago and I know she’s been with them a while but this was the first time I have seen her and it was brilliant.
Skin is still naturally the centre of it all though and she still blows me away with that voice and range on the likes of 'Weak' and the wonderful 'God Loves Only You'. However it will always be 'Brazen' (held back for the encore section) that gets the hairs standing up on my arms. Such a beautiful powerful song and they nail it every time. Skins voice and stage presence is second to none she can be both ferocious and gentle within a heartbeat. You could see she was itching to be in the crowd but I think safety is key at the minute with too many tours cut short due to illnesses to be risking it.
Last time I saw the band 'This Means War' was a new song and I am so glad it’s still in the set as it’s a strong number that sits with the rest like it’s been there forever 'The Paranoid & Sunburnt' album features most in the set with six songs from it but you can’t argue when the likes of 'Intellectualise My Blackness', 'And Here I Stand' and 'I Can Dream' really can’t be missed out. That being said tracks from all six studio albums are featured in this anniversary set as well as the new ones.
'Charlie Big Potato' is such a perfect set closer and tonight it was one of the best versions I have seen, the whole band coming together as one. Building and building and then bang! Done! Marvellous!!
Another new song 'Piggy' kicks off the encore along with the aforementioned 'Brazen' before band intros and a singalong 'Highway To Hell' lead us to an incendiary 'Little Baby Swastika' to end this incredible performance.
A lot of bands have been paying tribute to Taylor Hawkins (rightly so) during their sets either by a cover or a shout out or dedication but for me Skunk Anansie having the Foos 'Best Of You' blasting out through the PA having everyone singing and dancing celebrating his life when they could have easily done another of their own songs was just perfect and classy! Here’s to many more years of Skunk Anansie!
Skunk Anansie - https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSkunkAnansie
Photos & Review - G's Gig Shots