Skunk Anansie performing their Celebrating 25 Years Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Thursday 7th April 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

New York City based Skunk Anansie finally performed their Celebrating 25 Years Tour at Rock City on Thursday night although due to the pandemic it was actually 27 years since they had released their debut album, Paranoid & Sunburnt.

Appearing in her true idiosyncratic style, front woman Skin came onto the stage dressed in black harem pants, white Dr. Martin boots and a strange spiky rubber headpiece, immediately grabbing everyone’s attention. It was nothing more than this packed Rock City crowd expected.

In a time when artists and band members come and go as they please, amazingly Skunk Anansie has had the same line up since 1995. The band simply would not be the same without guitarist Martin ‘Ace’ Kent, bassist Richard ‘Cass’ Lewis and drummer Mark Richardson, all of whom are essential ingredients in Skunk Anansie’s unique chemistry. Complimented on stage by Erika Footman with her strong backing vocals, keyboards and percussion, she has certainly given the band an extra dimension live.

With a darkly lit set, Skin powered through their cracker of an opener Yes! It’s Fucking Political from their 1996 album Stoosh which saw them take this Rock City crowd by storm. For I Can Dream she skilfully played the Theremin as her incredible head piece made her character larger than life, as Ace stomped around the stage and Cass was resplendent in his red top hat.

For Because Of You she removed her eccentric headpiece and showed a delicate side to her excellent voice as she delivered her vocals in a controlled manner, bathed in a spotlight as she stood behind the microphone stand.

It was literally banger after banger with Twisted (Everyday Hurts) and follow up Weak which saw her enchanting vocals and her acoustic guitar playing completely captivate this crowd. My Ugly Boy saw her grab an electric guitar and with the great use of red and yellow lights, Skin owned the stage.

In 2022 the band dropped a couple of new songs, the melodic Can’t Take You Anywhere which came early in the set and the furiously punky Piggy as their first encore number; both of which were very well received.

Love Someone Else saw the stage bathed in purple lights and dry ice and big hit Hedonism had the crowd swaying in awe. Without You saw her with a telecaster around her neck as Ace’s bewitching guitar sounds swirled around the lyrics and had the crowd clapping along. But it was This Means War which was a particular highlight of this incredible show, as she dedicated it to the people of Ukraine.

Charlie Big Potato finished the set with its flashing lights, heavy bass line, pulsing beat and drums. With a scream, Skin left the stage, quickly followed by her very talented colleagues. Back on for the encore having dressed down in a T shirt, Piggy stared the encore which was followed up with a re-worked version of Brazen (Weep) which was a welcome surprise because it isn’t a song that they regularly play live.

A cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell has everyone singing along, before set closer Little Baby Swastika was performed as a duet with Footman with Skin upfront, before an exhausted, hoarse and happy crowd staggered out in to the streets of Nottingham.

On Thursday night Skunk Anansie had both visually and musically delivered a performance that has been as fresh and unique as ever. Although this has been a retrospective show that had spanned their impressive career, this had also been a master class in how to celebrate a milestone with a truly fierce and charismatic band that displayed that there is still much more to come from Skunk Anansie.