A Skunk Anansie concert is one of those events that you wish you could experience again. Forget if the show is acoustic. Following the highly acclaimed first acoustic concert last year at the Cadogan Hall in London, Skin, Ace, Cass and Mark toured part of Europe between late 2013 and early 2014 closing with the London show at the Hackney Empire on March 25.
Before the British band walked on stage for their last acoustic show ever, Blackpool singer-songwriter Karima Francis entertained the public with her impressive voice and powerful tunes taken from her latest albums The Remedy and Waves.
In the meanwhile, the theatre filled up quite quickly and it didn’t take too long before Skin and Ace made their highly expected entrance on stage to open the show with Brazen. Listening to Skin’s intense voice accompanied by Ace’s acoustic guitar was the first occasion for everyone in the audience to experience what the expression goose bumps really means. Soon after, they were joined by the rest of the band, bass player Cass and drummer Mark; also on stage Erika Footman (who recently got married to Mark) at the keyboards and backing vocals, and guitarist Len Arran who has been writing songs for the band and Skin since 1991.
The set list developed through many of the band’s hits, which allowed Skin to deliver one of the best vocal performances a human being can only hope to witness in a lifetime. Emotional and overwhelming, her undisputed charisma and stage presence blew the audience away while still allowing a sense of intimacy. Constantly interacting with the public, Skin and Cass would often interrupt the show to tell jokes or funny anecdotes, actualising a very familiar, private-party atmosphere. So, it was no real surprise when the song “You Saved Me” presented the perfect occasion for Skin to declare her love to her wife, sitting in the first row of the theatre with the rest of the family members. And yet, in all this camaraderie and sweetness, beyond an affectedly illustrious cover of Paul Weller’s You Do Something To Me, the impression was that the typical Skunk Anansie heavy attitude was constantly on the verge of coming out and explode on the enchanted public, squeezing through the notes of pieces like “Charlie Big Potato” or “Twisted”. In some kind of way you could feel in the air there could always be a chance to see Skin diving on the public, Mark banging hard on the drums and Ace grabbing the electric guitar to deliver one of his thrilling solos. Obviously, it didn’t happen, as Skin kept herself within the lines of walking through the stalls and Mark had to just brush the drums… Could this be the reason why they promised they’re done with acoustic tours and will be back in a couple of years in plain old Skunk Anansie’s style?
Whatever the future brings, let it be one more Skunk Anansie tour, please.
Complete set list:
Because of You
Infidelity (Only You)
I Hope You Get to Meet Your Hero
100 Ways to Be a Good Girl
I Believed in You
You Saved Me
I Will Break You
God Loves Only You
You’ll Follow Me Down
You Do Something To Me (Paul Weller cover)
My Ugly Boy
Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
Twisted (Everyday Hurts)
Charlie Big Potato
I Can Dream