Skunk Anansie / Black Traffic Tour / Live in London @ Brixton Academy
Skunk Anansie wrapped up their tour in their hometown and if you think it is London you are not entirely right. Skin was actually playing in the neighborhood where she grew up, Brixton, South London, and she addressed to the London’s Saturday night audience screaming out “Brixton!” at every possible occasion. The atmosphere at the Brixton Academy was hysterically intimate and irreverent, the chemistry on stage so undisputed to make us forget about the ten years gap between 1999 “Post Orgasmic Chill” and 2009 greatest hits “Smashes And Trashes”
Guitarist Ace comes out first and by the time the tight-seethrough-black dressed Skin comes on stage opening with “The Skank Heads”, the place is set on fire. The crowd stands up immediately and the energy is palpable as the set list unrolls with “I Will Break You” and “I Believed in You” off from their latest studio album “Black Traffic”. The new material sounds powerful and truthful to their punk-brit rock origins and mildly metal infused to make people’s head and hair dance along a frenetic frequency.
“God Loves Only You” from the official reunion studio album “Wonderlustre” is next and Skin jumps, runs, and get closer and closer to the front row. She gives her heart and soul, she means every word she is singing as much as they mean to her fans and seeing her crowd-surfing on several occasions during the show is just a wonderful and mutual energy exchange. A calmer and more soothing mood brought by “I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero” is a really a “kila!” moment as Skunk Anansie predicted in their statement, “It’s a song about the perils of putting people you love on pedestals. We look forward to playing this one live, gonna be a kila! “. The strings have been arranged by Wil Malone (Adele, The Verve), and the song is a beautiful substitute for the lack of “You’ll Follow Me Down” in the set list.
A trip down memory lane includes “Weak” from 1996 debut album “Paranoid and Sunburnt” and “Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)” and from the moment this power ballad with hints of hard rock and grunge starts, it is like living the 90′s all over again. It was a period where music, videos, and especially the charts were full of different genres, variegated, and all equally worthy hits like this Skunk Anansie everlasting one. “Because of You”, a title unfortunately associated to Kelly Clarkson, is haunting and keeps the energy flowing, Skin’s voice is a true gift and reflects her funny and edgy persona that keeps on mocking the guys from security in front of the stage during the concert and inciting the audience to stand up from their seats all together because in this way “you have the power and they can’t do anything”, referring to the security staff telling people to sit down.
The first set closes with another “Black Traffic” track, “Sad Sad Sad” followed by the post-grunge hit “Charlie Big Potato”, a sexy-creepy and visceral tune, a perfect hymn to leave the stage before coming back to “Tear The Place Up” one last time and thank the audience that included Skin’s father for coming to support them in a time of economical crisis. The symphonic and glorious “Secretly” sweeps away everybody once again before Skin’s last and epic crowd-surfing as she entirely performs the closer “Little Baby Swastikkka” among the thousand of people. Screaming the first line “Who put the little baby swastikkka on the wall?” illuminated by a red light, this is one of the most incredible moment of the night.
“If I could get up there I would”, she says to the people on the balcony, but actually it is like she did. The front-woman entertained, shared her love, rage, and energy until the very last second. Skunk Anansie gave a lesson about music, voice, pure entertainment and on the important connection between artist and their fans. Wish more bands were like this and more London concerts as heated as this one. To quote one of their albums and to put it with an hash tag #postorgasmichill