For 20 years they have been known for heavy rock riffs, thick bass and politically charged lyrics, penned by one of the most iconic women in rock. But recently Skunk Anansie have said they are nervous.
Ahead of an “unplugged” gig in London’s Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square, Skunk’s singer, Skin, confided that acoustic gigs can leave you feeling exposed – a feeling both scary and exhilarating.
“In many ways it is quite terrifying because we’re used to kind of hiding behind lights and the show and being this great live band and everyone going crazy and for me I’m literally just standing there and singing really quietly.”
It is nearly two decades since Skunk Anansie played their first gig at The Splash Club in London in March 1994.
“There’s some kind of vulnerability in the lyrics and there’s a delicacy in the words and how the songs are constructed,” said Skin. “That sometimes gets a bit missed and I think that doing an acoustic show really exposes that beauty and that delicacy and that vulnerability and really exposes us as musicians. You know, we can see how good we really are. Or how rubbish we are.”
Their first and second albums peaked at eight and nine in the UK chart respectively in 1995 and 1996.
After a hiatus in 2001 they reformed in 2009, and while their love for the music has not changed in the meantime, Skin thinks playing music in 2013 is a different world.
“I think now, 10 to 15 years later, the industry seems to be so obsessed with music made by kids, which is fantastic – I love music made by kids – but I also like music by old jazz singers, you know? And I think the variety – the lack of variety – I think we’ve found to be the hardest thing for us. You know, if you’re not this then you’re just not in it”.
Skunk Anansie released their most recent album ‘Black Traffic’ in September 2012.