Wrapping up their highly-anticipated UK headline tour, Skunk Anansie steamed into Leeds treating their loyal fanbase to a hit-laden set.
A late arrival meant we missed opening act London duo Holocene but there was no missing main support for the night, self-confessed punk rock party-starters Gen and the Degenerates. Fronted by the unforgettable Gen, the band thrashed through their raucous set with vocalist Gen delivering her impassioned opinions on a number of subjects. Loud, opinionated and packed with energy, these degenerates ensured that, despite only having seven songs, those seven hit the mark setting things up perfectly for the headliners.
The first thing to say about the headliners is that, once you cross that line and clap your eyes on vocalist Skin, you will never forget it. An utterly spellbinding woman both vocally and visually, Skin is the kind of frontperson that most bands can only dream of having. Tonight in a black headpiece, Skin strides onto the stage leading the band into a ferocious version of “Yes It’s Fucking Political.”
Nearly 30 years into their career, this is a band who have an absolute wealth of hits under the belts. Here in Leeds, they pick the cream of the crop from that immense catalogue for these fans, many of whom have followed the Londoners from day one. That being said, this was a set of many highlights with the triple treat of “I Can Dream,” “Weak,” and “Twisted (Everyday Hurts)” being ten minutes of what can only be described as pure Britrock perfection.
Elsewhere, new(ish) tracks filter in amongst the classics with their recent single “Can’t Take You Anywhere” sitting alongside “My Ugly Boy” taken from their 2010 Wonderlustre album. Of course, it wouldn’t be Skunk Anansie without the powerful political message and, given the current situation in Ukraine, it comes as no surprise to find “This Means War” being preceded by a dedication from Skin.
“Charlie Big Potato” brings the main set to a climax before the band return for “Piggy” and “Brazen (Weep).” Returning for a magnificent cover of “Highway To Hell,” the band wrapped up this incredible night and UK tour with an unforgettable rendition of “Little Baby Swastikkka.” As the sounds of Foo Fighters “Best Of You” rings out around the Academy, Skunk Anansie leave the stage having proved, yet again, why they are still one of the most important rock bands this country has ever produced.
Skunk Anansie Set List:
1. Yes It’s Fucking Political
2. And Here I Stand
3. Because of You
4. I Can Dream
6. Twisted (Everyday Hurts)
7. My Ugly Boy
8. Can’t Take You Anywhere
9. Love Someone Else
10. I Believed in You
11. God Loves Only You
12. Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
13. Without You
14. This Means War
15. Intellectualise My Blackness
16. Tear the Place Up
17. Charlie Big Potato
19. Brazen (Weep)
20. Highway to Hell
21. The Skank Heads (Get Off Me)
22. Little Baby Swastikkka