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Skunk Anansie: Brixton Academy

Saturday 4th February 2017
12th February 2017

andy rawll
Words: Andy Rawll, Pictures: Eric Duvet

skunk anansie

For once, the best Skunk in town wasn't to be found on the windswept backstreets of Brixton.

Our homecoming heroes lit up the academy with a smoking hot performance of songs old and new, their conscience still keen, their passion unbridled and their energy infectious.

skunk anansie

Inspired by the dark West African folk tale of Anansi the spider-man (I'd love Sam Raimi to turn that into a movie) and the voice of a renegade angel who had long since abandoned her birth name, the band transcended rather than bridged the gap between the dissonance of grunge and the cynicism of Britpop. Better still, their uniquely beautiful yet angry noise continues unabated twenty years on with the same core of four: Cass, Ace, Skin and Mark.

While their contemporaries struggle to survive the passage of time and aging of their core audience, Skunk Anansie have remained relevant for successive generations through passionate music that continues to address contemporary themes such as gender equality and racism. As a result, the Academy was packed with folk of all ages, colours and creeds and the atmosphere was as raucous as it was reverential.

skunk anansie

This was a gloriously seismic gig of over two hours spanning songs from their debut radio release 'Little Baby Swastikkka', via their 90s hits like ‘Charlie Big Potato’ to the excellent ‘Death To The Lovers’ from the latest album. In fact, over half of the main set consisted of songs from their three millennial releases and received no less acclaim than older tracks.

The metronomic, but compelling ‘I Believed In You’ and pounding ‘I Will Break You’ from 2012s consistently superb ‘Black Traffic' were particular standouts. Last year's 'Anarchytecture' is a more eclectic and less electric album and although it lacks the cohesive identity of its predecessors, five of the strongest tracks graced the set-list and benefitted from a harder edged live delivery, especially new electro anthem 'Love Someone Else'.

skunk anansie

Naturally, the most fervent response met their most beloved songs 'Hedonism' and 'Twisted' with voices, bodies and souls of the band and crowd intertwined as Skin walked out across an ocean of willing hands and dived backwards into the loving arms of a rapt audience for her return journey to the stage.

While Mark and Ace deliver powerful rhythm and sonic colour, it's predatory bassist Cass that provides the hypnotic groove and a cool visual counterpoint to Skin who remains the hyperkinetic heart that draws the eye and engages the soul. Her original girlish shout has matured into a breathtaking voice of intense power with a tender core and she sure knows how to use it.

skunk anansie

A simply stunning show, which the Academy just about managed to contain without incurring structural damage. Based on this performance, 2017 should be a very good year for the band and the step-up from theatres to arenas appears inevitable.

Contrary to the bands assertion, it's just because it felt so good, that made it so right.


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skunk anansie

skunk anansie



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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