Skunk Anansie at Cadogan Hall
Seated in stalls and draped over the balconies of Sloane Square’s Cadogan Hall, a rather diverse crowd eagerly awaits the return of alternative quartet Skunk Anansie at their first ever acoustic gig. The stage is surprisingly diminutive, given that the band is renowned for its energetic concerts, with a camera crew surrounding the set and a mini orchestra of violinists residing on the right.
The band takes to the stage closely followed by front-woman Skin, who is greeted with overwhelming applause, adorned with a theatrical, shoulder-plated jacket resembling a gothic armadillo, and striking bleached hair. Skin silences the audience with Brazen, her unique, angelic vocals filling the arena with operatic cries of “Why don’t you weep?”, which hold the crowd in awe.
The singer removes her jacket, revealing a see-through top and causing the audience to whoop and cheer. The acoustic rendition of Infidelity is both soothing and haunting: violinists bow long minor notes and goose-bump provoking harmonies, complementing Skin’s passionate and powerful, yet gentle vocals. Vulnerable, dark and exposed, this is unlike anything we have seen from Skunk Anansie before, but it works beautifully.
Classics from first album Paranoid and Sunburnt, such as 100 Ways to Be a Good Girl, Charity and the popular Weak all evoke standing ovations from the crowd. Tracks from Wonderlustre are also well received; particularly You Saved Me, which Skin affectionately labels “the wedding song”. She encourages the crowd to “get up and boogie” to I Believed in You from new album Black Traffic. The group’s performance of the timeless Hedonism is perhaps the highlight of the night as it unites the audience, who stand swaying to the comforting melody, while Skin softly sings “I hope you’re feeling happy now.”
Even when the concert appears to be over, there is such encouragement from the audience with each member stood stomping and chanting for more, that the band bounds back onto the stage. They finish with more classics, causing one avid fan to show their appreciation by head-banging over the balcony. Skunk Anansie are back and, by the sound of things, 2013 will be a phenomenal year for music.
Photos: Luna Ingrassia
For further information and future events visit Skunk Anansie’s website here.
Watch the video for Hedonism here: