Photo: Tom Barnes
Skunk Anansie's retrospective '25LIVE@25' shows that after more than two decades in the business, lead singer Skin's voice has retained its power and spellbinding qualities.
As you listen to the colourful, eccentric, and spirited recordings, it's clear to understand how Skunk Anansie managed to prevail in the 90s, when mainstream music was dominated by bands like Oasis and Radiohead.
They offered the misfits a place to fit in or more importantly feel they can be themselves.
Skin explains herself: “As a black female singer, it was hard to get accepted in many ways. And then I was onstage, doing exactly what I envisioned in my dreams. And I felt for the first time that I was accepted.”
Guitarist Ace added:“London in the 1990s was a mish-mash of people.
“But bands weren’t – it was always four blokes with identical haircuts. We were a band of people who were real. That’s why we were radical.”
Skin's voice has the contralto qualities of Annie Lennox - but there is deeper force behind it that is unleashed on punk anthems like 'Spit You Out' and 'Yes It's Fucking Political'.
Watch 'Weak' live:
The 51-year-old singer - whose real name is Deborah Anne Dyer - has been blessed with a group of bandmates, Ace, bassist Cass and drummer Mark, who are true masters of their instruments.
It's no wonder the band have supported the likes of the late music icon David Bowie, U2 and Lenny Kravitz during their 25-year career.
As final song 'You'll Follow Me Down' brings a close to this epic 26-song nostalgia trip, we instantly want to head to one of their shows.
Skunk Anansie are by no means a heritage group, and we hope they'll bless us with a follow-up to their 2016 LP 'Anarchytecture'.
In the meantime, to get your live fix, the band have just been announced as headliners for Beautiful Days Festival in Devon on August 16.
'25LIVE@25' is available in a variety of collector’s editions – signed deluxe CD, coloured vinyl box-set, a deluxe multi-format bundle, on cassette, with exclusive merchandise and more here.