21/03/2013 | Civic Hall
With support from: Beware Of Darkness
Join @WolvesCivic on Twitter with #SkunkAnansie
Since reforming in 2009 after their eight-year hiatus, Skunk Anansie have gone from strength to strength. Following the release of amazing new album 'Black Traffic' in September, produced by legendary producer Chris Sheldon; Skunk Anansie head out on their headline UK tour in March.
Since regrouping in 2009 after an eight-year hiatus, Skunk Anansie have gone from strength to strength. Their 2010 album, Wonderlustre, saw the band combine their trademark raw rock riffs, deep funk, frenetic drumwork and lush vocals with more confidence and maturity than ever before. "It's been very natural and unforced - a bit like coming home," says lead singer Skin. "We have a huge fan base that was screaming out for us to do something. We got back together because we have a strong chemistry. We're very proud of our past work, but what drives us is the future." The band, whose line-up is completed by Ace (guitar), Cass Lewis (bass) and Mark Richardson (drums), are a dynamic, alchemical force - something that they were delighted to rediscover after their lengthy break. "We'd been around the world, played with lots of different musicians, come back and realised, boy, we had something very, very special," says Cass. They've been taking that force worldwide, with a succession of sell-out tours and releases. 2011 saw the band complete a sell-out European tour and appear at a series of summer festival shows including Download festival and Pukklepop, as well as take in headline shows at Rock In Roma and Orange Warsaw Festival. They were presented the ESKA Award in Poland for Best International Rock Band, and Skin rode into the Venice Opera House on a white stallion to collect a prestigious La Cavalchina award for her contribution to culture in Italy. The band were also featured on the soundtrack to Zack Snyder's 2011 film Sucker Punch with a raucous cover of The Stooges' 1973 classic 'Search And Destroy' and a remix of Bjork's 'Army of Me'. The band formed in 1994, when Skin (who quit her career as an interior designer to write songs) met Cass and Ace on the North London indie scene. They named themselves Skunk Anansie -inspired by the West African folk tales of Anansi, the spider man -and performed their debut show at London's Splash club later that year. Within 12 months, they were voted Best New British Band by the readers of Kerrang! magazine. After the awards ceremony, drummer Mark Richardson joined the group on a permanent basis. Skunk Anansie -a multi-racial band who blend brooding, funky beats with edgy lyrics, driving metal and punk riffs and fragile ballads -broke barriers from the start. When someone once asked her about Brit-rock, Skin jokingly replied: "We're more clit-rock than Brit-rock". The term 'clit-rock' was then celebrated as an alternative to the testosterone-fuelled genre. By 1995, the group appeared on the soundtrack of Kathryn Bigelow's 1995 film Strange Days, contributing two tracks, 'Feed' and 'Selling Jesus'. After hearing the latter single, radio 'shock jock' Howard Stern predicted that the band would become huge. By 1996, their blistering live shows saw them scoop Kerrang!'s Best British Live Act, and they also earned a nomination for Best Live Act and Best Group at the MTV Europe Music Awards the following year. Before their hiatus, Skunk Anansie released the multi-platinum albums Paranoid And Sunburnt (1995), Stoosh (1996) and Post Orgasmic Chill (1999). Across these three studio releases, they showed their huge versatility and range, moving from politically-charged metal thrash to bittersweet, tender pop, to dub, hip hop, African and Eastern influences. They had a succession of hit singles including the ballads 'Brazen (Weep)', 'Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)', 'Weak' and 'Secretly' where, with her rich, soulful voice Skin channeled a glorious collision of Robert Plant, Martha Wainwright and Phoebe Snow. Skunk Anansie have toured globally with such acts as U2, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, and Rammstein, and in 1999, headlined the Glastonbury Festival. Two years later, however, the band announced that they were to go their separate ways. "We'd burned ourselves out by working too hard," explains Skin. "We were touring and recording constantly, all living separate lives. The chemistry and spirit disappeared. It's not rock-by-numbers. You have to feel it." Following the split, Skin launched a solo career released the album Fleshwounds in 2003. Pared-down and melancholic, it spawned the hit singles 'Trashed' and 'Faithfulness'. However,the2006 follow-up Fake Chemical State, saw her in an ebullient mood. "That album was happier, rock-tastic," Skin explains. "I was on my way back to Skunk Anansie, to myself." Ace, meanwhile, released his 2003 solo album Still Hungry under the name Ace Sounds, which featured collaborations with Shingai Shoniwa from The Noisettes and Skye from Morcheeba. He later joined the band Inner Mantra. In 2002, Cass performed on Gary Moore's album Scars, and also appeared on Skin's solo debut. The same year, Mark joined Feeder following the death of their original drummer, Jon Lee, and remained in the line-up until Skunk Anansie reunited. Eight years after disbanding, Skunk Anansie performed two shows at their old stamping ground London Water Rats (then known as the Splash Club). The gigs had sold out in five minutes. Later that year, they released a greatest hits compilation, Smashes And Trashes (which included three new tracks and a remix collection) and embarked on sell-out European tour. Fired up by the success of their tour, the band entered into the studio in spring 2010 and recorded their fourth studio album. The resultant effort, Wonderlustre, is a set that flows from soaring and elegiac to locked-down, sensual and funky. The album was released in September of that year, and included the singles 'My Ugly Boy', and the gothic, slow-burning 'My Love Will Fall'. Wonderlustre cemented their status as one of rock's most innovative, passionate and soulful bands. "We've got some dirty rockabilly, some fat low riffs, punky sounds and ballads. We listen to new music, but we still sound like ourselves," says Skin. "If we lose that, we've lost the point." The band recently finished recording their fifth studio album in London with world-renowned producer Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro). The as-yet-untitled collection will be released in September and will be supported by an extensive European tour.Support from Beware Of Darkness