Midweek gigs in Cardiff can be a bit hit and miss. Either they are quiet as the grave, or they are an early sell out. Skunk Anansie rarely come to Wales, so it was always a fair bet that this would be a sell out.
The Nova Twins, as support were playing to a reasonably full hall – which is always a good sign. Either people have made an effort to get in to see them because they have a great reputation, or so that people can bag their favourite spot for the main event. I’m not quite sure which it was tonight, because, as a support act, the Twins were great. They are a mix of firebrand punk with a hint of raucous rap oozing through. Their energy in stage is boundless and they punt out heavy riffs bringing an exciting sound to the audience. they played a great set of anthems thunderous music, with a sassy delivery. They have had a busy touring schedule this year, and still have plenty to go before the year ends, with a few headline shows once their appearances with Skunk Anansie are done. They are a well deserved support to the legendary main act on the bill. For a taste of their unique brand of music, Devil Face can be found here
From their beginnings in 1994 in a London nightclub, Skunk Anansie have proved themselves over and over again that they are, a force to be reckoned with. After 25 years together they have had a string of hit singles and albums and when it comes to their live shows, Skin is the charismatic front woman with a bold personality and powerful presence that makes it show, rather than just another rock gig. the bands intro music starts late, but shakes the building to its foundations as the band take their places on stage. As the lights burn read, Skin appears, shrouded in a costume of tinfoil strips. they catch the light as she immediately launches into ‘Charlie Big Potato’ as their set opener. She strides across the stage delivering track after track pitch perfect totally in control. She is an awe inspiring singer who needs to be seen to be appreciated. By the end of the first song, she has discarded her show clothes and hefty boots in favour of sneakers and a black tee-shirt. Skin is known for her desire to connect with the audience. By the third song (‘All in the Name of Pity) she seeks to leave the stage and tries to reverse crowd surf.
The packed hall came alive as they performed their 23 track set. With some very well known songs (‘Weak and I am’, ‘Hedonism’) flanked by some of the bands lesser known works, the band had the crowd on their side instantly. Unsurprisingly , had Skin forgotten some of her word, there was plenty of help available. The headiness of having a thousand people sing your words back to you was evident in her face. they managed to slide in an excellent cover of ‘Highway to Hell’ that, despite the sometimes poor sound quality was, for many, the highlight of the set.
It was great to see Skunk Anansie playing in Cardiff. It would be fantastic if they could come back soon – it would be gig not to be missed!