Skunk Anansie are a band who I loved for a long, long time. Since another lifetime ago. Literally. So when they announced this summers tour, I was all over it as soon as tickets were released.
Being the third gig in as many days, I said to my best mates I wasn't going to review this one. I was just going to go and enjoy the gig.... then someone asked me to take a few pictures. My brother from another mother, Lee said to me he was that confident that this would be one of the best gigs I'd ever been to, that if it wasn't he would refund my ticket price... but more on that later.
We got to the main Academy at 8pm figuring there would be no queue and we would walk in more or less to see the support. We were wrong. Due to the extra vigilant security checks and body scanning of everyone (which I have no complaints about and I'm grateful for) it took us about 15 - 20 minutes to get into the Academy, not that long.... but it meant we missed about half of the support bands Queen Zee's set.
If you're a regular reader of this column then you'll know quite often I see bands I've not heard or listened to. I like to be surprised and goodness me did this band shock, surprise and shake the living hell out of me!
When we entered the building you could hear them and it wasn't just the volume that was impressive (with no distortion thank you sound man); their music was something else.
I make no over zealous claims when I say that this band deserved to warm up the rock royalty who are Skunk Anansie. I caught the last 3 songs of their set, have no idea what they were called but it was enough for me be streaming their content for much of today.... This is from an old metal head (Metallica were my favourite band for many years) and this lot are well worth a listen. I'm not the only one of my friends who I've learned since the gig, who have said the same so give them a listen.
Next up the rock gods who are Skunk Anansie.
Firstly remember when I said earlier I was only going to attend the gig and not do a review?
For the first time at a gig I cried. Not once, but three times. This bands songs mean so much to so many people and listening to the lyrics, live, as a trans woman who has gone through so much to be all she is, they had so much more resonance than they did for me previously.
So, when something moves you as much as that, you can't not write about it!
Weak, Hedonism and God Loves Only You had me in tears. Real tears, not crocodile tear either. Skins voice is the pinnacle of what a rock singers voice should be. Her vocal range is incredible and whilst I cannot think of a superlative good enough to do her justice; Let's just say that she is the best live singer I have seen.
That's saying something.
Put that together with a room full of dedicated fans, a band who've played together for 25 years, new songs (oh yes), a cover of the classic Highway to Hell, as well as Skin coming up to the sound desk not 10 feet away from me to crowd surf back to the front again? And you have a gig that you know will be spoken of for years.
If I ever have grandchildren and they ask me about the bands I've seen and who were the best, this is one of the gigs I will mention.
I mentioned that mate asked me to take some pictures? I took 326! I wasn't with my phone all night either, because for large portions of the gig I stood still and took it in. Sometimes you have to stand and watch, because what is unfolding in front of you is mesmerisingly, unbelievably, brilliant.
Oh and before I forget, that refund? I didn't ask for it..... at least not without a wry smile on my face. But Lee still has the money.
If you ever get a chance to see Skunk Anansie live, then take it.
You won't want to miss something as good as what I've experienced.
As always all videos and pics are ones I took (not all 326 photos have been uploaded.. thankfully)!