Like a child the night before Christmas day, is the best way to describe my feelings as I stepped into Cirkus in Stockholm Sweden. The last time i saw Skunk Anansie was in 2011 when they played in Sandviken, Sweden. At that gig I was a bit drunk, so my memories are blurry regarding the show. A mistake I regret deeply.
Cirkus is a fantastic venue with beautiful historic features that dates back all the way to 1892. Since then it has been rebuilt numerous times, to fit modern day expectations. These walls have seen all types of artists play and if they could speak, I am sure they could tell stories.
Anyhow, back to 28th of February 2017.
I arrived early at the venue, so to pass time I had a glass of cider in the bar. I looked around to see if there would be any merch for sale, but no merch was to be found anywhere. When the glass was empty, I stepped into the hall where Skunk Anansie would play. I was surprised to see that it was not as crowded as I thought it would be.The seats were far from sold out and together with the people on the floor, we couldn’t have been more than maybe 4-500 fans that night. Suddenly the hall went pitch black. Blue lights on stage. The show was about to start!
And what a start it was.
Cass, Ace and Mark hit the stage and started playing ”And here i stand” (Paranoid and Sunburnt, 1995). Skin came out wearing big ass sunglasses, heavy boots and hoodie. She owned the stage the second she came out on it and the crowd was ecstatic. Skin had the energy of a Duracell-bunny and the voice blew me away. She was everywhere on ( and off!) stage. She both crowd surfed and even stood on the crowds hands (!) while singing ”I can dream.” Mark impressed behind the drums, Cass the soul man gave the bass sweet love and Ace kissed our ears with his fantastic guitar music.
The band also had a guest named Erica who sang backup vocals and played harmonics like a pro. Erica and Skins voices played beautiful together and gave Skunk Anansie even more depth to the show. There were classics like ”Weak”, ”Hedonism”, ”Little baby Swastikka”. But also new material from Anarchytecture like ”Victim”, ”Death to the lovers” and ”Love someone else”. A beautiful mix of old and new, performed perfectly the whole time.
Skin also took the time to throw in some words about Trump and equal rights for women, LGBTQ and black people rights, showing the bands passion for politics. Of course the song ”Political” was an obvious choice after that and seeing the crowds fists in the air, made me shed a few tears of an even greater love for the band. The last encore was ”Charlie Big Potato” and it did (of course) not let me down. I have never headbanged as hard or jumped as much as I did during that song and this old bird felt like 20 again. Pure bliss!
Skunk Anansie gave a 100% from the first lyric to the last, leaving me feeling like I had just been run over with a bulldozer. These are true professionals and even though they have played together for 23 years, they still perform with both heart and soul.
The only thing negative about that night is that there were no merch for sale, Which is a pity since I am sure the band got a few new (and a lot old) fans after the show. But other than that this show is the best live performance I’ve seen so far and all future bands have a lot to live up to after this.