Skin, the former frontwoman of Skunk Anansie, didn’t seem the slightest bit scared about making her live solo debut. In a packed venue full of the defunct band’s diehard fans, it must have been unnerving to unveil a whole ream of new material they had never heard before.
But it was the lithe, energetic singer – complete with natty new hair – who the fans had come to see. With their unanimous backing from the off, Skin came through with flying colours.
This feisty performer silkily ploughed through fresh songs from her new album Fleshwounds, and threw in some Skunk Anansie favourites for good measure. The crowd didn’t take long to warm to Skin’s new material-which proved to be a selection of varied, intelligent and strong songs which sounded great. She has retained her rock credentials, but treated us to softer ballads which made fine use of her superb voice which both gently lilts and turns on the power with the loudest electric guitar.
A muscly cover of Electronic’s Getting Away With It was a real cracker and a million miles away from Neil Tennant and Bernard Sumner’s gentle little pop hit of old.
A skilfully reworked version of the Skunks’ Weak gave a hint that this powerful performer has subtly shifted direction since the band split. But she remains prone to a good hard wig-out, and let her energy rip through his venue on a ripping version of Charlie Big Potato.
An acoustic version of Skunk Anansie’s biggest hit Hedonism, and Twisted on a dance tip, breathed fresh fire into some well-loved tunes from the past. Skin’s solo debut was a great triumph-the future looks very bright for this star as she charts new territory in her own right.