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by Mark Kemp
A British band named after a smelly black and white animal and a mischievous creature from Jamaican folklore, are bound to cause a few ripples in the music industry. In fact these small ripples have morphed into gigantic waves already.
Skunk Anansie began their reign of terror on the music business way back in 1993. Skin (lead vocalist) and Cass (bass guitar) were the two orginal members. They were later joined by Ace (guitar) in 1994, and Mark (drummer) in 1995.
Their first release onto the charts was "Little Baby Swastika" in 1994, which was followed by "Selling Jesus" and "Charity". These songs were taken from their debut release "Paranoid and Sunburnt" - an album that reached number 7 in the UK album charts and propelled Skunk Anansie into the limelight. This was greatly helped by their new single, "Weak", much considered an anthem, which goes down a storm at live gigs.
The work in the studio began once more and October 1996 brought the release of their second album. It was named "Stoosh", meaning someone who appreciated the finer things in life. A slight commercial progress has been achieved by the band, as the new album reached number 6, one place higher than "Paranoid and Sunburnt". The songs released from "Stoosh", including "Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good Doesn't Make It Right)", "Twisted (Everyday Hurts)", "Brazen (Weep)" and "All I Want", all entered the top 20 singles charts. A tour followed and the country rocked.
The band needed a deserved break from recording and gigging. It was a break from the limelight that lasted about two years and spawed a new album, and with that, a new direction. When "Charlie Big Potato" was released, from the forthcoming third album, "Post Orgasmic Chill", you could hear how the band had matured.
"Post Orgasmic Chill" is one hell of a third album and has been described as "a harder yet softer album than its predicessors", which is true. The song "On My Hotel TV" will have you hiding in fear, while the more melodic "You'll Follow Me Down" or recently released "Secretly" will make you feel on Cloud 9.
There is more to Skunk Anansie than simply going to a studio and recording some of the best songs of the 20th Century. They live to gig. This was shown when they recently headlined the last day of Glastonbury '99. The songs, old and new, were blasted out to a crowd with more pure energy than Yellowstone Park. This is what Skunk fans have come to expect at a Skunk Anansie gig - they know it and deliver.
Their forthcoming UK tour in October looks to be their biggest yet. They recently had to add two extra dates to the end of the tour for demand, and are releasing "You'll Follow Me Down" to coincide with it, a very mellow song that I am predicting will give them their first UK top 10. When Skunk Anansie played an acoustic version of "You'll Follow Me Down" at Glastonbury '99, it was met with rapturous applause from fans and non-fans alike.
The future for Skunk Anansie looks bright. They have been denting the US charts for some time and touring with the likes of Sevendust and Rammstein, which can only help their cause. What their cause is, still remains a mystery but world domination is a very high priority.