Ever since I saw the front cover of 'Stoosh' and its photograph of Skin by my favourite photographer of all time Anton Corbjin, I had always wanted to get a live shot of her in black and white...

As we strolled into Rock City with at least half an hour to go, it was already heaving and hot and sweaty. The front of the pit was a mass of revellers waiting for the big moment. And they didn't have long to wait either because out of the gloom from the far right, at least fifteen minutes ahead of the starting time I had been given as I came in, Ace, Cass and Mark casually made their way to their instruments. Then to a roar of satisfaction the party began. Skin walked on to the front of the stage, smiled and said, “Hello Nottingham,” and without further ado the band struck up the fire of 'Skankheads', and she bounced like a demon around the large Rock City stage.

Three tracks in and I had had some good shots from the pit, so I made my way to the back and watched the night unfold from there. I wasn't to be disappointed. I have not seen a performance like this for a long, long time. Raw energy and confidence shot out across the stage and the whole room. Skin is an amazing artist. She has enough power to light the whole country, fitness to outrun my dog and enough attitude to scare the hardest of hards into a quivering wreck. But most of all she has presence. Pure, simple but effective stage presence.

At one point she came to the edge of the pit and stood on the handrail with only the crowd to support her. But she wasn't finished with the gymnastics. There was more to come. She left the handrail behind and held up by the crowd itself which held on to her ankles and feet she walked across the crowd like a demented goddess.

Further in and things got even better. Skin asked the crowd. “If I come out there will you be nice to me? I'm only little and frail.” She asked again and got the same rapturous answer, so began walking into the crowd as 'Little Baby Swastika' started, getting everyone to sit down as she went. Then in a flash she jumped up when the beat kicked in, electrifying everyone else to do the same. In the middle of the floor, I lost sight of her. Not to worry though, as she rose out of the crowd like a spitting volcano and carried on until finally she was sitting on the handrail to the sound/lighting guy’s paddock at the back of the room. Then she pounced up again and on to the waiting arms of the crowd to carry her back, face up, to the stage. All this and the girl was still singing!

Skin and the band worked the crowd into a frenzy, sent them spinning around in their own little individual tornados and then spat them all out one by one with a loving peck on the cheek into the darkness beyond.

And I got my photo.

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Commenting On: Rock City, Nottingham, 16/3/2013 - Skunk Anansie

ie London, England

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