: skunk anansie : and your political diy-kit

text: niko alm

    There's truly nothing special about a band like Skunk Anansie even taking into account a black lesbian singer. The latter being only a very recent addition to her talents. It seems to be an unavoidable evolutionary process in the way bands develop, Somewhere inbetween album #2 and #3 the singer finds out that there's more in his/her voice than shouting and continuous touring and practising obviously refines skills unavailable for the first album. This is of course true for all band members and their instruments.
    Skunk Anansie reached their energetic climax with
    Stoosh and are now mellowing out in a Post Orgasmic Chill.

Skin jumps up and offers her hand. I'm honoured although I avoided to join in the chant of extemded hands before. "Anybody in for a squeezed hand", she asks her band. Hmm, is there something wrong with a firm handshake? Cass (bass) generously provides a psychological analysis, "People squeezing hands hide a plethora of insecurities". OK thank you. I've been traumatized by Skunk Anansie three times so far because they kept popping up at shows where they wouldn't fit. Poor Gravity Kills had to play at a third of their volume, not much of a support.
Skunk Anansie may be a good live band but their music is just the average alternative rock stuff. If it wasn't for Skin we'd have never heard of them. Skunk Anansie is a political band. So what? If I'm in for politics I prefer listening to Pitchshifter and Consolidated.
At least they have put South Africa on the world touring map, or at least they say so. I could have provided FM4 with my interview tape and they would have aired the same interview as they did anyway. But hey, they are confronted with the same questions in every interview and no, they don't bother, they make us ask exactly those questions and we stumble in the trap scarcely covered with branches allured by the air of political and intellectual reasoning. Of course, it's their way to get their message around, and more interesting than Skin's new girlfriend anyway.

Politics. Here you go:

Skin: South Africa is very shocking actually. No one in Western culture can really imagine what it's like for people living there. For us it's still an incredible racist country. For them it's not nearly as bad as it was. You used to have passes to come into town, now they live in town. It's still such a long road to go.
A lot of countries that said they didn't support Apartheid but they did, like England. And a lot of countries say they support South Africa now, are not supporting it. Economically they are in fact undermining it.
You go there and you see the fact that many people were killed because they were writing, demonstrating, 9year olds, 10year olds.
It's a whole different mentality and you can't even begin scratch the surface because you weren't there. But then you go there it just blows your mind a way and the people are so not-bitter. They try to look forward which is amazing.

Mark: Playing there was amazing. Usually when we go to a new territory first we play a little club and when we go back we play a bigger club and so on.. But the first time we went there we played Arenas which is just to show you who starved the people are of good music. We basically put South Africa on the world touring map.
It was a fantastic reception but we had to make sure it was a concert for all people in the black press and in the white press.

Skin: The thing about South Africe is that everything is so set even now. You have to make point, make a step back from the way you are treated as a rock band in Europe. So you really have to make sure that this is a gig for black people too and not only for white South Africans because we are a rock band. Consequently we got more of an audience that anyone has ever had which is not a large number but more than in Europe
We had to make a point. We had a black support band, different types of music, not only rock bands.
You have to make sure that you are not coming there with a white South African view point because that's what they are used there. There are so many black Americans who go there and say they feel so much like home but they don't.

etc. etc..