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O2 Islington Academy, London 7 December 2009
The inevitable cycle of bands reforming now seems to have reached those
from the mid 1990's (Skunk Anansie, Gun, Terrorvision etc), and no
comeback has been more surprising nor as welcome as that of Skin.
up in 1998, and taken jobs in areas as far removed from rock n roll as
accountancy, youth work and personal training, this year they were
persuaded to reform to play Download, and have now followed a series of
acclaimed warm up dates and acoustic support slots with Chickenfoot and Mr
Big with a nationwide tour.
It was a support slot with Little Angels that first propelled Skin to
prominence in late 1993, so the wheel had come full circle as their former
singer Toby Jepson provided the support slot with a set of Angels
songs - She's a Little Angel, Kicking up Dust, Don't Prey for Me, I Ain't
Gonna Cry, Boneyard, a medley of Young Gods and a cover of Won't Get
Fooled Again, and Too Much Too Young.
with a guitar, he bravely got some singalongs going at the front. However
some people can make the acoustic format work, but these songs desperately
needed a full band to replicate their trademark energy. A Little Angels
reunion is what we really want to see!
Skin played for under an hour and a half but not a single moment
was wasted on solos and other padding. Guitarist Myke Gray, bassist Andy
Robbins and drummer Dicki Fliszar created an aggressive but lean sound
that was as taut and muscular as one of Myke's personal fitness clients.
Singer Nev MacDonald kept chat to a minimum but, quite apart from his
powerful, expressive voice, acted as the genial frontman with his big
The opening few songs were all from their second and third albums: at the
time I dismissed them as 'Skin go grunge' but, with the passage of time
the likes of the opening trio The Only One, Spit on You and How Lucky You
Are now impress for their sheer tightness and the controlled anger housed
Love got the crowd going before a surprise acoustic interlude in which
they previewed two new songs, the autobiographical Reunited and
Redemption, with some great laid back bluesy guitar.
However it is the songs form their most popular 1994 debut which will
always be at the heart of Skin's set and so it proved with Colourblind and
Money, with a great closing solo from Myke.
Take Me Down
to the River raised the bar even higher before the great singalongs Look
but Don't Touch and Tower of Strength, which took on a new dimension as it
segued into a powerful version of the Who's 'Tommy' classic Listening to
Their rocked up cover of Unbelievable was the first encore, with Toby
Jepson joining them on stage, before finishing with Perfect Day and the
now rarely played Shine Your Light.
As the Skin reunion rolls on I can wholeheartedly recommend you catch them
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