Experimental – yet a triumph

ICONIC: Skunk Anansie singer Skin. AP Photo,MTI, Balazs Mohai

ICONIC: Skunk Anansie singer Skin. AP Photo,MTI, Balazs Mohai

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Skunk Anansie

Black Traffic – Deluxe

A double piece of good news for Skunk Anansie fans.

Firstly, they’re kicking off a UK tour later this week, playing at 11 smallish venues.

And, secondly, for those who can’t make it, there’s also the deluxe release on Monday of the Black Traffic album, featuring a few previously unreleased tracks.

So if you’ve yet to sample the sounds of Black Traffic, now is the time to get involved. As well as the original album that came out at the end of last year and was supported by a sell-out European tour, you’ll also be able to enjoy live versions of Weak and Because of You that were recorded on the tour in Rome. Add in new B-side Undersea, and there’s quite a few extra minutes of material being put out, though it’s probably only worth dipping into your pocket if you’ve not bought the album before.

Black Traffic is the band’s sixth album and their third since getting back together after a nine-year hiatus.

Far more experimental than previous outings, the quartet pretty much tore up their rule book for this one and took their time piecing together a record that stands well next to their others, yet somehow seems more dramatic.

Iconic front-woman of the band, Skin said: ‘I think it’s good to have a little anxiety about the standard of music you’re trying to create – it drives us to know you’re only as good as your last record.

‘We have that insecure thing inside about everything we do, always asking yourself if it could be better.”

There certainly seems to have been a lot driving up the standard of Black Traffic.

Example

Nice to see Elliot Gleave – aka Example – giving an energetic and crowd pleasing performance in Manchester to round off his hectic UK tour.

Charisma and personality shone from the rapper/singer on to a passionate crowd that couldn’t wait for the party to start.

And it started with Kickstarts, followed by classic tunes Come Taste The Rainbow, Close Enemies and The Way as Example dealt out a mix of songs from his latest albums.

A tremendous reception greeted him after every track and the fans went wild for the encore – but will have to wait now until the summer to catch him the usual tour of festivals.

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