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Skin + Voodoo Sioux @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton - 11 June 2009

Voodoo Sioux
Black Country/Wrekin based, post-punk, painted hair, eclectic, manic-bass driven rockers, Voodoo Sioux returned to the scene with an enthralling display that I can't quite pin down. The not-to-be-pigeon-holed VS returned after a hiatus of 12 years and appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves, in a mad-monk kind of way. They had their supporters in the crowd too which added to a great atmosphere. I'm just hoping that singer Nikki hasn't got the word 'Soup' tattooed on his mid-rife and that it was just marker pen. Worth keeping an eye out for these guys.
My relationship with Skin goes back a long way. Guitarist Myke Gray was being talked about in high circles but when Jagged Edge failed to meet expectations I eagerly anticipated hearing what SKIN had in store for us. I'd never heard of singer Neville McDonald before but wondered where the hell they found such a voice. Out of the valleys of Wales Nev, with his mass of hair and puppy-dog eyes, was the perfect foil for the 6-string histrionics of Myke.

Five or six years on, after three and a half albums, numerous chart hits and high-profile tours the guys finally called it a day back in '98 and the world was a sadder place for it.

But hey, you know all that!! What about SKIN 09?

Well it was if I and several hundred over-35 year olds at the Wulfrun Hall tonight, had crammed into our DeLoreans, revved up the flux capacitor and found ourselves back in those heady days of 1992/93.

This was a rejuvenated SKIN, fresh from just a few days of rehearsal and low-profile London gigs, cranking it up a notch in preparation for a Main Stage slot at Download this coming Sunday 14th.

Damn, they looked and sounded fine - better than fine, this was GOOD. This was SKIN better than their last show here in Wolverhampton some 11 years ago. This was a hungry SKIN, revelling in the adulation being bestowed from a 'can't believe that is this really happening' pumped-up crowd.

The world has missed SKIN and from Nev's heart-felt reaction, they have missed us to.
Kicking in with a flurry of songs from their last album, Experience Electric, may not have been the start I was looking for but it truly brought home the maturity and depth of song-writing talent these guys had (have?). Title track, Experience Electric, followed The Only One.
They then proceeded to 'Blow My Mind'. No Way Out and Soul bedded in a solid start but it was not quite there, it was just missing a little something. Someone called out and Nev responded that don’t worry it’s about to get even better.
Now we change tack, journey back to the first album and SKIN raise their game to greater heights. THIS is the SKIN that I remember, young, bombastic, semi-naked ;-)
Colourblind blew me sideways and then Which Are The Tears left me breathless. Neville too by the looks of it, the emotion catching up with him before they hit us with a double-punch straight to the gut - Money followed by the pure dirty pleasure of House of Love.
The huge hook of Take Me Down To The River left us weak but desperate for more like some rabid, S&M bitch on heat. SKIN responded with more Baby Baby Baby's than is decent to put into one single rock song - yes it was Look But Don't Touch.

The chant along Tower of Strength drained me of the last energy I had before the effervescent Myke Gray, who looked so ripped his body fat can't be above 3%, launched into yet another early career favourite - EMF's huge No 1 hit - Unbelievable.

There was no way they were getting off the stage that lightly, and the Wulfrun punters made sure that SKIN were truly ready to take on the masses at Download.

How Lucky You Are, was followed by the galloping hook-laden, Perfect Day. Leaving it to 'Shine Your Light' to close a truly memorable night.

The Download crowd is simply going to devour this band. There's always one stand-out slot at any festival. The one people talk about and recall for years to come as 'the time when...'. Yes, there are some mighty big fellas at Download this year but don't be too surprised if it’s not SKIN that steal some headlines!

I've been a huge fan of Black Stone Cherry since their first slot at Gigbeth and it will be interesting to see how they following SKIN on the main stage.

I for one, can't wait!

Peter Keevil
for Midlands Rocks