Paranoid & Sunburnt

Skunk Anansie

Skunk Anansie were an English rock band whose members included Skin (Deborah Dyer), Cass (Richard Lewis), Ace (Martin Kent) and Mark Richardson. The group formed in 1994 and disbanded in 2001. They were named after the West African folk tales of Anansie the spider-man, with “Skunk” added to “make the name nastier.” They were often grouped as part of a Britrock movement, running alongside Britpop.


Former member


The group played its first gig at London’s Splash club in March 1994 and soon after that two of their songs, “Feed” and “Selling Jesus,” appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Strange Days in 1995. “Selling Jesus” became Skunk Anansie’s controversial second song to receive radio play, following their first radio release “Little Baby Swastikkka.” After hearing this song, radio personality Howard Stern claimed that the band would become a huge hit.

In 1995 they were voted Best New British Band by the readers of Kerrang! magazine. They were also voted best British Live Act in the same magazine in 1996. In 1997 they were nominated for Best Live Act and Best Group at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Their first two albums, Paranoid and Sunburnt and Stoosh, were released under One Little Indian Records in 1995 and 1996 respectively. After switching to the Virgin label in 1998, their third and final album, Post Orgasmic Chill, was released in 1999.

The group has been labelled as a “political” band, but the group has emphasized that they would prefer to be labelled simply as a “rock band.” Skin herself, however, has described Skunk Anansie as a “clit-rock” group, which Allmusic clarifies as “an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage.” Members Skin and Ace have mentioned the Sex Pistols, Blondie, dub music, reggae, electronica, hip-hop music and world music as significant influences.

Throughout the nineties, Skunk Anansie toured globally with such bands as U2, Aerosmith, Feeder, Lenny Kravitz, Bad Religion, Rollins Band, Therapy?, Rammstein, Killing Joke, Soulfly, Sevendust, Oomph!, Muse, Staind, Powerman 5000, Veruca Salt, Marion and A Perfect Circle. Skin made a guest appearance on Sevendust’s “Licking Cream,” featured on the band’s 1999 album Home, and a video was shot for the single in Germany. A year later, she worked with Maxim of The Prodigy for his single “Carmen Queasy.” More recently she recorded a song with Tony Iommi. The group’s first collaboration, however, was with Icelandic singer Björk, in which they contributed a rendition of her popular single “Army of Me” specifically for the song’s CD-single. This song however excluded Skin’s vocals, but she appeared in its following live performance. The band also performed “Anti Love Song” live with Lenny Kravitz.

Since the band's breakup, Skin has gone on to a solo career, releasing her first album Fleshwounds in September 2003 and her second album Fake Chemical State in March 2006. Ace has followed a more low-key solo career with Still Hungry, an album with collaborations with many different rock artists. He has recently recorded an album with new band ‘Inner Mantra', and is a tutor at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. Mark Richardson is now drumming for British band Feeder, he also played drums for some songs on Skin’s album Fake Chemical State, and occasionally also teaches at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. It is thought that Cass is concentrating on photography. In 2002 he recorded the album Scars together with Gary Moore and also played various instruments on Skin’s first solo album Fleshwounds.

In a June interview with UK radio station "XFM", Skin announced that their 1997 single "Brazen" will be featuring in the upcominng video game "Rock Band 2".


On 20th September, 2008, The Sun announced that Skin and Cass reported a reunion at the end of the year with new music . The rumour was further confirmed on Skin's two MySpace pages. Skin's personal MySpace displayed "Skunk Anansie gigs soon" for the page status and a blog entry was posted on her MySpace music page. It is currently unknown whether former band members Ace and Mark will join this reunion.


For details of all Skunk Anansie's releases, see Skunk Anansie discography


Title Released Chart Position
Paranoid & Sunburnt September, 1995 UK #8
Stoosh October, 1996 UK #9
Post Orgasmic Chill March, 1999 UK #16


Title Released Chart Position
Little Baby Swastikkka 1995 Limited release
Selling Jesus March, 1995 UK #46
I Can Dream July, 1995 UK #41
Charity September, 1995 UK #40
Weak January, 1996 UK #20
Charity (Re-release) April, 1996 UK #20
All I Want September, 1996 UK #14
Twisted (Everyday Hurts) November, 1996 UK #26
Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good) February, 1997 UK #13
Brazen (Weep) June, 1997 UK #11
Charlie Big Potato March, 1999 UK #17
Secretly May, 1999 UK #16
Lately August, 1999 UK #33
You'll Follow Me Down October, 1999 Ineligible to chart

* Little Baby Swastikkka was released as a limited edition vinyl record.


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