Skunk Anansie rocker Skin says returning to Glastonbury will be ‘legendary’

·3-min read

Skunk Anansie frontwoman Skin said performing at Glastonbury festival on its 50th anniversary following a global pandemic will be “one of those legendary experiences”.

The trailblazing rocker, 54, made history as the first black British headliner of the festival in 1999, something that was not achieved again until Stormzy in 2019.

The band, including Cass, Ace and Mark Richardson, return to the festival for the third time this year, having played for the first time in 1995 on the NME stage.

Glastonbury/Skunk Anansie 2
Skin performs on stage during the 1999 Glastonbury Festival (PA)

Skin told the PA news agency: “There are few situations where you use the word ‘it’s an honour’. It’s a very lenient phrase that I use with caution and this is one of those times I would say it’s actually a real honour to play Glastonbury.

“Particularly because of Covid, everyone’s been through so much trauma and it’s the 50th anniversary – it’s the one Glastonbury that everybody wants to be at.

“So I think it’s quite a privilege and an honour to get a slot and to be able to do our thing, there’s not a lot of bands that have even played once so we are very excited about it.”

Skunk Anansie
Skunk Anansie (David Parry/PA)

Brixton-born Skin, whose real name is Deborah Anne Dyer, has described the “lovely vibe” at the festival on Worthy Farm in Somerset.

“I’ve been to Glastonbury just as a punter and as a fan many times, and everyone is there with a positive spirit to have a good time.

“They welcome any band, this is a festival of love, of positivity and I think people are just so happy to be there.

“For me, it’s going to be one of those legendary experiences, Sir Paul McCartney is playing, it just feels like it’s a special one.

“It feels like there is something to it, there’s an energy in the air and it’s gonna be hot and sunny, no mud, I’m just really happy about it,” she said.

The rocker has recalled her pioneering headline slot at Glastonbury in 1999, describing it as “a really big deal” and the “peak” of Skunk Anansie.

Skin performing at the Brit Awards (Fiona Hanson/PA)

She said: “It was absolutely incredible. I just remember seeing a sea of flags waving and flowing from side to side in the wind, it’s just a very welcoming audience.

“It was a really big deal headlining the pyramid stage and we were the last band to play of that century.

“Glastonbury is a big deal, there is no getting around it, it is not something to be taken lightly, especially when you’re a headliner.

Skunk Anansie
Skunk Anansie (Neil Munns/PA)

“We could get the kind of negativity from critics but testament to Michael Eavis, he has always been a forward-thinking person, he saw diversity is the future of music.

“We did feel like we had something to prove and we felt like we proved it.

“I remember, there was one point when we came back on stage, and we said ‘shall we do another song’ and you’ve never had a bigger, louder, yes in your life.

“That’s when I thought we had nailed it. It’s just one of those feelings that you don’t get very often.”

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