The prejudice and travails Skin faced from her local, black community when she came out are detailed in her autobiography, It Takes Blood And Guts, which she published last year. Her views on the issue are full and frank. When asked whether she has encountered any such bigotry from the rock community, she is keen to point out that the perception associated with the genre are often wrong.
“Being part of the rock community for me has always been a bit of a dream because it was always this thing that I felt, growing up, I was on the outside of. I’d watch Top Of The Pops or music TV, and you tend to see the same image: four white boys with long hair in a rock band. Once I actually got into it, I think it’s one of the most diverse things out there. Everybody is accepted – whether you’re doing a gig at [London fetish club] The Torture Garden or doing a gay and lesbian festival in Brixton. The common perception of those four white boys, that’s not the reality.
“When I started off at the Splash Club in Kings Cross, there were all kinds of people there,” she reflects, warming to the subject. “The scene didn’t have a name to it. It went from people taking drugs in the corner to Christian musicians, to Asian people to black people, people who were overtly into sexual stuff and S&M through to people who came from Brixton who were super-woke. Everybody accepted everybody. Our common thread was that we loved electric guitars, we loved moshing and we liked having fun.”
Despite this open-ness, she did also find that her own colour, gender and sexuality did count against Skunk Anansie as they shopped for a deal. “Major labels didn’t want to know,” she admits.