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Summary

It’s been a very difficult thing being a lead singer of a rock band looking like me and it still is. I have to say it’s been a fight and it will always be a fight. That fight drives you and makes you want to work harder.... It’s not supposed to be easy, particularly if you’re a woman, you’re Black or you are gay like me. You’ve got to keep moving forward, keep striving for everything you want to be. It’s been a fight, and there has been a personal cost, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Skin, the trail-blazing lead singer of multi-million-selling rock band Skunk Anansie, is a global female icon. As an incendiary live performer, she shatters preconceptions about race and gender. As an activist and inspirational role model, she has been smashing through stereotypes for more than 25 years. With her striking visual image and savagely poetic songs, Skin has been a groundbreaking influence both with Skunk Anansie and as a solo artist.  

From her difficult childhood growing up in Brixton to forming Skunk Anansie in the sweat-drenched backrooms of London’s pubs in the ‘90s, from the highs of headlining Glastonbury to the toll her solo career took on her personal life, Skin’s life has been extraordinary. She also talks powerfully about her work as social and cultural activist, championing LGBTQ+ rights at a time when few artists were out and gay. Told with honesty and passion, this is the story of how a Black, working-class girl with a vision fought poverty and prejudice to write songs, produce and front her own band and become one of the most influential women in British rock.

©2020 Skin and Lucy O'Brien (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

What listeners say about It Takes Blood and Guts

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  • Overall
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Hooked

Only started listening to today and can’t turn off. skin’s voice is captivating and beautiful

7 people found this helpful

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What a joy!

Absolutely loved every part of the book but having Skin reading it, was just a bliss! Brilliant idea of starting chapters with songs! loved it ! loved it! loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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Epic

Great chilled listen. Utterly engaging and inspiring. 99% of the narration is spoken by Skin.

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating audio book

A captivating listen from the start to the end. Being read by Skin herself is a real treat to the listener.

1 person found this helpful

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Love Skin

A wonderful listen. I could listen to Skin read the telephone book though! Biography of a true rock goddess and queer icon!

1 person found this helpful

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In her own voice

I loved hearing Skin tell her story, from roots to present, in her own voice. She took me on a journey from where she started to where she is now with anecdotes, highs and lows. I have loved Skunk Anansie since the 90’s and have been fortunate to see them live a number of times. Last being the Live25 tour. Skins energy (and crowd surfs) have always been legendary. In a post pandemic world I wonder if we will ever get back to those deeply moving moments of being in a crowd, watching a band you love, jumping and dancing with strangers all smiling and glowing with shared joy of the musical moment. Listening to this book took me there, sharing her journey, getting an inside view I felt part of the moments that made Skunk Anansie the great band they are. Thanks Skin!

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Great to hear

Loved This, Skin is certainly a trailblazer as a black woman, rock legend and Human, Such a beautiful soothing listen, Thank you Skin for sharing your journey

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Heroin and British Living Legend’s life told in a different manner to other audio books

Been an instant fan of Skunk Anansie since hearing Weak and feeling the lyrics resonated with my soul so been waiting for this book for a long time. It has not disappointed. Hearing Skin’s voice glide between her lyrics to her life story is magic. Skin’s story is so interesting and I’ve really enjoyed learning more about my hero. Thank you Skin x

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  • Ed
  • 29-09-20

Interesting insight into Skin's life

I am a huge fan of Skunk Anansie and their edginess as a band puts them in a category of their own. I first went along to a gig over 20 years ago and watching gigs practically every night then they kind of stood out for me (in a very good way). Anyway 20 years later I'm even more of a fan now than I was then randomly going to gigs and in someway Ace would be the man living my best life, although after listening to this book maybe it's not all glamorous as we think. Anyway, I think they are all complete legends who have been influenced by so many but yet stand out as being influencers in their own right. Love you Skin, and thanks for this book its really given me a great insight into your life. It kind of makes perfect sense having an audiobook as well as for someone who is a vocalist specialist, it would be a bit crazy not to have Skin read it to you and express herself as she does so well.

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Highly recommend!

Wow 👏🏽 Exceptional one of a kind artist with outstanding talent and integrity. This audible book was an incredible exploration of the life of an authentic wonderful woman who is honest and open about her experiences and thoughts. I love Skin's silky voice and the singing was a real bonus. Thank you for sharing this. This book was as mind-blowing as when I first saw you perform "Weak" 🔥