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This week I just about managed to finish the new recording of the Skunk Anansie album before the beginning of freshers week. The timing was quite amazing and really finishing on Sunday was just perfect to get back in time for freshers week. I’ve been recording all summer in the holidays with producer Tom Dalgety as you may have seen from my last post.


Just as I was packing my guitar away to be ready for Monday morning, I got a call from the X factor in Italy. They asked me if I would do a guerilla street session with Skin acoustically on Monday afternoon in Milan. Well, I suppose opportunities like this don’t come about every day, so of course I said yes, and within an hour I had the plane ticket in my hand!

First thing Monday morning I was off to the airport flying in to Italy joining Skin for a press photo shoot. I then jumped in a car which took me to the centre of the main street in Milan where a small PA was being set up by the sky TV crew for X factor. As I tuned my acoustic guitar and strummed a few notes for the sound check, the crowd started to gather around to see what was going on. Because of Skunk Anansie’s popularity in Italy it didn’t take them long to work out that I was the guitarist of the band and Skin would inevitably be turning up any second. The crowd started to build and there was anticipation in the air. I used my best Italian to communicate with them for a bit of fun.

Then minutes later a black van with dark windows pulled up on the side of the street and I started to strum the opening chords of a skunk song called Because of You which was a big hit there. Skin casually jumped out of the vehicle walked across the piazza and started to sing the tune. The crowd absolutely loved it and I suppose half of them really didn’t expect it. We performed three songs, and by the time we got to the last one, which was the hit Hedonism the place was singing and clapping along. It got pretty packed for a secret guerilla acoustic session that was unplanned or publicised.

Sky TV then edited the clip and put it up on the TV that night to advertise the fact that next week Skin is a judge on the X factor show itself!

As for me, I was then whisked off to a luxury hotel where I sat at the rooftop bar, drank cocktails and consumed mini snacks. Then retired to my giant bed for a few hours before catching the plane straight back to ACM… was it all a dream… well this clip seems to show it actually happened.


Posted by X Factor Italia on Tuesday, 8 September 2015