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The Independent Culture
For Little Axe founding man and guitarist Skip Mcdonald (right), music has truly been about crossing one frontier after another. The 45- year-old's recent(ish) history includes a three-year span, from 1979 to 1982, in the Sugarhill House Band, playing on rap-defining classics such as "The Message" and "White Lines".

Over here through the 1980s, the Alabama-cotton-fields-born Skip contributed to the crucial Tackhead and co-produced On-U-Sound artists. Bands as varied as Megadeth and African Headcharge have been remoulded with his remix skills. But it's the Little Axe project that's currently curious. As a child, the musical styles that surrounded Skip were primarily gospel and the blues. Now he has come full circle with album The Wolf That House Built (Wired). The dubby, trance rhythms are laid down as firm as railroad tracks, as skilled as you'd expect from an On-U-Sound stalwart. But jazzy guitars float around, the vocals are predominantly gospel and sometimes Arabic in flavour. "Another Sinful Day" is the total high point, evoking a Sunday morning in a deep south evangelist church gathering, to enchanting effect. Whatever Little Axe has got, the people want it. The last show of this band in March sold out comfortably.

Little Axe, London The Bottomline, tonight