Skindred ascend to outter space!
Skindred have been on nationwide tour promoting their seventh studio Album ‘Big Tings’! An album that lives up to their extensive back catalogue of heavy bone rattling songs. On the tour with them in support has been CKY and Danko Jones which in itself is two bands not to be messed with!
What can be said for the first act of the night Danko Jones apart from he didn’t just warm up the crowd but got them ready to rock and mosh all night long, if only all first acts of the night were like this everybody would show up for when doors open, hats off to Danko Jones for getting those red blood cells pumping!
CKY a band that is close to my generation’s heart, a throwback to days of Jackass and Tony Hawks Pro Skater and generally just being a Greebo! This really showed as the crowd was full of CKY shirts all prepared for a performance they had been waiting to see for years. Stand out moment had to be when lead singer Chad took to the mic saying “Not all of you may know who CKY are, but most of you have heard one of our songs” at this point the crowd had erupted as they new what was coming. CKY burst into that overly catchy rift that you could hum all day from ’96 quite bitter beings’!
The stage was set for Skindred with a back drop picturing the cat from the album cover roaring over the venue. Before the band even came out the o2 Insitute was lit up with an awesome light show and from standing to seating everyone was going nuts in anticipation for the welsh ragga metal rockers.
Skindred have always been a band that can blow a crowd away with atmosphere and generally good vibes that is associated with a festival. Somehow that managed to create that same vibe in Birmingham on a Sunday night! The band as a whole is just so tight, a well-oiled machine who seem to have fun whether they are smashing out massive rifts on guitars or dropping in a cheeky Prodigy track or the ‘Imperial March’ from Star Wars.
A moment that has to be talked about when Benji Webbe (lead singer) managed to split the audience into a roaring chant of two halves, one shouting “Woop Woop” as if from ‘Dizzee Rascals – Sirens’ and the other bellowing “That’s my jam!”. This took just a little bit on encouragement to get going but when it was in full force it seemed to last forever with it carrying on into the next song!
Benji did an emotion speech about the loss of a dear friend who had passed away from cancer. He had lost touch with his friend Sean and he wanted to remind everyone in the venue that life is too short and we should try and re kindle relationships with people we may have lost touch with. Following this was a heartfelt acoustic performance which showed a completely different side to what Skindred is portrayed as.
‘Machine’ a track from the latest album took over the crowd like a fever in the middle ages, you could feel the sweat in the air as the venue began to feel like a tropical rain forest from everyone moshing away and causing chaos in the center of the dancefloor. By the end all tees were off and everyone was helicoptering a tshirt or coat or generally whatever they had which could be spun around their head!
Overall a night that could be classed as ‘WICKED!’ it made me want to revisit Skindred’s previous albums more than ever and spend time to fall in love with their new one. Benji Webbe sent out a message at the end of the show which resonated with night and the happy rocking feeling that had filled the venue – “That’s the power of music we all become connected”.
Photography © Garry Jones.