Catalysed by fear and hate, today we live in an unfortunate world which continually divides its people by their differences. Nu-metal group Skindred however, take full pride in stating that unity is something which should instead be celebrated. And celebrate, they do. Going so far as to call everyone in the venue a newly formed “family”, vocalist Benji Webbe never fails to create an atmosphere which makes you feel like you’re part of something truly special.
Setting off with ‘Under Attack’, the band live up to the track’s name and hit the audience with full force, incorporating heart-thumping bass, powerful drums and vocals riddled with undying confidence. Strutting through a setlist perfect for any long or short-time Skindred fan, the night sees tracks from their classic albums to late, featuring the bombastic, booty-shaking ‘Sound The Siren’, ‘Kill The Power’ and ‘Nobody’.
An important part of the Skindred experience is of course Webbe’s frankly bonkers stage persona. As he barks down the mic (yes, quite literally making dog noises) and wraps his head in a sparkly scarf whilst making a kung-fu pose for the track ‘Ninja’, he becomes something of a cartoon character. Holding an unmistakable swagger, possibly verging on the point of arrogance, he continually teases the audiences with false starts and even mimics their reaction. This is the behaviour of a frontman who can make the audience bend to his every whim, and knows it.
As the night escalates, the band leave the stage bar Webbe and guitarist Mikey Demus, and they settle into the acoustic version of the personal track ‘Saying It Now’. Ceasing on ‘Warning’ the crowd erupts into the iconic ‘Newport Helicopter’ as they swirl their shirts around in hilarious fury. Witness Skindred and expect nothing short of madness – madness from a band who know exactly what they’re doing.
Words by Lizzie Capewell