Self styled “ragga” metal giants, Skindred, are headlining the O2 Academy Brixton in support of their latest album Big Tings. It is a Saturday night, the show is packed and Skindred better bring the party because this crowd are up for it.
The Welsh rockers are renowned for high energy shows that blend reggae, alternative and metal sounds creating a punishing sound but with a party atmosphere. The show tonight at the O2 in Brixton is the second last show of 9 across the length of the UK in support of their recently released album, Big Tings. You can read our thoughts on the new album here.
Supporting Skindred are Canadian rockers. Danko Jones and American hard rockers, CKY. We managed to catch the excellent CKY set and you can read about that here. To Skindred, though, and Big Tings is their 7th studio release meaning they have quite the back catalogue to choose from. They are popular and the near sold out Brixton Academy shows how much so. There is a nice buzz to the crowd, even before entering the venue as the masses descend to the local pubs for pre gig drinks. It is a Saturday, London wants to party and that is what Skindred do.
Inside the venue the energy remains high and Danko Jones warm up the crowd nicely before CKY do a real number on them. Taking the venue by storm, like they were headliners, they leave a sweaty mass of bodies smiling and hyped up for the main event. It is Skindred time. Starting their set off with their usual intro music of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, the crowd are bustling and eager as Arya Goggin on drums, Daniel Pugsley and his bass and Michael Fry on guitars take to the stage. They are quickly followed by frontman Benji Webbe and the venue erupts in appreciation as The Imperial March from Star Wars plays out.
Skindred kick straight off with the title track off of the new album, Big Tings. It gets things moving and goes down a storm, already sounding like a new anthem and crowd favourite. They play a mixed set, songs from older and newer albums, from their now considerable back catalogue. Benji stalks the front of the stage looking smartly dressed as always and encourages the crowd. He is a master of crowd interaction and holds them like putty in his hands. From engaging talks to even getting them to sit and then jump up in unison. He is the conductor and Brixton are the willing orchestra.
Fan favourites like Selector and Pressure get aired and go down a storm. The venue have done a top job with the sound. Skindred sound larger then life playing in a venue that is probably perfect for them in size and layout. Machine and Saying it Now get played from the new album and go down well but it is songs like Kill the Power that really get the masses moving. A three track encore sees the band end with the bit many have been waiting for. The band explode into Warning. Warning drags the last bit of energy from the fans kicking the high octane night into overdrive with the now famous Newport Helicopter turning Brixton Academy into a see of circling shirts.
As the sweaty hordes head for the door with beaming smiles, Carly Simons Nobody Does it Better plays out and the majority of the crowd smile and nod in agreement. Skindred were phenomenal. This band bring more than just music, they bring the fun and nobody does that better.
You can grab yourself a copy of Big Tings at all the usual streaming services. You can also grab it and more from Skindred at the links below. Keep up to date with information on them and their music at their website, on Twitter and on Facebook. Be sure to give them a like or follow while you are there.
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Skindred at O2 Academy Brixton (28/04/2018)
The Final Score - 9/10