@o2 Academy Newcastle, November 8 2015
For a band who aren’t sure if they have made it yet, Skindred gave a performance full of anger, passion and energy.
With a reputation to uphold, dreadlocked Benji Webb led his motley crue with the precision of a seasoned general and the crowd with the patience of a good school teacher.
Starting off the gig by ticking off the audience for not showing enough during the opening song Under Attack isn’t how a normal band would go about things. But the reggae metallers are no normal outfit and Webb is no normal frontman.
Never satisfied until every member of the crowd is as involved and invested in the performance as he is, Webb patrolled the stage, spat, snarled, acted and laughed his way through the set – and dragged everyone with him.
Skindred aren’t a Welsh band anymore – Webb is the only member from his native Newport, and the theme of inclusivity is entrenched by a series of monologues and a Union Jack flag hanging from the mic stand.
New album Volume was made to play live and to reflect the energy that goes into a Skindred live show – so it was slightly confusing that they only chose to play three songs from it: Volume, Sound The Siren and Under Attack.
In fact, it was a night somewhat dedicated to their older fare – with Rat Race, Roots Rock Riot, Stand For Something and Trouble all getting a run out.
The night ended with Warning, and the infamous Newport Helicopter – which proves once and for all that you do have to take your clothes off to have a good time.
The band walked out to a dub remix of Imperial March, a theme song from Star Wars. It was fitting, because Skindred might not be in the dynasty business, but they’re definitely building an empire.