Skindred + Crossfaith (O2 Guildhall, Southampton – 04/11/15) ★★★★★

By: editor

Crossfaith certainly know how to make an entrance…emerging from the darkness one by one, veiled in smoke and mood lighting with the pounding bass already ushering in the start of their set. The band deal in crushing riffs and bass drops heavy enough to loosen the bowels of Satan himself. It’s actually hard to believe this is the support act from the incredible response they receive from somebody else’s crowd! Leading man Kenta certainly doesn’t need to beg to get the circle pits going, with a sound like theirs, the music does that for them. They’re heavy on theatrics and look to be acting out every bedroom mirror rock star’s favourite moves, these guys are the real deal. There’s drum stick spinning, there’s warpaint and there’s dramatic air grabbing…Crossfaith are seriously in to what they do! Then, as if they haven’t already won the crowd over, they bring a friend on stage to help with their song Wildfire. It’s only freaking Benji Webbe, isn’t it! Looking like a Jay Kay of Jamiraquai/Flava Flav hybrid (which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen Skindred before), he lends his instantly recognisable reggae tones to the electro-metal beast. You’d actually be forgiven for thinking Crossfaith have stolen this show with a performance like that. That is until the Southampton favourites arrive….

How does that saying go? “There ain’t no party like a Skindred party”? No? It should…

The first thing that hits me tonight though is the new look stage set up…finally, one of the best live bands around today will be performing on a stage more appropriately decorated for an act of this caliber; there’s steel platforms, a raised stage for the drum kit and decks, lasers and a huge wall of fake amps at the back to complete the loud and awesome look! The band is greeted like Gods, Benji in particular, the ringleader, has to be one of the most fiercely loved front men in rock. Storming on to the stage in a full length furry pimp coat and his signature shades. Most people look stupid wearing sunglasses indoors, Benji on the other hand, would look naked without them. He oozes confidence and charisma and it’s easy to see why people of all ages and rock persuasions can’t help but be in love with this band.

With their new album Volume out now, it would be reasonable to expect a full on promo set in support of that. Skindred however, have never been ones to do the expected. There’s a couple of new songs aired tonight, but with partying hard so high on the agenda, the crowd pleasing classics are given priority. Rat Race, Trouble, Nobody and Pressure all make appearances to a totally ecstatic crowd of fans. The usual pantomime gags come out from part-time comedian Benji, constantly telling the crowd they’re doing it wrong, which they eat up every time. I swear his Mum is always back stage! And it’s all part of the Skindred experience…this is what everyone comes for. They don’t want standard between song banter, this is a crowd who pay money to see a band who somehow mash reggae, rock and God knows what else in to one mighty party machine. They want Skindred to continue being the weirdos they are. Long live Skindred and may they never stop putting things together that shouldn’t really go.

Let’s party again some time.

★★★★★

Also you can check out photos taken of the night right here! – enjoy.

 

 

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