A fierce eruption of sound consumed a sold-out Concorde 2 as the mighty Skindred launched their 2011 tour. Their self-dubbed ‘ragga-metal’ style embraces a successful fusion of rock, punk, heavy metal and reggae, which the Welsh four-piece did not fail to deliver live.
Brimming with swagger, dred-locked front-man Benji Webbe formed an instant connection with the audience. Benji’s unleashing of enigmatically rough, reggae vocals, complimented by an explosion of turbulent drumming and hard, heavy guitars, whipped everyone into a frenzied ruckus.
The lyrics, ‘Nobody gets out of this shark pit alive’ and ‘Bruises’ were a disturbing reflection of the gig, creating an exhilaratingly draining night of bouncing, moshing even a robotic dance-off to ‘Destroy the Dancefloor’. This injection of Benji’s characteristic humour was also shown in his interlude lecture on relationships. He told all men to ‘make your woman feel like this…’ as he blasted out Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl in the World’, soon followed by a punch in the face of heavy metal riffs.
The regga-metallers showcased a thrilling set of old classics, including a mash-up of their own ‘Selector’ and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out’, whilst ‘Pressure’ took the audience by force in their extended, glow stick filled encore.
They also revealed an influx of new tunes from their hugely powerful latest album, ‘Union Black’. After a decade of building up their reputation and perfecting their style, their fourth album is the first to be produced in the UK, which has allowed them to experiment with new elements such as dance hall and drum and bass.
Benji comments: “The album is a celebration of the diversity of the UK. It is heavier than any of our previous recordings. ‘Union Black’ is bringing the darker side of the Dred out for sure!”