By: James Wilkinson
30 April, 2018, 22:00
If you came here for some soothing soundscapes then you had better leave in a hurry. A sold out crowd was already heaving for opener Danko Jones. Well worn road hogs, Danko Jones are a tight trio who delivered blues from a blender of Royal Trux, early ZZ, a pinch
of hardcore and a whole lotta bootie shaking sass. The crowd were as appreciative of the grooves as much the band was of us.
You’d think CKY were headliners given the cheer that greeted them. Tonight their set, which saw the first pits and crowd divers of the night, had me wondering where the love came from. Vocals were muddied and songs failed to make any impression. Things improved slightly as they dug into their heavier material, all chug and late 80’s hardcore groove. Even throwing in a GG Allin cover didn’t redeem them for me.
Skindred however, came with a few guarantees. One: is the infamous ‘Newport Helicopter’. Two: you will NOT last the whole show down at the front. Three: it’s gonna be loud and a bloody good time.
Opener and title track of the new album, ‘Big Tings’ was a perfect sucker punch starter. More streamlined, with a popier edge than some of the older material, but still had us all bouncing.
Tonight Skindred didn’t felt like a great frontman with tight session musicians. Rather a well oiled machine, bringing it all together into one eclectic whole. Vocalist Benji is a man built for entertaining/MC’ing and it was hard not to take your eyes off him.
Then when you did you are no less entertained. They dropped perhaps their biggest song ‘Pressure’ earlier in the set, this matters not apart from the gentle, heartfelt and stripped back ‘Saying it Now’; it was a head down charge all night long.
If I have a gripe, it’s that Skindred still throw in too many large snippets of well worn classics into their songs (‘Out of Space’ or ‘Sad but True’), when the songs were strong enough to stand alone. That said, t-shirts were whirling above semi-naked bodies as everyone was left sweaty, smiling and with their ears ringing. See ya next time then.