Review and Pictures: Nicky Barker

Skindred are a heavy metal band from Newport in Wales, UK.  Formed in 1998, the band are Benji Webbe (vocals), Mikey Demus (guitar), Dan Pugsley (bass) and Arya Goggin (drums).   Their musical influences are a mix of metal, punk, reggae, hip hop and drum and bass.  Skindred are currently on tour, playing intimate venues around the UK promoting their seventh studio album ‘Big Tings  Their blended music genres and high energy shows make Skindred an extremely fun and exciting  band to see live.  

Tonight’s show was at Fibbers, a small live music venue in the centre of the historic city of York.  The room quickly filled and before long the lights dimmed and AC/DC’s  Thunderstruck‘ (the usual opening track for the band) rang out of the PA,  followed by ‘The Imperial March‘ (Star Wars Theme).  The band danced their way onto the stage, and went ahead with their opening number and title track of their latest album ‘Big Tings‘.  Immediately the room exploded with moshers and surfers.  Keeping the pace going the band went straight into ‘Selector‘ and ‘Pressure.’ Charismatic front man, Benji, is a joy to watch, with his dreads swinging about, his multiple eyewear changes, and flying his Union Jack from his mic.  He is absolutely brilliant at working the crowd.  If Benji says bounce up and down the whole room bounces; if he says  wave like the Queen everyone waves like the Queen.  His high energy is infectious and the whole room was on fire; dancing and spontaneously chanting “Yorkshire, Yorkshire”.  I had to navigate the pit with surfers coming over my head.  

Benji’s vocals are backed up flawlessly by the rest of the band.  Billy Gibbons look alike Mikey on guitar blasting out some exquisite riffs  Rat Race‘ was up next with a brief snippet of Slade’sMerry Xmas‘.  The set continued with a mix of monumental tunes new and old.  Benji held up a Skindred T shirt asking the crowd “who would like the shirt  teasing the crowd with it he then said “they are for sale for £25 at the back” He then asked if anyone was hungry and threw a pre packed cheese sandwich to a person in the crowd.  During ‘That’s my Jam‘, Benji had the room split into two halves each half singing the chorus in turn.  The singing, dancing and moshing was halted briefly as Benji told us the story of his best friend who sadly passed away recently from cancer, and how he didn’t get to say goodbye to him before he passed.   The message being don’t put off letting your loved ones know you love them.  With just him and guitarist Mikey on stage he sang ‘Saying it Now‘, a powerful acoustic track. 

The energy levels  increased again for ‘Kill the Power‘ breaking off with a brief interlude of The ProdigysOut of Space‘. ‘Nobody‘ brought the first set to an end.  The crowd chanting until the band came back on stage.  Benji with yet another outfit change stood centre stage with his back to the crowd arms outstretched donning a silver sequined jacket.


The band played their final song ‘Warning  during which a rendition of  Boom Shake The Room‘ rang out and Benji had the crowd do the famous Newport Helicopter where the whole room crouch down and on his say so bursts to its feet whirling shirts and t shirts above their heads.  A very impressive sight.  The evening was brought to a close with the Carly Simon song ‘Nobody Does It Better‘.

This is one of the most lively and feel good gigs I have been to in a while.  The energy in the room from the crowd and the band was immense.  I have been to lots of gigs with mosh pits, at this gig the whole room was a mosh pit.

Set List

Big Tings



Rat Race



Sound the Siren

That’s My Jam

Saying It Now

Kill The Power



If you haven’t seen Skindred live, you are missing out on a real treat.  They are easily one of the UK’s best live bands.  You can catch the band at the following venues across the U.K. 

Dec 06 – The Marrs Bar, Worcestershire (SOLD OUT)

Dec 07 – Concorde 2, Brighton (SOLD OUT)

Dec 08 – The Underworld, Camden (SOLD OUT)

Dec 09 – Concorde 2, Brighton

Dec 13 – The Cheese and Grain, Frome

Dec 14 – Roadmender, Northampton

Dec 16 – O2 Academy, Liverpool

Dec 20 – Junction, Cambridge

Dec 21 – O2 Academy, Oxford

Dec 22 – O2 Academy, Leicester

Feb 04 – The booking Hall, Dover (SOLD OUT)


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