Skindred @ Boiler Room, 8th November 2018

As the quartet make their way on stage, the crowd progressively gets louder in their excitement. A few squabbles seem to break out behind me as people grab and rip each other out of the way in a bid to get to the front of the stage. It was pretty damn ruthless.

The ringmaster of hell himself – Benji (lead singer) begins breaks into Big Tings from their newest album. Skindred know how to get a crowd amped up and Benji always revels in the crowd interaction, especially in smaller, intimate gigs like these.

Throughout Benji stands on the barriers reaching out to fans giving them high fives before jumping on stage again. Amongst Benji’s madness is the rest of the group’s concentrated energy. They’re excited, jumping around, headbanging and singing along, but they have a more intense concentration on what they are doing.

As the evening continues and tracks from albums new and old entice the fans from over the years, the crowd go absolutely berserk. I even took a tooth to the back of the head from one guy trying to rip me away from the barrier. Fortunately, the group around me noticed and managed to manoeuvre themselves around me, pushing him further back before checking on me, which I’m thankful for. The metal community is nothing if not a family when we see each other hurt and that’s something I’ve always loved.

Then we get to hear Kill The Power. At this moment in time a guy who had let me stand in front of him had somehow made it in front of the barriers and was headbanging and then ended up on stage. Although not looking impressed at this, Benji hands over the mic letting him have a jam. After a minute or so he’s told to come off by security and he makes his way off with the biggest grin on his face. There were noticeable sound issues throughout the night, from not hearing Benji’s vocals to not hearing Mikey’s guitar. This clearly frustrated the band slightly as it did the crowd. There were a lot of sound problems before the opening act (Jayce Lewis) too.

Overall though, after nearly losing my phone during Warning – special shout out to the Newport Helicopters – I enjoyed myself. The best moment of my night was meeting Dan Pugsley though, who was standing at bar after the show. We grabbed a and had a chat. It’s a moment I will not soon forget.

Words: Courtney Solloway

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