Skindred Jagermeister tour at Brixton Academy review and pictures

Posted on 24 April 2012
By Dan Rayner
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In their bid to become the ‘Jack Daniels for a new generation’, Jagermeister summoned three spirits from the past (Therapy?), something for the future (in the form of openers Black Spiders), and music for today’s jilted generation in the form of Benji Webbe’s raggadubmetalpunkers, Skindred.

The ‘co-headliner’ is a curious thing, somebody’s name has to go at the top of the poster but who gets to come first?

Therapy? have the chops to headline this shindig, but Skindred, who perhaps only because they genre-skip at will, are not yet a household name in the UK, are irrepressibly on the rise. And deservedly so. They have ‘cracked’ America on their own terms, touring arenas with the likes of Korn, and this hardcore commitment to their art has made them the kind of band that nobody wants to play above.

In Benji Webbe they have a frontman who is a new leader in music. He is a character without falling into the trap of caricature and has the charisma to take this bulging crowd where he wants. But it’s not all about Benji. In Dan, Arya and Mikee they have a band of musos who know when to lighten the mood and when to drop it hard to devastating effect.

Is it precisely because Skindred skip across the genres so easily that they are still UK rock’s best kept secret? With US arena tours under their belts, it seemed only appropriate for them to take the stage to the sound of ACDC, white smoke billowing and white spotlights blazing before ripping into Roots Rock Rio€t.

Skindred possess groove in spades, making them hard to resist and impossible to emulate. Benji knows how to set a soulful melody against a clashing cymbal and banging drums whilst Mikee has riffs for days, cranking out Doom Riff and Stand for Something with the kind of nonchalance that says “don’t worry, I got this.”

For added texture and innovation that crosses pop-rock boundaries, the band drop in Beyonce and Slipknot samples.

If you caught any of their massive festival slots across Europe recently, you’ll know that they fear no-one. They are here to convert you and take you with them. Few can resist. Tonight marks a real milestone for a band who have put in the hard yards, building a heavy reputation for their live shows.

Of course, this kind of reputation brings the pressure of expectation from a crowd ready to dance. And with flawless renditions of Destroy the Dancefloor, Pressure, Trouble and closing banger Warning, Skindred aren’t likely to become victims of their own success any time soon. As King Willy said: “Dred, man, truly dred.”

Words and pictures by Dan Rayner