Skindred, are regular touring visitors to Manchester both as special guests to more larger names and also on their own regular headlining tours.Tonight however they are the opening act for Disturbed playing to a sold out venue for two nights! When this coupling was first announced I must admit to having expressed some reservations about what I felt was an unusual combination.  However these fears were allayed as soon as I entered the venue and saw that even with an early doors opening that many fans were eager to check out Skindred as well as the very popular Disturbed.

Opening up to the Imperial march theme song and then on “Big Tings” Skindred were immediately impressive from the outset.  Their huge wall of musical noise quickly engaged the crowd who responded with a huge wave of energy and emotion.  Front man singer Benji Webbe possesses both a charismatic personality and a huge vocal sound as he urged  the crowd to join in and actively participate in the bands performance.He appeared to be enjoying himself nearly as much as his audience .It was actually his audience because despite it being a Disturbed show,an almost full venue participated actively and were visually having a great night as a direct result of what was being delivered by Skindred themselves..Energy levels were at a premium and I was sure that the band must have plugged themselves into the electricity supply before going onto the stage. Skindred have quite literally been around the block for longer than I can imagine-I think almost for twenty years now-and indeed it is personally difficult to ever recall a time when their name wasn’t regularly appearing in the gig listings in the rock press. Benji engages and talks to the crowd often during the set and although he does sprout some well worn cliches its hard to diss what he says when he delivers it in such an effective manner that causes the listener to believe what he is passionately stating.  Declaring his love of metal as a musical genre with covers such as “Back in Black” and “War Pigs” (albeit in a different style) he wears his heart very much on his sleeve.

A further cover in the bands set of the Prodigy’s “Out of Space” illustrated the difficulty that the band have.They are hard to describe in terms of musical styles or genres but prefer to straddle many Although I do feel that they have fused a variety of musical influences into their own Funked up metal style.
Many support bands only get a short allocated time slot to showcase their musical wares but its to the credit of the headliners that Skindred were allowed to deliver a lengthy set combining those aforementioned classic covers with their own musical anthems such as “Game Over”and “Kill the Power”
The Newport Helicopter windmilling to the now legendary “Nobody”brought the set to a close.The band that play a hybrid sound and who surprised me that they were playing with Disturbed fully delivered in what I assumed would be very trying circumstances battling against an apathetic audience-easily succeeded in delivering a hugely entertaining set.  They have put in the hard and lengthy roadwork over the years now its their opportunity and time-to reap the benefits of their industrious approach.


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* Photo Credit:  Christopher James Ryan Photography
Skindred has plenty of gigs for the rest of the year, check out the dates below:
Thu. 6/13- Firenze Rocks in Firenze, Italy
Sat. 6/15- Download Festival in Donington Park, United Kingdom
Thu. 6/20- Copenhell in Kobenhavn, Denmark
Sat. 6/22- Hellfest in Clisson, France
Mon. 6/24- INMusic Festival in Zagreb, Croatia
Tue. 6/25- Akvarium Klub in Budapest, Hungary
Thu. 6/27- Conrad Sohm in Dornbirn, Austria
Fri. 6/28- Rock In Evreux in Evreux, France
Sat. 6/29- RosRock in Rossum, Netherlands
Fri. 7/5- PlaneR Festival in Colombier-saugnieu, France
Sat. 7/6- Weekend Beach Festival in Torre Del Mar, Spain
Wed. 7/10- Atlas Weekend in Kyiv, Ukraine
Fri. 7/12- Pietsarri open air in Jacobstad, Finland
Tue. 7/16- Stadthalle in Graz, Austria
Fri. 7/19- Deichbrand Festival in Cuxhaven, Germany
Sat. 7/27- Festival Castleo Rock in Muros, Spain
Thu. 8/1- Castle Festival in Fara, Slovenia
Sat. 8/3- Open Air Granichen in Granichen, Switzerland
Fri. 8/9- Rocco del Schlacko Festivalgelande in Puttlingen, Germany
Sat. 8/10- Hutte Rockt Festival in Georgsmarienhutte, Germany
Sat. 8/17- Highfield Festival in Leipzig, Germany
Wed. 8/28- Slizovica Festival in Nitra, Slovakia
Fri. 8/30- Rock for Churchill in Vroutek, Czech Republic
Fri. 10/4- Arrecife en Vivo 19 in Arrecife, Spain
Fri. 11/29- Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sat. 11/30- Die Kantine in Koln, Germany
Sun. 12/1- Substage Karlsruhe e.V. in Karlsruhe, Germany
Mon. 12/2- Kulturzentrum Schlachthof e.V. in Bremen, Germany
Tue. 12/3- Batschkapp in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Thu. 12/5- Bi Nuu in Berlin, Germany
Fri. 12/6- HsD in Ef, Germany
Sat. 12/7- Beatpol-Dresden e.V. in Dresden, Germany
Sun. 12/8- Lucerna Music Bar in Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Tue. 12/10- SIMM City in Wien, Austria
Wed. 12/11- Backstage Concerts GmbH in Munchen, Germany
Thu. 12/12- Legend Club in Milano, Italy
Sun. 12/15- Mon in Madrid, Spain
Tue. 12/17- Metronum in Toulouse, France
Wed. 12/18- La Maroquinerie in Paris, France
Thu. 12/19- L’Aeronef in Euralille, France
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.
Fans can find SKINDRED at the following locations:
Find Mark Dean at the following locations:


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