27 April, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Inc support from Me Vs Hero and Chiodos…
Experiencing Skindred live was like watching someone lift the lid on a menacing Pandora’s box to release the swarm of Reggae/Punk/Rock energy and in your face attitude that caused a sold out Wedgewood Rooms to throb with excitement.
A bizarre mix of influences that entwined beautifully and conjured the fantastic comparitive experience to that of Bob Marley crashing the stage and jamming with a metal band. An experience made possible by the larger than life performance and talents of frontman, Benji Webbe.
The seamless leaps between chilled out reggae to hard rock mash ups and metal thrash was overwhelming. There were songs that pounded like bullets through your heart and others that awakened your perspective on life, lifting you into a state where you understood the dominant message throughout their set, which was to basically “chill the f*ck out”.
Benji kept the audience entertained on all levels with his wild dred head banging performance, bizarre costumes and ability to encourage the crowd with his stories behind the music and outlandish opinions. A highlight was when he said:
“I spoke to my Nan before the gig tonight and she said: “If anybody stands still, tell them to fuck the fuck off!””
The climatic high delivered by Skindred would not have been so pleasingly throttled forward however without the solid grounded support from Me Vs Hero and Chiodos. Unfortunately I was clambering for the bar during most of Me Vs Hero’s set, but from what I could hear they sounded truly epic and I hope to fully appreciate them head on in the future.
Thankfully I was ready and waiting for Chiodos who were mind changing with their awesome ability to completely enthral the audience into their world. Now in my top 5 favourite bands, I remained in awe and completely taken back by how fantastically talented and tight this band was.
There indie harmonic vocals seem to ooze naturally into the hard rock metal tones and lead singer, Brandon Bolmer, easily swooped from tuneful to screamo in a way that reminded me of the spine tingling and earth shattering vocals of Ronnie from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Bradley Bell on keys was also an inspiration, witnessing a head banging metaller on the keyboard was deliciously different (blush). Ultimately though, It was the intricacy of each song claiming its own unique identity with satisfying depth and changes that resulted in the absolute perfect sound that was released leaving those who appreciate good rock music gasping as a witness. Simply stunning.
The entire evening was unforgettable, a gig that landed its role as a lifetime experience with ease showcasing bands that are sure to set the bar for rock music in the future.
Photography by Hannah Mesquitta
To read more on Jennifer’s blog go to www.jenthered.co.uk