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Skindred Brings "Big Tings" To Bristol With CKY And Danko Jones

Since first seeing them supporting Soulfly in February 2006, Skindred has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the most popular bands in the United Kingdom today. Unsurprising then, that on returning to the same venue where I first saw them, they're headlining a sold out show with two big names supporting them, namely Danko Jones and CKY. With a new album entitled "Big Tings" (released today, April 27th,) Skindred were hotly tipped to be on form tonight.

Opening the show at half seven was Canadian rock and roll ambassador, Danko Jones. There was a decent sized crowd for an opening act, but Danko and his eponymous band were more than willing to show everyone what they're all about. Performing with just as much energy and ferocity as they did on the main stage at Graspop last year, the group opened with "I Gotta Rock" from the latest album, "Wildcat," and continued to tear through their set fueled by an undying love for rock and roll. "Sugar Chocolate" went down well with the crowd, in part thanks to the frenzied movements and vocals from Danko himself, as did "First Date" and "Gonna Be A Fight Tonight," before they closed off their time with another song from, "Wildcat," the anthemic, "Little RnR," which may well be the best song Danko Jones has ever written. A great set which would have delighted fans of the band and rock and roll in general, though there were a few who didn't seem to get it.

Speaking of not getting it, following Danko Jones was Pennsylvania's own, CKY. There were more than a few CKY shirts in the crowd on this night, often paired with CKY hats. As someone who's not familiar with CKY's music at all, I watched with an open mind, interested to see what the fuss was about. Fans of the band clearly had a great time and there's some elements for the newcomer to enjoy, such as some really groovy rhythms, but overall, it all seemed a bit middle of the road and uninteresting to become attached to, at least to someone who watched out of interest rather than excitement.

And so, we come to Skindred. Straight out of Newport, the Welsh quartet opened the headline performance with the title track from the new album, "Big Tings," which went down very well and from then on, the crowd barely stopped moving. "Stand For Something," one of the more rock/metal orientated singles the band has released over the years was next on the agenda, before heading back to "Babylon" to perform "Selecter" and "Pressure," during the latter of which, they performed a snippet of the AC/DC classic, "Back In Black," tiny covers becoming a recurring theme during the set.

Newer material wasn't scarce either, as songs such as "Ninja," "Kill The Power" and "Sound The Siren," as well as more material from "Big Tings" such as the beautiful tribute to a friend, "Saying It Now" (a version of which was also on the preceding album, "Volume,") the single, "Machine" and the latest crowd moving sing along, "That's My Jam," which was built up by getting the crowd to sing the chourus of 2pac and Dr. Dre's, "California Love," before performing their first hit, "Nobody." When it came to the encore, the band revisited their second album, "Roots Rock Riot," performing the title track (with a snippet of Metallica's, "Sad But True" included) and "Rat Race," before culminating with "Warning" from the 2011 album, "Union Black," which sent the already hysteric crowd into chaos, all excited for the bridge where practically everyone in the room, including security staff, took part in the "Newport Helicopter," wherein one removes an item of clothing and waves it around their head. With such a positive vibe, great music and one of the most charismatic frontmen in the world today in the form of Benji Webbe, I stand by my long time stance that Skindred are the best live band going today.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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