Review & Photos by Lindsey Appleton
Well after getting myself completely pumped up for this gig for the last few weeks the day was finally here. Call me a fan girl call me what you will, but this was a gig I was beyond excited to see. Now I would spent the afternoon getting to watch these guys set up for their gig tonight. My little girl being one of the youngest Skindred fans going, had already met these guys at just 9 months old in 2014 at their Meet and Greet at Fopp here in Manchester. And after bugging me for weeks asking: ‘can we see Benji mummy?’, we finally did. After a quick convo via social media as true to their word it led my little girl now 2.5 to having a photo op with her favourite band. It shows that this band is all about their fans and not disappointing them. Talking with Benji and in his words: ‘the children are the next generation’. This sentiment blends in perfectly with the lyrics of their song: ‘the kids are right now’ from their previous album ‘Kill The Power’. We caught up with the guys later on when we went backstage to cover the gig. The Manchester Academy has staged some terrific artists such as Thunder, Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth and now the mighty ‘SKINDRED!!!
First up were Yashin a 6 piece from Glasgow, Scotland.
These guys were very unique, they have a metal-core style to them mixed with a dash of rave.
Alot of up tempo synths are mixed into their music among the hard metal-core. Vocalists Harry Radford & Kevin Miles bound about the stage with a lot of energy , and Harry even throws himself into the crowds. The clean vocals mixed with the guttural growls were delivered powerfully and shows you can sing a melody while distorting your voice, which may not appeal to some but to me shows emotion and method within their music. These guys performed their latest single ‘Dorothy Gale’ from their new album ‘The Renegades’ , this song was well crafted, full of intense guitars and lots of bounce.
Follow them on: Facebook
Next up were HED(P.E), a metal/rasta/punk/hip hop infused band from California. These guys were totally insane to say the least. Having not seen or heard these guys before, they totally blew me away, and found a new fan in me. With deep booming guitars and roaring drum beats, these guys suck you into the mayhem they create on stage. Their songs aggressive and no holds barred, they are straight to the point lyrically with a ‘we take no bullshit’ kind of attitude. Hed P.E get Fans chanting along with ‘Suck it Up’ and ‘No Turning Back’ , the room now bouncing along with the band. These guys are nothing like what you will have heard before, i will definitely be looking out for these guys in future.
Follow them on: hedperocks.com
Crossfaith up next, I’ve heard nothing but good things about these guys from everyone i know that’s been to see them, and being a first timer seeing this band as well i cant wait to see what they produce on stage. They are definitely people pleasers, from the word go as soon as they bound out onto the stage they have that automatic like’a’bility factor about them. This Japanese band fuse a mix of metal-core with electronic dance music, heavily based on synths. Their hard hitting ferocity is like a heavy metal assault which blast your ear drums like bombs going off at war but instead of bombs its hard hitting beats being dropped on you. The band shows no mercy as they catapult themselves from side of the stage to another showing boundless energy, their speed and intensity draws you into their performance. With a lot of fist pumping riffs, Crossfaith really got the fans energized. With songs such as ‘Xeno’ and ‘Devils Party’ getting everyone revved up, nothing could have made the night more on fire than Benji Webbe from Skindred joining Crossfaith on stage for their song ‘Wildfire’. Crossfaith finished the night with a cover of Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, a fantastic way to end their set.
Follow them on: crossfaith.jp
Finally the band I’ve been waiting weeks to see, Skindred hit the stage.
Skindred are an atmospheric, electronic reggae metal band from Wales. They start the night with a booming start with ‘Kill The Power’ which has elements of garage and dub-step , by now everyone in the crowd is jumping, as all bands leading up to Skindred have surpassed themselves keeping the electric flowing ready for these guys. Skindred play a couple of old favourites throughout the night ‘Ninja’ and ‘Nobody’, which for an old school fan like me could listen to all night long. Skindred throw in a cover of Metallicas ‘Sad but True’ which completely threw me off course but made me want to hear them do more covers with their own spin on it, i just cant get enough of these guys. They finish the night with Warning, being joined on stage by HED P.E’s vocalist and vocalist from Crossfaith, what an incredible finish, really gutted as I don’t want this gig to end. Skindred completely dominated this stage tonight , their presence their passion and their drive is true to who they are this shines through their performance. I have been absolutely blown away by all bands that have hit this stage here tonight.
Follow them on: skindred.net