Skindred + CKY + Danko Jones
@ O2 Academy Brixton, London
April 28th 2018
Review by Steven Allen
Photography by Michelle Murphy (Mootography)
The Welsh Reggae-Metal masters return to their second home here in London to celebrate the launch of their latest album “Big Tings”. Skindred have forged a reputation for having one of the most electrifying live acts around today, whilst CKY have a huge cult following from the skateboarding scene and Danko Jones are virtually legends in their own right. Tonight is a bill stacked with talent, no two ways about it.
Toronto Canada’s Danko Jones got the night off to a fine start, as the trio played a powerful punchy set.
There is very little in the way of talking as the band keep the songs rolling.
Only occasionally does singer, guitarist and band name sake Danko Jones stop to engage with a crowd that are loving the energy the band are projecting.
Dank Jones have a sound that would suggest they are more than just a three piece and it is infectious as well, so even if you’d never heard a note of their music before you cant help but nod along.
Combined with the energy that they put into their set it is hard not to be impressed. 4/5
I Gotta Rock
The Twisting Knife
Full Of Regret
Gonna Be A Fight Tonight
My Little RnR
Next up were fellow Canadians CKY. Thanks in no small part to the relationship between the band and pro-skater/TV trouble maker Bam Margera (his brother Jess is their drummer) CKY have a huge following and as the band take the stage the room is near to full and the roar that goes up when the backdrop of their iconic red and yellow logo is revealed suggests it’s fuller!
Their catchy brand of punk rock is an immediate hit with their fans, but sadly doesn’t seem to hit home with those less familiar with their material.
It’s not for the want of trying though as CKY tear through their set with the charisma and bravado that have become their trademark.
Despite touring with the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, CKY have never quite crossed that bridge into mainstream thinking and while that may well be part of the attraction for some of their fans, it can be hard to watch a band put their all in to a show and not get the full support of the room.
However they clearly had fun and their fans loved it so in the end that’s all that really matters. 3/5
The Human Drive in Hi-Fi
Attached At The Hip
Flesh Into Gear
Head For A Breakdown
96 Quite Bitter Things
Bite It You Scum (GG Allin cover)
A band clearly having fun and enjoying their life right now are tonight’s headliners. Skindred are definitely on an upward curve right now having enjoyed a successful festival season last year, that included a triumphant set at the U.K’s home of metal Bloodstock Open Air, and now their latest offering Big Tings riding high in the U.K charts all things would appear to be rosy in Skindred’s garden.
As the band take to the stage to their traditional intro music (The Imperial March from Star Wars) and the reggae beats start the release of pent up energy from the crowd is fantastic as they groove along with lead singer/ring master Benji Webb.
A Skindred show is a high octane affair, taking you on twists and turns like no other band can.
Benji can seemingly stop a sing at will and drop in a sample of something a little left field (The Prodigy’s Outta Space to name just one) but these things are clearly well rehearsed and worked out by the band but knowing that doesn’t take away from the experience or the excitement of hearing something you didn’t quite expect. It’s these little things that make Skindred shows unique.
Benji is a born showman, you can’t take your eyes off of him, and has the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish tonight. Wither he’s splitting the crowd down the middle to battle the chorus of “That’s My Jam” or getting a room full of raucous metal heads to fall silent for a touching acoustic rendition of “Saying It Now” he is a true master at working a crowd.
Songs like these also show the diversity of a band like Skindred, it’s not all crushing riffs and reggae vocals like you find on “Nobody” or “Rat Race” they have a love of music that oozes out of them on stage.
But it’s the crushing riffs that get the pits moving of course and no Skindred riff crushes harder live than “Warning” which tonight features not one but two acts of crowd participation.
Firstly before the song even starts Benji has the gathered masses crouch down to the floor and as the song explodes from the PA system, almost as one, the crowd are up and bouncing.
And what Skindred gig would be complete with out their trademark “Newport Helicopter” which ensures everyone leaves the show a hot, sweaty, beer soaked, smiling mess. 5/5
Stand For Something
Sound The Siren
That’s My Jam
Saying It Now
Kill The Power
Roots Rock Riot/Trouble