Skindred Night Of The Living Dred @ Empire Coventry, 31st October 2018

Opening up tonight are local lads Last Hounds, a 5 piece hardcore punk band. 

These guys are growing from strength to strength, and provide an engaging performance with emotive screams.  They close all on the ground, while the crowds horns are raised high. 

Ballsdeep are next, if you can get over the name which is easy for most metallers.  The venue is brimming to the doors when they arrive.   They come with dominant force on the smaller circuits like Metal in Birmingham.  This year they have smashed a slot at HRH and are now supporting Skindred. To sum up, they deliver a bone shaking, spine tingling aggressive performance with copious amounts of rage and thunderous drums.  The pace is constantly maintained through their set and the fans were roaring.

Opening the UK leg of the tour with That’s My Jam, in true Skindred style the fan favourite leads to Thunderstruck followed by The Imperial March.  Watching the fans is something joyous as all the band make their way to the stage. Benji not far behind sees thunderous roars from a freakishly dressed crowd of zombies, monsters and horrors. The costumes and effort need to be commended some of them look epic.

Opening up tonight is album title track Big Tings, which sets the crowd off to a wild start.  This keeps up pretty much all the way through Pressure, and Rat Race and the pace is fast and frantic, the fans were already warm, now they’re on fire.

Key highlight for me was where Benji asks the fans to “make some noise for the bands who have played on the stage tonight” and repeats himself for louder roars as they roar back. He then shares a story with us about his friend being diagnosed with a terminal illness, he asked Benji to come back and see him again, but then normal life’s challenges get in the way.   I realise how this relates to me and many others, far more than we realise.  Don’t let things that matter wait too long. Benji then pours out his heart with a soul wrenching acoustic performance of Saying it Now, played perfectly.   You can almost feel his pain and a big show of his amazing vocals, overlayed at the close “Sean I Love You, Sean I Love You”.

No set would be complete without Kill the Power with its catchy chorus a true favourite of many.  Hearing that crowd “kill the power”  Benji “Did you hear me say Kill the Power”, as the crowd respond quietly yes “Well why didn’t you feckin say it then,  crowd  “KILL THE POWER!!!” as he responds “ughhhh” they roar “KILL THE POWER!!!”

Closing tonight is an introduction to the band followed by The Ring Master of Disaster with a heavy beat booming through the place for “Boom, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake the room” and it literally does just that.

“Everybody get down” requests Benji  as the crowd are all crouched he tell fans “Make sure you tell people you love em” This songs called “Warning, Warning, Warning” is followed by thunderous bass  which give the crowd plenty to jump around to.   They end the night ends with Nobody Does It Better. 

Another sweaty, bouncy night with heart, emotion and reggae metal thumping beats.

There ain’t no show like a Skindred show.

Thunderstruck (AC/DC song)

The Imperial March (John Williams song)

Big Tings



Rat Race



Sound the Siren

That’s My Jam

Saying It Now (Acoustic)

Kill the Power (with “Out of Space snippet by The Prodigy)

Destroy the Dancefloor




Nobody Does It Better

Reviewer and Photographer: Chris Bowley 

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