Skindred – Lemon Grove, Exeter – November 10 2018.
The latest date on Skindred’s ‘That’s My Jam’ UK tour brought them to Exeter’s Lemon Grove venue for a typically energetic and passionate show. Support on the night came from local band Silvertown and fellow Welsh musician Jayce Lewis.
Silvertown had the task of opening the evening and the local band clearly relished playing to their hometown crowd. Playing a brand of punk rock, the band delivered a 30 minute set that was full of energy and and they interacted well with the sizeable audience that were watching. They were followed by Jayce Lewis who brought a completely different sound with his distinctive collection of heavy industrial infused songs. Again Jayce only had a short set but the performance was very atmospheric and certainly gave a strong showing of what his performances are all about.
With the two support bands completing their sets, the stage was now ready for the arrival of Skindred to what was now a close to packed venue. Coming on stage to the traditional sound of the ‘Imperial March’ from Star Wars, the band opened their set with ‘Big Tings’ from the new album of the same name released earlier this year. This is quickly followed up by ‘Selector’ as the band got into their stride, barely pausing for breath between the first few numbers that also included ‘Ninja’ and another track from the new album, ‘Machine’.
The undoubted star of the night is Skindred’s front man Benji Webbe, who is in fine form for the whole of the show. As a vocalist he has a great range, effortlessly going from fast paced reggae, to heavy metal growls and everything in between. He also has tremendous energy on stage, with a number of costume changes only adding to his larger than life on stage presence. Finally he has great interaction with the crowd and ensures that everyone gets involved with singalongs and various choreographed movements.
The set list for the evening covers the whole spectrum of the bands career, with the pace only slowing for an acoustic performance of ‘Saying It Now’. With Benji’s vocals accompanied only by the guitar of Mikey Demus, it’s a particular highlight of the show and once again demonstrates the tremendous range in Benji’s voice. An impassioned performance of ‘Kill The Power’ followed with the crowd holding the fists in the air in unison. Closing the main set is ‘Nobody’, which is delivered with the typical energy now expected from the band and is followed by a rapturous reception from the audience as the band left the stage.
However the evening is not quite over yet, as with the crowd demanding that the band return to the stage for one more song, they duly obliged with a full on performance of ‘Warning’, complete with the ever impressive Newport Helicopter, that many of the crowd joined in with. This brought the show to a close and once again Skindred had maintained their reputation as one of the great live bands. Their energy and enthusiasm is extremely infectious and it’s impossible to not have a good time at one of their shows, particularly with a frontman such as Benji leading proceedings. With plenty of dates remaining on the current run, make sure you catch them before the end of the year. You will not be disappointed.
Words: Chris Bodkin
Pictures: Steph Bodkin