THE UN­DER­WORLD, LON­DON Bri­tain’s feel­good firestarters bring some sea­sonal cheer

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Live Reviews - MAL­COLM DOME

“Wel­come to the Skin­dred Xmas party. Are you ready to party? I SAID, ARE YOU READY TO PARTY?!” Benji Webbe leaves no­body in any doubt what’s go­ing to hap­pen tonight. Skin­dred are out to have a great time, and take ev­ery­one in the packed venue with them. It is like try­ing to put a gal­lon into a pint pot. This is a band who can fill Brix­ton Academy, so to see them play­ing a club is weird, but go­ing back to their roots works bril­liantly for all who love Skin­dred. The at­mos­phere is elec­tri­fy­ing, with fans hap­pily singing along with­out any need for prompt­ing.

Benji him­self brings to mind Dee Snider in the days when Twisted Sis­ter were do­ing club shows. Or Noddy Holder dur­ing his Slade prime. The lat­ter cer­tainly springs to mind when the front­man leads the whole au­di­ence into a ren­di­tion of Merry Christ­mas Ev­ery­body be­fore break­ing into Rat Race. This isn’t the only time the band delve into some­one else’s mu­sic, as AC/DC’s Back In Black is briefly ref­er­enced dur­ing Pres­sure, while The Prodigy’s Out Of Space is cel­e­brated dur­ing the mid­dle of Kill The Power.

The en­tire gig has a joy­ous feel. Skin­dred do be­long on much big­ger stages, but they ab­so­lutely embrace the oc­ca­sion, clearly rev­el­ling in be­ing so close to the crowd. And when Benji ex­horts fans to rip off their t-shirts and do the New­port He­li­copter dur­ing en­core Warn­ing, the place is awash with sweat-soaked shirts be­ing whirled above heads. Ev­ery song here is a nat­u­ral an­them, em­pha­sis­ing that Skin­dred are peer­less at writ­ing mu­sic that makes you move and groove. This is the best gig of 2018. If you were there you know this to be true. If you weren’t, you’ve now been told!

Benji Webbe: mas­ter ofsea­sonal cer­e­monies

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