A four band bill, with Therapy? and their extensive back catalogue performing as main support, performing way down in Brixton, on a Friday night – we always knew it would be a struggle to arrive in time for Black Spiders, let alone openers The Defiled. But with Sons of the North a regular on our Spotify playlist we do everything we can to arrive in time.
Unsurprisingly as we reach the doors we can hear Just Like a Woman seductively enticing us within. We’re fortunate to catch the end of these sleaze-laden rockers’ sexiest anthem, plus a mini-mosh to Wolves before the Spiders break into their boisterous finale, Blood of the Kings. They climax with guitars held high and the all-but-full Brixton Academy waving their devil-horns emphatically. The perfect warm-up for what we already know will be one of the most entertaining metal nights of the year. 8/10
Therapy? made their presence felt with their arrival back on the scene during last summer’s festivals. Their quirky, slightly off kilter brand of rock has allowed them to remain a little more interesting than some of their 90’s contemporaries. Or maybe it’s just that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Whatever the reason Therapy? are afforded a warm welcome by the Brixton crowd. Their set starts off somewhat disjointedly with Ghost Trio and Before You, With You, After You getting a little lost in the muddle.
Mention of the bands seminal album Troublegum brings things into focus and Die Laughing seems to bring a degree of clarity to proceedings. Things click into gear and the a few technical issues aside Therapy? deliver a very enjoyable set including Isolation and their new single Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing. The climax of their performance unleashes Nowhere and Screamager and the band finish on a very definite high. 7/10
The last time Skindred graced the Brixton Academy stage was playing second fiddle to Rob Zombie a year ago. Skindred rose to the challenge that night but seemed so very small on such a giant stage. Tonight they return as headliners and they dominate the stage from start to finish, moving the crowd from the barricade to the sound desk.
Skindred are on fine form this evening, as rampant as the Lion that adorns the sleeve of Union Black, they are musically tight but relaxed and playful throwing in Slayer Riffs, some Beyonce, a little AC/DC, Slipknot mash-ups and even a soupcon of Carly Simon.
As always their hearts are on their sleeves, and they have a lot of heart. Tonight is a message of unity, self belief and following dreams. A message delivered through the storming bravado of songs like Stand for Something, Pressure and Nobody punctuated with the more subtle and emotive The Fear.
Skindred bring their set and the night to a bombastic close with Warning replete with enthusiastic Newport Helicopter, a whirling dervish of shirts and Skindred/ jagermeister branded bandanas on a sea of bouncing punters. A scintillating end to an excellent evening. 9/10
Written by: Lou Howells & Tom Raybould
Photo by: Mike White