Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Skindred, BLACKGOLD, Cody Frost, Rock City, Nottingham, 19/10/2023

Skindred have slowly become one of the UK’s biggest metal acts. Everyone in the metal scene knows Skindred and knows they are always worth wondering down to at a festival, but it seems the vast majority of the UK has also learned this in the past few months.

With a viral TikTok trend under their belt and the release of their hugely successful Smile – the band’s latest LP, it is hardly a surprise the welsh band have announced a huge Wembley arena date next year.

However before that, we have a huge UK tour, which is completely sold out – once again speaking to the band’s growing popularity, despite being around for over 20 years, this seems to be the band finally reaching their peak.

Opening the evening, upcoming alternative act Cody Frost takes to the stage. Frost has recently collaborated with the likes of Bury Tomorrow and Enter Shikari, which would suggest she is destined for big things. The dancey rhythms of BERLIN had people grooving, and her impressive vocals felt heartfelt throughout the short but fun performance. An enjoyable opener. 8/10

BLACKGOLD were up next, with a heavy brand of nu-metal. The mysterious masked men took to the stage and certainly made a statement. Vocalist Spookz is an impressive frontman, and they definitely surprised a few people with their energy! A particular highlight of the night was a sprinkling of Cypress Hill‘s I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That, which is never a bad shout to play a song most people know when you are a relatively new band. Definitely worth half hour of your time. 8/10

Appearing slightly earlier than posted on social media, lead singer Benji Webbe and the rest of Skindred took to a packed out Rock City crowd.

Opening with Set Fazers from the latest LP, it was clear that the band were not going to have too much trouble working the crowd. Old school anthems Babylon and Rat Race followed which had the room bouncing.

A huge part of Skindred gigs is crowd involvement. It’s not the sort of gig you stand around twiddling your thumbs at.

That statement is particularly true for fan favourite That’s My Jam, which will have you ‘whoop whoop’-ing all night long, despite Benji Webbe telling you your side of the room sounds shit!

It’s easy to forget Webbe is more than just a reggae rockstar. His vocal talent being on full display during If I Could, which Webbe spoke honestly about it being a rehearsal for Jools Holland, with the band set to perform on later in the week – yet another accolade for the band’s fantastic 2023.

Perhaps one of the surprises of the set was the hugely popular Nobody’s drop. As the song grew into its famous ‘nobody gets out of this shark pit alive’ drop, a drum and bass remix had the room raving, and was a hugely successful surprise.

Lead single from Smile, unapologetic nu-metal anthem Gimme That Boom was as good as you would expect live with a chorus like that.

Into the encore of this fairly short set, with just the thirteen songs. Lighter track Our Religion almost plays as a warm up into the song a lot of us will have been here before.

Warning, the official national anthem of the infamous Newport Helicopter, closed a hell of a set.

As the helicopter took off, a sea of shirts flew up into the sky as one of the biggest riffs in metal kicked off and marked the final destination of the evening.

Overall, it was a great evening, with Skindred being as entertaining as ever, and showing off their new album to a grand success, which you could easily see working to an arena crowd. Get yourself down to Skindred, as they are probably playing near you in the next few months! 10/10