Live Review: Skindred @ Cardiff Solus

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Although tonight was being looked forward to with great excitement, it didn’t start too well. My camera was left in the car and we were already in a rush, then we turn up at the venue and have the fiasco of finding out that the guestlist spot was non-existent, only to find out later that it was, Cardiff Solus capabilities for you. Anyway, cut the bollocks, £17 later and already missing the opening song, we finally get to start watching Me vs Hero, who, as always, play catchy, crowd pleasing tunes that have summer anthems written all over them. Admittedly there’s nothing new about what they do, on paper it’s rather formulaic pop punk, the only difference is they excel in every field of the genre. The choruses are massive, the beatdowns work perfectly live and a sense of euphoria is ever present.  Although the band only have a debut album under their belt, they already have a set of songs that induce so much excitement when the opening note is played; Cashing Cheques, Star Raiders and Space Invaders and The Days That Shape Our Lives are all perfect examples of Pop Punk at its finest. With a new album expected at some point during the latter part of the year (check back for an interview to be posted soon), it’s about time people took more notice of Me vs Hero, and this tour will undoubtedly help them along. [8]

Then we come to Chiodos, and if I was to put it nicely, they’re just another unneeded, below par, copy-cat, almost pointless post-hardcore band that rip off more than they create, hell, even the frontman has a similar stage presence and attire to Oli Sykes. I could go all Leave the Hall on their ass and abuse the shit out of them, but, in all honesty, their live show and music does that for itself. [4]

On the complete polar opposite of Chiodos, we come to Skindred, a band who are distinctively their own and undeniably brilliant live. So consistent is the mighty force that is Skindred, I could probably do this review without actually watching them and it would still be fairly accurate. But, since I was there, I may as well do it properly. As expected, though, Skindred do what Skindred do best and play with such an infectious nature that within minutes they cause even the most prudent of men lose all self-awareness and dance like a lunatic who’s just dropped some LSDs. Benji shows once again why he’s one of the best frontmen in the game, with bags of charisma, a hilarious sense of humour and a voice to back it up, within seconds he has the crowd in the palm of his hands. Union Black songs stood out against the older classics, and so confident were Skindred that they even managed to get away with dropping some Tinie Tempah and Rihanna into their set, which, if I’m honest, worked rather well.

As a whole, tonight proved yet again why Skindred are one of the most formidable forces in the live environment. From diverse musical abilities to Benji’s comedic nature, regardless of your music taste, this is a band everyone should see. And, as the they come out to an encore boasting Stand For Something, Pressure and Warning, almost everyone in the near-full venue were either bobbing, jumping or doing some sort of ridiculous dance.  If Union Black doesn’t blow Skindred up to the big leagues were they rightfully belong, then this country is surely full of morons. For those though, who haven’t caught Skindred live yet, then do yourself a favour. See. This. Band. [9.5]

Overall a fantastic evening! For more reviews of live rock & metal shows such as this one please check the site on a regular basis as more bands are reviewed live all the time.

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