Tonight’s show has queues of fans winding around the underbelly of Leeds University Union, patiently waiting for what they all know is going to be a night of top quality live music. Yashin make a good start to the night, with the lead singer spending as much time amongst the crowd as he does on stage, and getting the crowd involved in the show. Hed PE bring an interesting blend of musical genres to the show, incorporating punk, reggae, metal and rap. Despite having been around for 20 years, the band still set up their own instruments, and when it becomes apparent that they won’t be starting on time, they tell the sound desk to sort out the levels whilst they play and start jamming.
Crossfaith face no such problems, and they have the crowd bouncing from the moment they hit the stage until the moment they finish their set. Fans even get an early glimpse of Skindred frontman Benji Webbe as he joins Koie Kenta on vocals for ‘Wildfire’ from Crossfaith’s new album Xeno. The highlight, though, is their cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, which concludes their set.
When it comes to live performance, few bands can top Crossfaith; fortunately for the crowd Skindred are one of those select few. Whatever your taste in music, it is difficult to dislike their eclectic mix of punk, metal, reggae and dancehall, made all the more enjoyable in the live setting by their charismatic frontman Benji Webbe. Making his way to the stage in his sequin jacket with the Imperial March ringing around the venue, he has one priority and that is to ensure that each and every member of the crowd is having fun. Indeed, this is something that they have no choice in, with Benji quite happy to stop the show and call people out on failing to enjoy themselves to their fullest capacity. Blending songs from across their career, along with Benji’s unique commentary and showmanship, the Skindred show is flawless and leaves every member of the crowd heading home smiling from ear to ear.