“Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the pool area.” was our greeting last Thursday night, as The Skints took to the stage.
After seeing their shining set at 2000 Trees festival this summer, I did not want to miss the return of the reggae infused rockers to the heart of Leeds. The Skints are all brilliantly talented; childhood friends and ever-growing in their success. In fact, the gathering at Beckett Union was, as they so graciously thanked us for, their biggest headline crowd to date.
Amongst an adorned stage (fake plants and bubble machines galore), the band worked their magic, flitting between mellow, soulful reggae and punk-rock choruses. Marcia Richards stood centre-stage: a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist. Keyboard, vocals, melodica, saxophone, guitar, flute- you name it, she could play it. The fusion of rap, both from Marcia and front-man Joshua Waters Rudge, was a delight. Their 2015 hit ‘This Town’ caused more than a stir for Marcia’s opening verse, whilst tracks off their 2019 release ‘Swimming Lessons’ were just as heartily embraced.
Rudge was star leader in keeping the audience on their toes, bouncing around the stage for the entire hour and a half set and not for a second letting the energy falter. If drummer Jamie Kyriakides was taking on the vocals, Rudge would be there at the edge of the stage mouthing every lyric to the grooving crowd.
It was one of the most infectious atmospheres of any gig I’ve been to all year, and it came down to the band genuinely having the time of their lives. Whether it was some concoction they all downed before they bounded on stage, or whether it was just the pleasure of performing, The Skints are like coming up from under the water for a breath of fresh air.
Header Image Credit: Louder Than War