Unfortunately because of traffic (damn you Nottingham Forest!…but congrats on your 1-0 win) I miss openers Yashin. By the looks of the not even half full room, so have a lot of other people.
Not to worry, as next up are (Hed) P.E, who, after an impromptu rendition of “Ghost Town” in sound check, storm into “No Turning Back”. Mixing metal and punk with a side order of rap rock the band warm up the ever-growing crowd. “Renegade” is a stand out song, with the hook ‘You push me so I’ll push you right back’ being shouted back from the audience. They end on the short but aggressive “Peer Pressure”.
Crossfaith are the last band to play before the headliners that everyone in the now full room are here to see. The Japanese quintet open with the title track from recent fourth album “Xeno”. The band go crazy, making the stage their own, while the rows of bouncing punters on the barrier get a visit from keyboardist Terufumi Tamano during “Countdown To Hell”. New single “Devil’s Party” goes down a storm, getting the whole room jumping and clapping. We get a taste of what’s to come as Skindred vocalist Benji Webbe joins the band for “Wildfire”, which shows off the electro metal Crossfaith are known for perfectly, making the crowd go wild (pun intended!) They end on the massive cover of The Prodigy’s “Omen”, pushing every last bit of energy into the performance.
Finally the British behemoth that is Skindred take to the stage. Benji Webbe takes over the room as soon as he enters, draped in a black and white fur coat with spiky sunglasses (and props to the man, it is boiling in here!) Skindred also choose to open with a track off their new album (Volume) “Under Attack”. For the next hour and a half they blast through a plethora of reggae infused metal tracks spanning their carrier from the old school “Pressure” to new songs “Sound The Siren” and album title track “Volume”. Half way through the set Benji leads the sold out crowd in a mass chant, asking ‘Where we at, where we at?’ getting ‘NOTTINGHAM!’ shouted back by the 2000 odd attendees excitedly. To end the main part of the set Skindred play the massive fan-favourite “Nobody”, with the hook ‘Nobody, nobody gets out alive’ heard from the front to the very back of the room. After a minute or two of restlessness from the fans they head back out on stage for a two song encore of “Playing With The Devil” and “Warning” – the latter bringing back to the stage Koie Kenta and Jahred Gomes, the vocalists of Crossfaith and (Hed) P.E., finishing with the now obligatory (but still super fun) ‘Newport helicopter’ (if you’re not familiar with the Newport Helicopter I suggest you Google it now!) After farewells they leave the sold out crowd sweating, shirtless but completely buzzing off the energy of the last few hours, no amount of drizzly November weather could dampen spirits tonight.
Photos and review by Carrie-Anne Pollard