Photos: Tom Laxton

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Supporting a Skindred show requires amped up party rock and the intent to get everyone in the room suitably warmed up, when Last Hounds (6) walked on stage they surely had the energy to do so. The band were equipped with chunky riffs and plenty of gang chants but their songs fell into formula almost immediately after the first one played. Every chorus sounded the same souring what is actually a fairly interesting sound: think a riffier Don Broco. Despite this, I can’t help but think that by expanding the bite and attitude while writing quality, catchy and interesting songs, Last Hounds could be something good.

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Ahh, the token headbangin support! You know the one, you stand there for 25 minutes banging your head around pulling your best metal face and then leave the set feeling refreshed and ultimately with little recolection of what the band actually sounded like. Ballsdeep (7) lack talent in the name creating department but there’s no question of their musical chops as they swept through the set with technical accuracy and a captivating nature from the instrumentalists. Their head bang candy was well loved by the crowd, not bad for a Wednesday night!

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We take Skindred (9) for granted; yeah they’re this inescapable force of nature that will most likely be playing your city or nearby music festival on any given year, but they’ll absolutely never let you down. One of life’s great certainties is that Skindred are going to give you the best time, bringing a setlist of bangers, loads of on stage banter and a set worthy of getting your dancing shoes out for. I knew this was going to be a party fest as soon as the set opened up with a rock club-like musical preamble of Dont Stop Me Now, Thunderstruck and Blitzkrieg Bop, then the surge of excitement when the band walked out sent everyone right in to dancing mode.

Skindred know how to put on the perfect set for their audience, accurately balancing jams with crowd participation ensuring that every member of the crowd leaves thoroughly partied out. While their set wasn’t very ‘halloweeney’, Skindred made Wednesday feel like a Saturday night in the way only they know how.

It’s proved everytime Skindred walk onto a stage that those that pass up the opportunity to catch the band are just silly. They should be a rare pleasure, know how lucky you are that they’re always there for you.