Skindred's Benji Webbe picks the top 10 ultimate party starters

Benji Webbe
(Image credit: Wilful Publicity)

Skindred just might be the ultimate party metal band. Whether playing to 10,000+ people in a field (as they did at Download Pilot, Bloodstock and Slam Dunk), or filling clubs up and down the UK, the band have almost single-handedly been providing a cure for the prevailing doom and gloom of the past 18 months. 

Hammer caught up with Skindred's effervescent frontman Benji Webbe to get the top 10 tracks he considers the ultimate party starters.

"I literally just got out the studio last night," says Benji. "Believe you me when I say, album number 8 is great. Not many bands can say that for their eighth album! It’s exactly what we needed after gorging on Just Eat all the time. Now I am in a venue and I am fucking ecstatic. It’s been a hard two years but the key is turned and the engine’s revving – let’s do it!”

Metal Hammer line break

Public Enemy – Fight The Power (1989)

“I went to see Public Enemy years ago; back then I’d never actually heard them, but I went because they were playing with Run-D.M.C. and I wanted to hear Walk This Way. They come walking out onstage and absolutely blew me away. I’ve been a massive fan ever since and can’t resist sticking them in whenever I’m DJing.”

Slipknot – Duality (2004)

Duality is a proper party starter to me. If I hear that song I can party on my fucking own, I’ll be jumping around that much! It brings out my inner lunatic. There’s a lot of different kinds of parties, but again if I’m working as a DJ there are certain songs I just know are going to get the party started right and that’s absolutely one of them, you know?”

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1979)

Queen are one of my all-time favourite artists, easy as. For some reason Don’t Stop Me Now just became my go-to song – I love everything about it and the lyrics are incredible. I remember seeing Queen on Top Of The Pops and thinking, ‘Wow, look at that guy in the fur coat – he looks amazing!’ and his voice was obviously incredible too. But I never really followed them after that until a girl in school went to go see them and brought back the programme. All the cool bands had a programme back then and she was holding onto it like a bloody bible, saying how beautiful Freddie was and how great his voice sounded. From that I wanted to know more about them and I became a big fan. I was never lucky enough to see them – but I remember watching the Live Aid performances. I’ve actually just brought myself the yellow jacket Freddie wears.”

Little Roy - Lithium (2011)

“One of the songs I’ll often play when I’m out is a cover of Lithium by Nirvana, done by this guy Little Roy. That always gets the dancefloor pumping; you’d never think it was by another band to hear it, he turns it into a ska cover! It’s banging and people go crazy for it. The Midlands gave British ska the life it’s got; the first time I saw a band on TV was watching The Specials on The Old Grey Whistle Test, seeing this bunch of kids who looked like they came right off a council estate like me, I just felt like I needed to be that and was really inspired by The Specials in the early days. That Little Roy cover is great, you’ll have a great laugh with it.”

Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover (1978)

'I wanna be your loverrrr!' – it’s as easy as that, innit? The thing I love most about this song is, I was told Prince was engineering at the studio and during the session, the band finished and left so he recorded I Wanna Be Your Lover on his own and that’s absolutely amazing. That’s one to get the party moving real close. He was 17 years old, playing all the instruments and just, oh my god!”

Beastie Boys - Sabotage (1994)

“The second you hear that riff, Sabotage lets you know it’s going to go nuts. I just love the Beastie Boys, they’re real genre killers – they didn’t want to be in one band, they wanted to be all the bands. They know exactly how to do everything they want with any genre they tried too, just perfect to get any room going crazy.”

Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name (1991)

“Let’s talk about a real, proper dancefloor filler… Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The-fucking-Name Of. Oh my god! The first time I heard that record I was just in a van on the way to play a show with my old band Dub War. Ginge [drummer Martin Ford] had a tape and… wow. It sounds so sonically amazing put up against other songs, especially given it was recorded 30 years ago. It stands the test of time and whenever people hear that riff they rush to the dancefloor. It’s the definition of a party starter!”

Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody (1973)

“This is a song I will play every single time I DJ and it absolutely gets everybody bouncing, every single time. I don’t wait until a specific time of year, because it deserves to be played all year round. Merry Christmas Everybody by the one and only Slade! Noddy [Holder]’s voice… he just pitches and its one of my favourites; if people even thought I sounded anything like that I’d be happy. Merry Christmas by Slade isn’t for Christmas; it’s for every single day of the fucking year. I want people to dance and enjoy themselves by any means necessary and if that means playing Nellie The Elephant or Baby Shark I fucking will!”

Skindred – Pressure (2002)

“I don’t big myself up very often but I tell you now, whenever Pressure starts – at a gig or just in a club – I want to see everybody up and dancing. To me, I always think of somewhere like Rock City in Nottingham; I’ve never seen them play us on a club-night but I’m telling you, it’ll go off!”

Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins and Not Tragedies (2005)

“I tell you what always gets my dancefloor moving – that Panic! At The Disco song with the massive chorus – ‘I chime in with a haven’t you people ever heard of…’ gets them every time! Weirdly, as much as I like the normal version, I could just imagine System Of A Down doing the song and making a damn good job of it too. God, they can do anything and make it a party though – ‘SUGARRR’!”

Skindred tour the UK this autumn. For full dates visit their website

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.