Let’s face it, we could all do with something to look forward to. So Skindred’s announcement of their UK tour for September 2021 – for which they’ll be joined by Swedish disco rockers Royal Republic – came as a welcome surprise. Two of the most fun live bands around right now, on one bill? Oh hell yes.
To an outsider it may seem an odd pairing. ‘Heavy, badass metal from Wales supported by disco rock from the land of ABBA?’ we hear you cry. ‘Benji Webbe and co thrashing out ragga-metal fusions, preceded by four suited blokes doing sassy four-part vocal harmonies? Are you high?’ Au contraire. This is actually a completely brilliant concept.
There’s a reason why Skindred are such a continually popular festival band, why Royal Republic went down a storm on the midday mainstage slot at last year’s Download, and why both bands tend to attract markedly diverse crowds by rock standards – with a healthy spread of ages and genders.
Why? Well, their styles may differ but in two significant respects Skindred and Royal Republic are actually very similar. Firstly there’s their mutual disregard for genre boundaries. And style boundaries. Pretty much all boundaries, for that matter. Basically if you like heavy, brilliantly executed music with a sense of humour and a spring in its step there’s a good chance you’ll like both groups.
But perhaps the main reason this tour sounds so promising is that they share a ferocious, yet razor-sharp, approach to live shows. Tight, full-throttle guitars and drums; magnetic frontmen; tearaway anarchy wrapped in machine-gun efficiency… They look different, they sound different, but in terms of delivery, Skindred and Royal Republic are bang on the same page. They are both entertaining machines, in a really good way.
And it’s not as if they don’t veer into one another’s territory. Anyone who’s heard Royal Republic’s covers of Ace Of Spades and Battery (and the more aggressive elements of their own catalogue) will know that they ‘do’ heavy really bloody well. Likewise anyone who’s seen Benji Webbe successfully command thousands of metalheads to ‘wave like the queen!’ at festivals will know that he can camp it up with the best of them.
Skindred drummer Arya Goggin has said, “Playing live is the lifeblood of what we do as a band so to be back on the road again and seeing fans and friends and all those that we have missed is something that we simply cannot wait for. Being locked down has been hard for everyone so we would like to take all that pent up energy and let it out in a fun run of adrenaline fuelled shows across the country.”
Originally Skindred were lined up to play London’s Roundhouse this coming November 21 – the show has now been rescheduled to Saturday October 2 2021. All purchased tickets remain valid for the new date, and fans can also pre-order tickets for shows at a range of other UK cities including Manchester, Glasgow, Southampton, Cardiff, Sheffield and more.
Meanwhile, Skindred have raised over £10,000 for NHS Charities recently through their special edition NHS shirt. Goggin says: “The work the NHS have been doing through these difficult times has been incredible so it’s great to have been able to do something in return and we would like to thank all our fans for supporting us in our efforts to support them.”
Showtime 2021 tour dates
Thu 23rd – Cambridge, Junction
Fri 24th – Oxford, Academy
Sat 25th – Northampton, Roadmenders
Thu 30th – Leeds, Academy
Fri 1st – Birmingham, Institute
Sat 2nd – London, Roundhouse
Thu 7th – Cardiff, Tramshed
Fri 8th – Bristol, Academy
Sat 9th – Nottingham, Rock City
Sun 10th – Glasgow, SWG3
Fri 15th – Southampton, Guildhall
Fri 22nd – Sheffield, Corporation
Sat 23rd – Newcastle, Uni Students’ Union
Fri 29th – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
Sat 30th – Manchester, Academy
Sun 31st – Norwich, UEA