Skindred are for mine, and for probably a lot of people’s, money the greatest live band on the planet. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. Benji Webbe is arguably one of the greatest frontman in the game and one of the best to ever do it.

If I was a festival promoter, I would have Skindred on a lifetime contract and just roll them out every year. This year at Download they proved once again just how brilliant they are. Benji remains one of the most engaging people no matter the size of the audience in front of him, and his banter is second to none.

Whether he is getting the audience to wave-like the queen, do the now infamous Newport Helicopter, or the fact that they manage to get the crowd to do a Harlem Shake (which is as hilarious as it sounds by the way), the audience literally hangs on everything Benji says, but of course this would all be irrelevant if Skindred didn’t have the tunes behind them. Thankfully they do, they have more ragers in their set than most bands could ever dream of, and they pull out all of the stops today, and even managed to rope in Ken from Crossfaith to handle the duelling vocals on ‘Warning’ which takes on a life of itself in this incarnation.

Between ridiculous banter, good vibes, the sheer mammoth size of their tunes and a frontman with charisma to burn, Skindred prove to be absolutely flawless on this occasion, which, as I said, is hardly surprising coming from one of the best bands in the game.

Download Festival – Official Website

Photo credit: Justine Trickett