Eighteen years of gigging has pulled Skindred together as one of the tightest live bands in their scene. Benji Webbe and crew brought Jungle to the world in their pre Christmas Oxford O2 Academy party. The 1000 capacity venue was packed right to the back, with energy pulsing into the depths of the crowd throughout the set. A perfect mix of classic Skindred anthems, new bangers and DJ spun party favourites was a real treat and a perfect soundtrack for a bit of pre Christmas drunken cathartic head banging.

Webbe’s chat primed the party atmosphere, he’s fast approaching national treasure status, the king of crowd reading has an accent so mesmerising and beautiful he could replace David Attenborough on Planet Earth or revisit the Harry Potter audiobooks. I think many would pay good money to download a bit of Benji dialogue for those long car journeys and dull sleepless nights.

Mid show Webbe diverted into some serious talk regarding a friend he tragically lost to cancer. His simple message of finding time for the people you love seemed to strike a chord with the crowd, as total silence hit the floor for the few minutes in which he dealt this anecdote. It was a nice note to drop in at Christmas time and typifies his ability to radiate compassion, wisdom and humanity under any circumstance. Benji Webb for brexit negotiator 2019? I'm down.

It’s been a solid five years now since I’ve seen Skindred play and this was honestly one of the best shows they’ve done. Their sound has been beautifully fine tuned, their shows are neatly crafted to encourage maximum audience energy and their confidence in their ability makes them all the more appealing. The Skindred crowd is always a friendly bunch, girls are welcome in the mosh pit with honestly, not a single eyelash batted, and everyone is having a blast.

If you’re looking for a bit of high energy classic metal fun look no further than your next local Skindred show.