The O2 in Leeds was the setting for a night of rousing rock music from three of Britain’s best bands at the moment.

For the second time in 4 days, I was lucky enough to see Liverpool’s Death Blooms. They had blown me away previously and I’d vowed to check them out further, then without knowing who was opening for Skindred in Leeds it was a great surprise to see them take the stage and absolutely smash another set. They have so much energy and a bagful of tracks that just get the blood flowing.

Skindred (w/ Raging Speedhorn) @ O2 Academy (Leeds, UK) on September 30, 2021

Next up were Raging Speedhorn who looked like someone had freed them from a cage they’d been kept in for a year, and they just went off. The energy and the aggression were incredible with the dual vocals and relentless riff battering the audience. 50% of the vocal onslaught, Dan Cook leapt into the photo pit on several occasions and got up close and personal with the audience several times screaming at them point blank, and they responded brilliantly with a massive mosh pit. It’s scenes like this that have been missed so much over the last 18 months that seeing them again feels so uplifting.

Opening with the traditional double jab of “Thunderstruck” and the Skindred mix of the “Imperial Death March,” the crowd was pumped up to the max by the time Arya, Dan, Mikey and Benji took the stage and launched into “Stand for Something.”

It has to be noted that Benji’s stage outfits have been absolutely incredible recently too – from the black leather flamed ensemble from their Bloodstock set to tonight’s red lightning-themed ring leaders look, complete with a feathered top hat. Resplendent.

With a relatively short set they packed in all the bangers you’d hope for and having recently been in the studio to record their 8th studio album, and with the following London show on this tour being recorded for a live album, it looks like they are in the midst of a burst of creativity which bodes well for next year.

There’s no better remedy for anything than a Skindred show. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling exhilarated, on top of the world and with a t-shirt drenched in sweat that even a quick spin in the Newport helicopter can’t dry out.