• Music Review - Newport Helicoptour

'Welsh rockers Skindred, played a one off home town gig, with an usual name which plays homage to a move that they've put a claim too - The Newport Helicoptour. The one off gig which was held in The Newport Centre featured a line-up of Continents; Feed the Rhino, Hacktivist and The Blackout.

Continents started the gig and got the crowds pumped with songs such as Idle Hands, Pegasus Pegasus, Inhale and Regrets. After the crowd had sung along to the songs that they knew off they went and on came Feed the Rhino who took it up to a whole new level with pits at every corner of the room and the crowd jumping so hard that you could feel it in the seats! Feed the Rhino played songs such as their classic Tides.

Once everything calmed down and they finished their set on came Milton Keynes rockers Hacktivist, with their unique sound and the ability to get the crowd hanging off their every word caused them to put on one hell of a show and definitely got everyone pumped for the next support act, The Blackout. They had everyone in the crowd raise their middle finger in the air just before they played their most well-known song, Elevate. Even if you didn't know the lyrics before that, after the song you'd be singing the chorus for the rest of the night trying to resist to raise your middle finger once again. They covered Jay-Z and Kayne West's song Niggas In Paris which for fans of the band and those who knew the original couldn't but sing a long too.

The Blackout, fellow Welsh rockers were up next, and boy did they get everyone going with their party based hit, Start the Party. Considering that they are the lightest sounded band on the line up with their infectious pop rock sound they still managed to get everyone on their and singing along to their songs without batting an eyelid. They also had the crowd intentionally booing them and calling them every bad name under the sun. Showbiz aye? They also played one of their most well-known hits; Children of the Night, which with its catchy chorus had everyone singing their hearts out, like their life depended on it.

Once they left the stage all that was left to do was wait for Skindred to come on, the wait felt like a lifetime. Once the lights went down, the crowd went absolutely bonkers and it didn't stop there. They came on to an Imperial March remix which had everyone singing the famous Star Wars theme as loud as they possible could with their voices already under a lot of strain from the previous bands. They started the night off with an oldie - Rat Race which got all fans both old and new singing along with the catchy lyrics and the beat which makes you want to jump the night away. Next up was a classic which all Skindred fans know off by heart - Doom Riff, this was the song that created all the pits and caused a lot of injuries from rocking too hard(if that's even possible!) They then went on to play a song of their newest album - Ninja, despite it being out for less than a year everyone was lapping up the atmosphere with the pits expanding and everyone just going bloody insane! They played another classic once Ninja finished - Cut Dem which just made everyone sing their hearts out.

After a short intermission they carried on playing with yet another oldie - Babylon, which with its simple but catchy lyrics had everyone jumping like their life depended on it and singing like their lungs were about to give in. Then keeping with the theme of the oldies, they played Bruises from the same album as Babylon, this again had the same effect causing everyone just too lose it and get down with the music. They then upped their game and played their biggest hit of the newest album - Kill the Power, this song had everyone singing along because of its catchy lyrics and the whole party vibe that it gives off, perfect for a one off hometown gig. Again keeping with the new album they played World's On Fire, which got the crowd going like nothing you've ever seen before, there was pits left right and centre, there was no where you could stand without being within a few feet of one.

The next intermission contained something that you'd never expect to see at a gig of bands of this genre, it was a remix of Thrift Shop, Don’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock; this caused the crowd to go mental as everyone knew those songs, because let’s face it that doesn't? The crowd were sufficiently ready for the next lot of songs to be played, the song which kicked off the next couple of songs was Trouble, which yet again caused the moshers to go nuts because let’s face it, it’s a song about getting into trouble and they tend too. They then played Pressure yet another well-known song, Pressure, this had everyone singing and just generally having a good time because it’s catchy and up beat lyrics. Next up was Nobody, yet another well-known song by them, which caused everyone to sing along and unite with their love of good music, the pits died down just ever so slightly for this song, but they still were there moshing away.

Then that seemed like it was the end of their set as they disappeared off the stage, but that didn’t stop the crowd from cheering them on and wanting more. With an unanimous chant of ‘Skindred’ and ‘We Want More’, they returned, for a final two songs. Just what the crowd had asked for. They slowed it down for the first song, which was off their newest album, We Live, this song acted as almost a relaxant which caused everyone to calm down and just appreciate the music and the fact that they were stood in front of an amazing band.

The final song caused the gig to end with a bang, and gave the tour its name. Benji asked the crowd to take off their jackets and prepare themselves for the Newport Helicopter, to those who may not know what the Newport Helicopter is its where when the band play Warning, and when Benji tells you to do it, you lift your jacket/top into the air and start swinging it above your head in a circular motion, just like a helicopter.

The crowd went ballistic, with a mixture of jumping up and down, swinging their tops and jackets, singing and pits, the sight was absolutely amazing, something that you’d only ever get to see when Skindred are playing, and if you have ever seen them live then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Overall it was an amazing night and something that if you were there you’d cherish the memories of that night forever, if you weren’t too drunk not to remember it that is! '

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