The Skints // Live Review & Photoset

25th October | Trinity

Photos: Paul Lippiatt

In a city as enamoured with artistic freedom and counter culture as our fair Bristol is, it naturally makes sense that a venue such as The Trinity Arts Centre can thrive. Forever a bastion of liberal leaning and visceral arts, its looming live space displays the perfect scene for an all-encompassing evening of other-worldly creative expression. The London-born reggae-infused outfit, The Skints unsurprisingly blossom in such conditions and with support from Canadian alternative ska legends, Bedouin Soundclash, this is sure to be an evening of dance-inducing positive vibes.

Kingston, Ontario’s trio of rock-ska-fusing legends, Bedouin Soundclash may have dropped from many radars in recent years, but fresh off of the back of this year’s comeback collection, Mass, the band burst onto stage with all the vigour of their 2001 debut. The energy and aggression present in the outfit’s heavily percussive structures is matched effortlessly by the vital optimism of vocalist Jay Malinowski’s echoing presence, ensuring all eyes are fixed permanently towards centre stage.

One of the most unavoidable facets of Bedouin’s live prowess is the sheer joy and positivity emanating from the entirety of the stage. Great swells of passion and fire dance amongst bouncy reggae and dub beats that reach blistering crescendos within the peaks of Trinity’s cacophonous awnings. Although the band may become a little lax at times regarding technical ability, all is instantly forgiven as the beat drops and the venue’s collective feet begin to move.

Though The Skints have seen enviable success for the vast majority of their now decade-spanning career, arguably it wasn’t until 2012’s Part & Parcel that the London outfit really gained the critical and public praise that they had always deserved. This year’s Swimming Lessons landed as a continuation of form from its predecessor, FM, and with the palpable attitude present from the band’s first steps onto stage, it’s clear the tightly-bonded four-piece are well aware of this fact.

Though arriving on stage surprisingly late into the evening, the confidence and alluring presence of frontwoman, Marcia Richards quickly dissipates any anxiety still present within the room, gracefully absorbing the space with her dulcet and hypnotising range. Joshua Waters Rudge offers his stylised and at times vicious vocal inflections to tracks like Part & Parcel’s ‘Lay You Down’, creating such a frantic air of manic energy that is impossible to not illicit a response.

Beyond the band’s clear talent regarding instrumentation, the keystone to their awe-inducing catalogue often presents itself in the form of their incredible harmonies. Smooth and powerful, the tones present across their collective ranges land as critically emotive and eternally powerful. The whole venue is intoxicated purely by jagged darts of off-beat guitars and resonant vocals.

Great waves of pure, rounded dub-bass begin to bend the very walls of the venue, as the sheer brilliance of The Skints’ compositional skills begin to reach a fever pitch amongst some of the band’s most loved cuts. Conducting the evening to a close with tones from their latest record, it’s clear that this familial four-piece tesselate like perfect fractals, creating a degree of friendship and togetherness that goes almost unmatched amongst their peers.

See the video for ‘Learning To Swim’ here: