When Skindred announced a festival warm-up at The Craufurd Arms, things went a bit wild – it was the quickest sell-out the venue has ever experienced.
The ragga metal marvels were thrilled at the news.
“It’s a constant surprise really,” guitarist Mikey tells City Nights.
“Before playing to a sold-out crowd at the Kentish Town Forum this year, we did the Barfly in Camden at the beginning of the album – it sold out in about 90 seconds by all accounts.
“We never really know how that stuff is going to go down. “In a time where bands are struggling to sell tickets, it’s really humbling to know there are people willing to be there first to see us.”
The album in question is Kill The Power, the band’s fifth, which has seen more fans flood to their cause.
For the few hundred Skindred disciples who will swarm to the venue tomorrow night for the hotly anticipated show, Mikey promises it will be ‘a raucous, up close and personal sweat fest.
“We figured a good juxtaposition to an impending outdoor festival is a really small club show to get our pulses back up to show standard.
“There will be some favourites in the set, and we’ll be doing lots of new stuff too.
“It’s a good way to test what goes well live before we unleash it on the summer crowds.”
Skindred will follow tomorrow’s warm-up with a mainstage slaying at the Download Festival next Friday, June 13, to an audience of thousands.
Gigs like The Craufurd date are as exciting for the band as they are for the enthused audience.
“We try to do as much stuff like that as possible when we are touring an album – not everyone can get to the big city show or summer festival, y’know.
“This way we get to bring the show to the people.
“It’s great to do the big stuff but smaller things keep you on your toes too.
“I love playing in front of a big crowd, but there’s nothing like high-fiving people in the front row who have been sweating their backsides off jumping to your tunes.
Club dates are just as gratifying as festival shows as far as Mikey is concerned, but there are obvious differences.
“Festivals are kind of like a get-together or reunion.
“There is a ton of bands, industry, people you know.
“There is a bigger pressure to turn heads as you are up against a lot of competition...it’s pretty surreal playing to tens of thousands of people.
“You kind of feel a bit more isolated because there’s a huge stage to fill up, and you feel miles away from the crowd.
“You’re very much in the spotlight.
“You just sort of get in a zone and it’s go time.
“You psych yourself up to smash it.
“Applause is kinda raptuous, there is nothing like it.
“Then with clubs, you are closer to the action of the crowd, a bit more ‘in the gig’ y’know?
“I love that.
“I love that we get to do both, and wouldn’t want to do one without the other.”