Outside, the tranquil and picturesque streets of Norwich were ghostly quiet as the cold of the changing seasons began to bite. By contrast, inside the Norwich Arts Centre on that hazy Wednesday evening, it was buzzing with anticipation as one of the fastest rising bands of the year was about to take the stage.
Support from the brilliant chunky reggae stylings of The Drop and ska/punk favourites ClayPigieon raised the anticipation to the roof of the converted church.
When the four smartly dressed members of The Skints took the stage, 90 ecstatic minutes of amazing skank vibes ensued from start to finish, front to back. Playing through a mix of old, new and a couple of covers, the Norwich leg of the East Londoner’s sold out Part and Parcel tour was simply fantastic.
The Skints have evolved several times over their life span. From their early releases which shared more in common with Operation Ivy than Bob Marley, to their latest release, Part and Parcel, which took a distinctly roots direction, whilst thankfully maintaining a distinctly contemporary and British sound.
The Skints bring to the table not only the smoothness and heavy bass rumbles of recent times, but also the energy of their ska past. It’s an enthralling mixture in the live setting, and one that has been picking up fans across the country. Love seeped from the speakers; they clearly love what they’re doing.
It is to The Skints’ credit that such a diverse crowd packed itself into the musty main room of the Arts Centre. From the ska/punk kids adorning their Capdown and King Blues T-shirts, to the throng of 20-somethings and their dreadlocks, to the indie girls with owl feather earrings.
Though the pungent smell of weed hung heavy in the air, the atmosphere was anything but mellow: The Skints turned the room into a euphoric party.
As the crowd exited back out into the empty streets, shrouded in the eerie twilight of artificial lights, covered in perspiration and with the waft of beer hanging heavy on their clothes, people were turning to each other and saying how brilliant the gig was.
The Skints were “insane”, “just incredible”, “one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to”. A sentiment Venue can fully support.
Rise Up (Part and Parcel) – The Skints: