It’s been somewhat of an incredible year for British rock group Skindred. Earlier this year, the Newport natives hit the road as main support to KISS on their farewell arena tour.

As those who have witnessed the group will tell you, Skindred has always known how to work a crowd, and the band's recent arena shows were a testament to this.

Arena tours aside, Skindred released their eighth studio album in August. The release subsequently climbed to the dizzy heights of Number 2 in the Official UK Charts, and deservedly so.

On Saturday evening, Skindred made a prime-time TV appearance on BBC 2 alongside Take That, Johnny Marr, and indie darlings The Last Dinner Party. On the eve of their high-profile Jools Holland appearance, Skindred arrived in the North East for a sold-out appearance at NX in Newcastle.

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The band brought with them in tow not only their explosive headline show but also a strong undercard featuring Nu-gen star Cody Frost and crossover band Black Gold. The latter wowed the North East crowd with their unique brand of rock/metal with a hint of hip-hop.

Imagine if The Beastie Boys joined forces with Slipknot, and you would perhaps be in the right ballpark. But when you add to that Black Gold’s stage presence and their masked and somewhat enigmatic appearance you get something quite special.

On a Friday night on Tyneside, the audience was always going to be up for a good time. And even with the unpleasant weather brought about by Storm Babet, it didn't stop the North East faithful from showing up in their droves.

Skindred took to the stage to the sound of The Imperial March from John Williams’ Star Wars score. The band opened with Set Fazers, the first of several tracks from their new album Smile to feature in the show. Others included If I Could, Life That’s Free, L.O.V.E (Smile Please) and crowd pleaser That’s My Jam.

Standing on top of a riser centre stage, frontman Benji Webbe certainly knows how to work the audience. Bedecked in a long black coat and shades and grasping a flag-draped mic stand, the singer had the crowd amped up from the off. Whether Benji is working an arena crowd or the confines of a more intimate theatre-style venue, the Welsh singer led the charge all night.

Anthems from the band's repertoire like Kill the Power and Gimme That Boom were welcomed with open arms by the hardened Newcastle audience.

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Whilst a two-song encore which concluded with new song Our Religion and the classic Warning, replete with the now legendary Newport Helicopter, brought Skindred’s action-packed thirteen-song set to a close.

For a band that's been pushing the boundaries of contemporary rock/metal since 1998, it's good to see that Skindred are now reaping their rewards. And just like Skindred's new album title, the Newcastle crowd left NX at the weekend with a Smile on their faces.