NEWPORT rock band Skindred have combined signing their new contract with Earache Records with highlighting the plight of music venues across the country.

On signing the contract – a global deal for four albums – each of the band's member signed the contract in a different music venue around the UK. Many of the venues could face permanent closure following the Covid-19 pandemic and the four used to sign the deal are on the Music Venue Trust’s red, endangered list.

Frontman Benji Webbe kicked off the signing – which saw Earache Records’ label head Louis Lloyd travel 450 miles over 13 hours – at LePub in Newport. Bassist Dan Pugsley was at the Louisiana in Bristol, drummer Arya Goggin signed in Camden’s historic The Black Heart and guitarist Mikey Fry at Brighton’s Green Door.

Mr Goggin said: “We are so excited to announce that we are signing a worldwide deal with Earache Records. I have been a fan of the label since I started listening to heavy music. Their independent attitude and willingness to push the boundaries are something we can identify with in Skindred. It was great to ink the deal at The Black Heart in Camden and shine a light on all the struggling independent music venues too. The Music Venue Trust is something that we feel passionately about and we want these venues to thrive and be part of the future of British Music as well as being part of its history.”


Beverley Whitrick, the strategic director of Music Venue Trust said: “Music Venue Trust is incredibly grateful to our artist patrons who talk publicly about why grassroots music venues are important to them and their career development. When a band like Skindred do or say something to illustrate how much they value these venues, this resonates with their legion of fans and helps highlight the strong relationship between an artist and the venues and their teams. When we are still asking for donations to the #SaveOurVenues campaign to help secure the survival of the venues most at risk of imminent closure, this is more welcome than ever. To donate to one of these venues, or the overarching campaign see .”

Skindred frontman Benji Webbe has previously worked with Earache Records – as they released the first two albums from Dub War, his first band.

Label managing director, Digby Pearson, said: “We could not be more thrilled to be signing Skindred. They are such a truly unique and much-loved band. We have all been huge fans of them since Day 1 and have hollowed Benji’s career since the very beginning, so to have Skindred sign to Earache is something that we are all extremely excited by.

“We are delighted to welcome Benji back to the Earache family along with his bandmates Arya, Mikey and Dan and look forward to working with them for many albums to come.”