The Skids were usually a band that I read about rather than heard, back in the day. It was not until the instance of their third album, “The Absolute Game,” in 1980, that I ever heard them on theVirgin “Cash Cows” compilation. The song “Arena” had an anthemic, strongly melodic quality with a chaser of melancholy to it. It was suggestive of intrigue but quite frankly, in the explosion of other Virgin bands like Japan and The Human League, it was pretty easy to overlook the mere rock music of The Skids; as good as it was.
<FLASH FORWARD 21 YEARS>
At least in the interim, I had purchased the Armoury Show album “Waiting For The Flood.” That featured Skids vocalist Richard Jobson and bassist Russell Webb with Magazine’s John McGeoch on guitar and John Doyle on drums. I found it to be an example of what’s now known as the “big music” style. That can be great [see Simple Minds’ “Sparkle In The Rain”] or diabolical [see: any U2 album]. Your mileage may vary. It was in 2002 that I heard my second Skids track, on the stellar Rhino volume “Teenage Kicks: UK POP Vol. 1 1976-1979.” It held the single “Into The Valley” and when I bought that CD in 2002, I spent a solid week of my life listening to that song on repeat. Maybe I burned myself out on The Skids, since one would think that I would have followed up and actually bought some Skids CDs afterward, but that was easier said than done.
Meanwhile ex-lead guitarist Stuart Adamson had formed the popular [but uninteresting to me] band Big Country. If The Skids were similar, maybe there was nothing for me there? The Skids were always a band that I felt that I should investigate more, but it was usually difficult to do so. Outside of the many copies I had seen of their debut album, “Scared To Dance,” I had seen in the Orlando bins of my youth, all other albums by The Skids were thin on the ground going forward. CDs? I never saw any of them in stores.
Though Adamson died by his own hand nearly 15 years ago, the remainder of the band , consisting of Richard Jobson, Bill Simpson, Mike Baillie and – ironically – Big Country’s Bruce Watson and his son Jaime sharing guitar duties. Simpson and Baillie were holdovers from the final Skids lineup as appeared on the album “Joy” in 1981. The band are now taking pledges on their forthcoming album, “Burning Cities,” which is their first in over 35 years of split.
Of course, the group will be mounting a 40th anniversary tour next year, and they beat fellow Scots Simple Minds to the punch with date announcements.
The Skids | 40th Anniversary Tour Dates
Friday 5th – Edinburgh Liquid Room
Saturday 6th Glasgow O2 ABC
Thursday 25th TBA
Friday 26th The Academy, Dublin
Saturday 27th The Limelight, Belfast
Thursday 1st The Picture Dome, Holmfirth
Friday 2nd The Ritz, Manchester
Saturday 3rd Leeds – TBA
Sunday 4th Northampton – TBA
Wednesday 7th – TBA
Thursday 8th The Bierkeller, Bristol
Friday 9th The Academy, Oxford
Sunday 11th – TBA
Thursday 15th The Junction, Cambridge
Friday 16th The Roundhouse, London
Saturday 17th Concorde 2, Brighton
Sunday 18th – TBA
Wednesday 21st 1865, Southampton
Thursday 22nd The Robin 2, Bilston
Friday 23rd The Academy, Newcastle
Saturday 24th Stone Valley Festival, Stanhope, County Durham
Tuesaday 27th – TBA
Wednesday 28th – TBA
Thursday 29th The Town Hall, Montrose Scotland
Friday 30th The Glen Pavillion, Dunfermline, Scotland
AUGUST 2017 – TBA
Thursday 3rd – TBA
Friday 4th – TBA
Saturday 5th – TBA
Sunday 6th – TBA
Thursday 5th Scotland – TBA
Friday 6th – TBA
Saturday 7th – TBA
Sunday 8th The Great British Alternative Festival Skegness
The signed CD is going for the modest price of $17 with the 180g vinyl at $32. For fans in the UK, VIP passes [ticket not included] are only $32 as well. There are a few of the usual items also out there; signed set lists, prints, shirts and lyric sheets. The only really high ticket item of the lot was the five white label test pressings of the new album, but all of those are long gone at $134. I found out about this pledge about ten days ago, and wouldn’t you know it, just a day or two later I was at Harvest Records and to what to my wond’ring eyes should appear but a pair of Skids Captain Oi! DLX RMs! Naturally, I went with the flow and bought them, so we’ll take a look at those tomorrow. I should be gearing up to pledge for the new CD on principle, what with this rather seminal Post-Punk band being very much in my face [and my zeitgeist] this December. Tune in tomorrow for the first of my findings.
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