Skids

Profile:
Scottish punk band. Formed in Dunfermline during the summer of 1977.

Comprising the songwriting axis of Richard Jobson (vocals) and Stuart Adamson (guitar), together with the rhythm section of William Simpson (bass) and Tom Kellichan (drums), they rode into British consciousness on the new wave backwash to the ebbing tide of punk. The release of their self-financed, attention-grabbing Charles EP came at the time Richard Branson's Virgin label were busy accruing an eclectic roster of post-punk hopefuls. Consequently, with almost indecent haste, the band were tethered to what was to prove an optimistic eight-album deal.

On the flip side of their first Virgin single, "Sweet Suburbia" (1978), the band proclaimed themselves to be "Open Sound", which was essentially a description of the soaring histrionics of Adamson's guitar style. When married to the martial rhythms of the drumming and the bellowing, chant-like vocals of Jobson, this sound conspired to lend their repertoire a rousing, anthemic quality. It was heroic music which at its best, as on the first album, Scared To Dance (1979), seemed to capture the drama and turbulence of battle. Unfortunately, the sound was an all-too-graphic reflection of the band's own stormy relationships, a turbulence which was to settle only with the departure of Adamson in the summer of 1981.

The Skids' decline was in large part due to the portentous designs of Richard Jobson, who sought to mould the band into a vehicle for his ever more convoluted lyrics. This became most evident in the recording of the second album, Days In Europa (1979). Following the departure of original drummer Tom Kellichan in the traditional rock'n'roll style (i.e. after the first album), the Skids recruited a temporary replacement in the form of ex-Rich Kids drummer and Jobson cohort, Rusty Egan, and a producer in the form of ex- Be-Bop Deluxe man Bill Nelson. Together, both Nelson and Egan contrived to free the band from the strictures of punk-pop in favour of a more polished, almost danceable sound. Ultimately it was a case of too many cooks, and the resultant album proved to be a misguided attempt at redefining the Skids' sound. This in turn alienated a great many fans, and also cost them the services of bassist Simpson during the troubled tour that ensued.

For Jobson and Adamson it was back to the drawing board, and 1980 saw a rejuvenated Skids with a new rhythm section in the form of Russell Webb (bass) and Mike Baillie (drums). The resultant album, The Absolute Game (1980), produced this time by Mick Glossop, was a commercial success, giving the band their first and only British Top 10 album. Artistically, too, it heralded a return to form, dispensing with the excess baggage of the previous outing and playing to the dual strengths of Adamson's guitar stylings and Jobson's lyrical bombast. Unfortunately, this rejuvenation coincided with Jobson's increasing commitment to a burgeoning London scene. Adamson's departure had as much to do with geographical differences as to musical and personal ones; a point evinced by Adamson's eventual return to Dunfermline, from where he formed the internationally successful Big Country.

Following Adamson's departure, the final dissolution of the band was soon to follow. Unfortunately, however, not before Jobson and Webb issued a dour and ill-conceived concept album, Joy (1981), which served only to illustrate that, when Adamson left, he took all of the best tunes with him. Not surprisingly the album failed to chart, and proved a sorry end to a short career which had begun with so much spark and promise.

And then they came back. They reformed in 2017, recorded a new album, released a few live ones and then an acoustic album too and toured the UK, a lot.
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Albums

2933 795 Skids - Days In Europa album art Skids Days In Europa (Album) Virgin 2933 795 France 1979 Sell This Version
V2116, V 2116 Skids - Scared To Dance album art Skids Scared To Dance (Album) Virgin, Virgin V2116, V 2116 UK 1979 Sell This Version
VIP-6968 Skids - The Absolute Game album art Skids The Absolute Game (Album) Virgin, Virgin VIP-6968 Japan 1980 Sell This Version
VS 2217 Skids - Joy album art Skids Joy (Album) Virgin VS 2217 UK 1981 Sell This Version
WIN CD 008 Skids - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert album art Skids BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (Album) Windsong International, BBC Radio 1 WIN CD 008 UK 1991 Sell This Version
none Skids - Masquerade Masquerade-The Skids Live album art Skids Masquerade Masquerade-The Skids Live (Album, Comp) EMI, Virgin none Europe 2007 Sell This Version
LHN023CD Skids - Live In London album art Skids Live In London(2xCDr, Album) Live Here Now LHN023CD UK 2017 Sell This Version
NB3 Skids - Burning Cities album art Skids Burning Cities (Album) No Bad Records NB3 UK 2017 Sell This Version
NB5 CD Skids - Peaceful Times album art Skids Peaceful Times (Album) No Bad Records NB5 CD UK 2019 Sell This Version
none Skids - Official Bootleg-Skids Live-Acoustic Tour 2019 album art Skids Official Bootleg-Skids Live-Acoustic Tour 2019(CDr) No Bad Records none UK 2019 Sell This Version
CLO 2286 Skids - Songs From A Haunted Ballroom album art Skids Songs From A Haunted Ballroom (Album) Cleopatra CLO 2286 US 2021 Sell This Version
NB6 CD Skids - Skids Live Volume 1 2010 album art Skids Skids Live Volume 1 2010(CDr, Album) No Bad Records NB6 CD UK 2021 Sell This Version
NB7 CD Skids - Skids Live Volume 2 Lockdown Live album art Skids Skids Live Volume 2 Lockdown Live(CDr, Album) No Bad Records NB7 CD UK 2021 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

VS 227 Skids - Sweet Suburbia album art Skids Sweet Suburbia (Single) Virgin VS 227 UK 1978 Sell This Version
VS 23212 Skids - Wide Open album art Skids Wide Open (Single, EP) Virgin VS 23212 UK 1978 Sell This Version
NB-1, NB 1 Skids - Charles album art Skids Charles (Single) No Bad Records, No Bad Records NB-1, NB 1 UK 1978 Sell This Version
VS 288 Skids - Charade album art Skids Charade (Single) Virgin VS 288 UK 1979 Sell This Version
VS 241 Skids - Into The Valley album art Skids Into The Valley (Single) Virgin, Virgin VS 241 UK 1979 Sell This Version
VS 262 Skids - Masquerade album art Skids Masquerade (Single) Virgin VS 262 UK 1979 Sell This Version
VS 306 Skids - Working For The Yankee Dollar album art Skids Working For The Yankee Dollar (Single) Virgin, Virgin VS 306 UK 1979 Sell This Version
K-7856, VS-323 Skids - Animation album art Skids Animation (Single) Virgin K-7856, VS-323 Australia 1980 Sell This Version
K-8057, VS-539 Skids - Circus Games album art Skids Circus Games (Single) Virgin K-8057, VS-539 Australia 1980 Sell This Version
VSK 101 Skids - Woman In Winter album art Skids Woman In Winter (Single) Virgin VSK 101 UK 1980 Sell This Version
VS 373 Skids - Goodbye Civilian album art Skids Goodbye Civilian (Single) Virgin VS 373 UK 1980 Sell This Version
HIT 002 Skids - The Olympian / Ten Feet Tall album art Skids / XTC Skids / XTC - The Olympian / Ten Feet Tall(Flexi, 7", S/Sided, Red) Smash Hits! Magazine HIT 002 UK 1980 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 3 Reviews

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fannydad

fannydad

April 17, 2021
Still one of my favourite UK bands of all times. I have all their vinyl releases in my collection and i still love their songs. Infected by, and still my number one song "A Challenge (The Wanderer)" with it's archaic feeling. Not to forget the beautiful "The Saints Are Coming".
Marvin-Records

Marvin-Records

October 21, 2020
If you've been a Skids fan since the 80s like I have, I can really recommend Richard Jobson's book Into the Valley where he talks about his perspective on the whole Skids story. Very interresting. You can buy it on Amazon or read it on Kindle.
event13

event13

March 12, 2020
edited about 1 year ago
The most underrated band of all time. Live or studio. RIP Stuart Adamson.

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