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.
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Skids Discography Tracks

Albums

Skids - Scared To Dance album art Skids Scared To Dance (Album) Virgin, Virgin UK 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - Days In Europa album art Skids Days In Europa (Album) Virgin Australia 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - The Absolute Game album art Skids The Absolute Game (Album) Virgin, Virgin Japan 1980 Sell This Version
Skids - Joy album art Skids Joy (Album) Virgin UK 1981 Sell This Version
Skids - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert album art Skids BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (Album) Windsong International UK 1991 Sell This Version
Skids - Masquerade Masquerade-The Skids Live album art Skids Masquerade Masquerade-The Skids Live (Album, Comp) EMI, Virgin 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
Skids - Burning Cities album art Skids Burning Cities (Album) No Bad Records UK 2017 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Skids - Wide Open album art Skids Wide Open (EP) Virgin UK 1978 Sell This Version
Skids - Sweet Suburbia album art Skids Sweet Suburbia (Single) Virgin UK 1978 Sell This Version
Skids - Charles album art Skids Charles (Single) No Bad Records, No Bad Records UK 1978 Sell This Version
Skids - Into The Valley album art Skids Into The Valley (Single) Virgin Germany 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - Working For The Yankee Dollar album art Skids Working For The Yankee Dollar (Single) Virgin, Virgin New Zealand 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - Masquerade album art Skids Masquerade (Single) Virgin Germany 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - Charade album art Skids Charade (Single) Virgin Australia 1979 Sell This Version
Skids - Circus Games album art Skids Circus Games (Single) Virgin Australia 1980 Sell This Version
Skids - Goodbye Civilian album art Skids Goodbye Civilian (Single) Virgin UK 1980 Sell This Version
Skids - Animation album art Skids Animation (Single) Virgin Australia 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
VSK 101 Skids - Woman In Winter album art Skids Woman In Winter(7", Single) Virgin VSK 101 UK 1980 Sell This Version
Skids - Fields album art Skids Fields (Single) Virgin UK 1981 Sell This Version
Skids - Iona album art Skids Iona (Single) Virgin Australia 1981 Sell This Version
Skids - The Skids vs. The Ruts album art The Skids* vs. The Ruts The Skids* vs. The Ruts - The Skids vs. The Ruts (Maxi) Virgin UK 1992 Sell This Version

Compilations

Skids - Fanfare album art Skids Fanfare (Comp) Virgin Australia 1982 Sell This Version
VS 591-12 Skids - 4 Track E.P. album art Skids 4 Track E.P.(12", Comp) Virgin VS 591-12 UK 1983 Sell This Version