On the evening of 7th June 2018, I joined a couple of mates at Reading Sub89 Club to see the reformed Skids take to the stage. For me, this was a trip down memory lane as I had seen the Scottish punk rockers perform at Eric’s Club in Liverpool in March 1979. That’s a gap of 39 years…
I had relatively low expectations of the evening but was warmed up by the buzz of a large (possibly sell-out) crowd who enthusiastically sang along to support act TV Smith’s rendition of his classic single (with The Adverts), ‘Looking Through Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’.
The Skids took to the stage with hoots and applause, Richard Jobson beaming his pleasure and showing off remarkably youthful looks and a muscular torso that clearly spends much time in a gym. With him was fellow founder members Bruce Watson and Bill Simpson, now supplemented by the youthful addition of Mike Baillie and Jamie Watson. A tribute was given during the set to deceased founder member and co-writer of many of the songs, Stuart Adamson, who tragically died in 2001.
The performance was simply astounding – the band were tight and energetic from start to finish and, apart from a couple of minor slip-ups, were bang on the money – or the Yankee Dollar, if you prefer. Richard Jobson’s banter between songs oozed with the charm and polish of the seasoned TV presenter he became after splitting from the Skids in the 80s. I was transported back in time when they finished their set with fan’s favourite ‘Into the Valley’, teased in by that memorable bass line that sent the crowd wild. After a short breather they re-emerged to give us three more songs.
During the set they covered the full sweep of their musical career, from singles and tracks dating from 1977 to 1982 when they first split, to tracks from a new album, Burning Cities, recorded 35 years after their last album, that stood up well with the old material. Old favourites played with gusto and that distinctive Adamson-esque Scottish guitar style included: The Saints are Coming; Masquerade; Circus Games; Charade; Working for the Yankee Dollar; Animation; Goodbye Civilian and Woman in Winter.
I’m pleased I made the effort, as it is all too easy to let these opportunities to see your old favourites pass by. Their performance was tight, energetic and a lot of fun – I thoroughly recommend seeing them to all you post-punk music fans.
The “Alternative” Sassy Brit Book Cover Award 2018
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The “Alternative” Sassy Brit Book Cover Award
JUNE 2018 NOMINATIONS!
A celebration of talent! Thank you to everyone taking part and all your entries. If you do not see your cover here, it is most likely going to be up for voting next month. Enjoy these beautiful covers.
Once you have picked out your favourite cover, scroll down to the bottom to find the poll, and have your say. Thank you!
Trapped. Family Missing. Buried underneath tons of rubble, all he wanted was to find his family.
Fellow indie author, C.H. Clepitt, has launched her new book today – congratulations!
C H Clepitt has a knack for creating real, relatable characters, who face adversity with humour and humanity, and Curtain Call is no exception.
When an assistant to the director role turns into P.A. to her favourite film star, Jen can’t believe her luck. Eleanor Francis is charming, kind and funny, but she has a secret, and when tragedy strikes, things threaten to unravel at an uncontrollable pace. Despite being out of her depth Jen has to adapt to her new role quickly, to protect Eleanor, with whom she is rapidly falling in love.
This is a sweet, understated story that will have you laughing and crying in equal measure. If you’ve enjoyed C H Clepitt’s other books (including the witty, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse) then this is not to be missed.
“The story is very well written and flows nicely… I would love to read more about the two main characters in future books.” – Simon Leonard – Black Books Blog
“Love blossoms in an unexpected place in this emotional short story. A change of direction for Clepitt but delicately written and heartfelt.” – Claire Buss – Author of The Rose Thief and other novels.
“The story’s optimism that makes it such a joy to read and leaves one feeling there must be hope after all.” A.M. Leibowitz – Author of Keeping the Faith and other novels
Curtain Call is available in e-book format at £1.99 from Amazon –
Welcome to Tim Walker’s blog site. I started blogging way back in 2014 with random thoughts on writing, music, social and political issues. I had the idea to start a fictional blog series – The Life of George – and would make up incidents and adventures for my fictional character and his family. After nine months and over fifty posts I decided I had enough material to turn ‘George’ into a novel and deleted those posts from this blog.
A humorous dystopian novel emerged, re-named ‘Devil Gate Dawn’. This was proof-read, copyedited and accepted for the Kindle Scout programme in 2016. Although it did not win a publishing deal with Amazon, it received good exposure and valuable feedback. The novel was then self-published in e-book and paperback formats through Amazon Kindle, where it now sits… a homage to my early blogging days!
I have continued to blog in an ad hoc, unfocused way on things that catch my imagination or interest, building a crazy archive of randomly concise thoughts and memories. I have also started re-blogging material that interests me…
Unique among the territories of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, Britain succeeded in holding back and even reversing the tide of Germanic conquest for nearly two centuries. This was an age of heroes… It was the Age of Arthur!
This is the eighth part of our discussion of Britain in the so-called Age of Arthur: the 5th though the mid-6th Century A.D. It is a fascinating period, with the Classical civilization of Greece and Rome giving way to the Germanic “Dark Ages”. It was the sunset of Celtic-Roman culture in Britain; it was the Age of Arthur!
But who was Arthur?
Before we answer that question, it is necessary we understand the world in which he lived.
Today I am not on a blog tour so decided to write a special review for Tim Walker’s ‘Light in the Age of Darkness’ Trilogy. The series includes the following books: Abandoned, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans and Uther’s Destiny.
About the Books
Abandoned is an action-packed short novella (20,000 words/81 pages) that introduces the reader to A Light in the Dark Ages series. Britannia lies shocked and exposed by the sudden departure of the Roman legions in the year 410. A hero arises – Marcus Aquilius – to protect the town of Calleva from an invading Saxon army. The townsfolk must decide if their town and way of life is worth fighting for, or if they should flee to the forest and revert to a tribal lifestyle. Marcus knows he must embrace change and makes his own personal journey to emerge as Marcus Pendragon.
Britannia is in shock at the murder of charismatic High King, Ambrosius Aurelianus, and looks to his brother and successor, Uther, to continue his work in leading the resistance to barbarian invaders. Uther’s destiny as a warrior king seems set until his world is turned on its head when his burning desire to possess the beautiful Ygerne leads to conflict. Could the fate of his kingdom hang in the balance as a consequence?
Court healer and schemer, Merlyn, sees an opportunity in Uther’s lustful obsession to fulfil the prophetic visions that guide him. He is encouraged on his mission by druids who align their desire for a return to ancient ways with his urge to protect the one destined to save the Britons from invaders and lead them to a time of peace and prosperity. Merlyn must use his wisdom and guile to thwart the machinations of an enemy intent…