The Skids – Gig Review

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’.

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The Skids, Reading Sub89, 07/06/18

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.

the-skids-into-the-valley-virgin-3-sI’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.

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