1977 – 1982 (5 years)
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Skids are a punk band formed in Dunfermline, Scotland by Stuart Adamson (on guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion), Richard Jobson ( vocals, guitar, keyboards), Thomas Kellichan (drums) and William Simpson (bass guitar, vocals) in 1977. They signed to Virgin and issued "Sweet Suburbia" and "The Saints Are Coming" before shooting to popularity with top ten single "Into The Valley", from their first album "Scared to Dance". The group has split and reformed on numerous occasions; the original run was 1977–1982, they reformed i 2007 before splitting in 2010. For the third time, they reformed in 2016. They released a fifth album, Burning Cities, in 2018, 36 years after their last release.
The Skids continue to enjoy popularity with two top 20 singles, "Masquerade" and "Working for the Yankee Dollar", from the album "Days in Europa", produced by Bill Nelson. The Cover of the album, showing an "aryan", was seen by some as Nazi, and was soon replaced with a less controversial sleeve. This sleeve, although conventional, still bore the image of the first release seen through the viewers eyes by a picture on the wall, alongside a picture of 'Scared to Dance', the sleeve portrayed a woman , bare breast showing, in the hands of a man.
The Absolute Game was The Skids' 1980 third album (not counting the two different mix versions released of their second album 1979's Days in Europa) and was produced by Mick Glossop. It featured two new band members, Russell Webb (bass guitar, vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Mike Baillie (drums, vocals, percussion).
The album continued the Skids' progression from a punky sound into a more mellow one - paralleled by many bands of the period. The album has a great deal in common with Days in Europa, but not much with its successor, Joy. Around this time the band were driven by internal rifts and disagreements, leading to various members coming and going. Soon after the release and live concert tour of The Absolute Game, Adamson and Baillie left the band. (Although Adamson did temporarily return to play on one more song from the album Joy, called Iona.) Adamson went on to launch the career of his new band, Big Country, and Baillie moved back to Scotland to live. A great deal of Big Country's future sound and style can be heard in this album. In particularly on Hurry On Boys, which features bagpipe simulations and real didgeridoo. Joy has a completely different sound to other Skids albums, and some fans consider The Absolute Game to be the last canonical Skids album.
Soon after the release and live concert tour of The Absolute Game, Adamson and Baillie left the band. (Although Adamson did temporarily return to play on one more song from the album Joy, called Iona.) Adamson went on to launch the career of his new band, Big Country, and Baillie moved back to Scotland to live. It left Jobson and Webb, in 1981, to write and record the band's fourth and final album Joy, which Russell Webb also produced. The pair played multiple instruments on the album, and also invited a collection of seventeen musical friends to perform on various tracks with them. The Skids dissolved in 1982, with the album Fanfare posthumously issued by Virgin. It was a mixture of greatest hits and unreleased tracks.
Jobson and Webb then went onto form a new band called The Armoury Show. The group only recorded one album called Waiting for the Floods in 1985 before splitting up. Jobson went onto pursue a solo career as a poet, songwriter, television presenter and most recently a film director. He released albums on the Belgian record label Les Disques du Crepuscule, and the UK's own Parlophone Records.
Sadly, on December 16 2001, Stuart was found dead in Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, having committed suicide.
In the year 2007, U2 and Greenday covered "The Saints Are Coming" recorded originaly by the skids for the "Scared to Dance" album. Most fans seen this as a juncture to include new fans to the old punk scene.
In 2007 Richard Jobson, William Simpson and Mike Baillie, along with Bruce Watson (guitar/vocals) of Big Country, Jamie Watson (guitar), Brian Jobson (vocals) and Jane Button (vocals), got together to play three gigs. They were to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the group's formation, and as a final tribute to Stuart Adamson, who died in 2001. The shows on 4 July and 5 July were at Dunfermline's Glen Pavilion, where they were supported by Rosyth band The Draymin - outside of which The Skids had previously played only their second gig according to Jobson - and on 7 July, at the T in the Park festival.
Skids returned to the stage on 28 November 2009 as one of the headlining acts in Homecoming Live, a series of gigs held around the SECC complex in Glasgow to celebrate the end of the Year of Homecoming in Scotland. The line-up mirrored the 2007 gigs, with members of The Gospel Truth Choir joining Button on backing vocals for "A Woman in Winter" and "Working for the Yankee Dollar".
The same lineup performed a concert on 5 March 2010 at the ABC in Glasgow, with support from The Law and Bruce & Jamie Watson, and lastly a concert on 6 March 2010 at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, with support from Beatnic Prestige and Bruce & Jamie Watson. This final concert was to conclude a week of events celebrating the works, past and present, of Richard Jobson as part of The Fifer Festival 2010 on 6 March 2010.
In 2016 the band reformed and announced a 40th anniversary tour of the UK with their original singer Richard Jobson. In 2018, Skids released their fifth album, Burning Cities.
Both Dunfermline Athletic FC and Charlton Athletic FC use "Into the Valley" as a theme song.
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