NOW and again I do a bit of writing for Barmcake magazine which describes itself as “northern entertainment for the middle-aged”. It’s put together by my friend and ex-work colleague David Griffiths, and for the latest edition I interviewed Richard Jobson of the Skids.
Here’s the article:
One night in 1979, a 13-year-old Richard Hamer heard Into the Valley, the second single by The Skids, and which reached number 10 in the charts. He was hooked, so much so that he hunted down the band’s back catalogue (hard work in those pre-internet days) and even kept a scrapbook of cuttings from the music press.
Next year the band will be back together to celebrate 40 years since they formed. It’ll be the same lineup of Richard Jobson, Bill Simpson, Mike Baillie, and Bruce and Jamie Watson who briefly played together in 2007 and 2010.
Lead singer Richard Jobson spoke to Barmcake about the forthcoming shows.
“We got back together in 2007 as a 30 year anniversary we had a done a few small things together, the biggest being a tribute to Stuart Adamson (who died in 2001). I had wanted the gigs to try and catch the energy of the shows from all those years ago and I think we did that; most importantly the songs still sounded relevant.
“Stuart was the original reason to play the songs again, as a tribute. If he were still alive he would probably still be writing music and not be that interested in the past, but you never know. I’ve been doing so many different things that a return to the Skids music felt absolutely the right thing to do.
“Six years on from the last time we played together it’s fallen back into place because Bruce Watson (who was in Big Country, the band that Adamson formed after leaving The Skids) is such a great musical band leader. The songs were written to play live rather than being big studio productions, and the only over-produced work we ever made was the album Joy; which has never been played live and I don’t think it ever will be.
“In terms of the venues, we’ve very realistic. I think there’s an audience who want to see us play live, because that’s when the music comes alive. I think we always needed a connection with the audience and these venues will allow that.”
The Skids released four studio albums between 1979 and 1981, and Days in Europa is often regarded as the band’s pinnacle. It’s quite hard to track down and it isn’t available as a download, and even Jobson doesn’t know when it will be. “Soon I hope as it’s my favourite Skids album. I still remember recording it at Rockfield in Wales and the laughs we had. It was a great time to be in The Skids, but, I think this tour will be special. Very special!”