This week I’m heading to Bristol on Tuesday night to catch THE SKIDS acoustic tour, or ‘An Evening with Richard Jobson of The Skids’ as it’s billed.
My first SKIDS gig was 1980 at Hammersmith Palais. Circus Games was high in the charts. Jobbers was sporting cricket whites. Great venue the Palais. Don’t recall any bad gigs and this was a cracker. My teenage excitement was filed in a scrapbook I still have.
That was the only time I saw them first time around, despite having all the albums. After that I saw the Armoury Show a couple of times in Birmingham the 80s: Aston University and I think Edward’s No 8, a nightclub in town. Meanwhile Stuart Adamson had ventured out with Big Country, who I caught supporting U2 at Brum Odeon in March 1983 and later that year at Reading Festival for the alarming stage pyrotechnics set (With long time school mate GGu).
March on more than 30 years and THE SKIDS re-emerged for a tour in 2017, having done some one off gigs. Original line-up minus Adamson RIP but with Bruce and Jamie Watson from Big Country on guitars. They were back out of the box and into the studio with a new well received album ‘Burning Cities’ – checkout ‘Kings of the New World Order’ and ‘This is Our World’.
The 2017 London Roundhouse gig was a reunion for a bunch of my mates as well (DPi, GGu, AMu, PMo, DSy), sparking a new enthusiasm for THE SKIDS live.
Mate and gig buddy DPi sorted an excellent trip for the two us to Belfast in December 2017, a double header gig with Big Country at The Limelight 1. The following June we went to the Cheese and Grain at Frome gig and Shepherds Bush O2, the latter being a particularly good night, Theatre of Hate supporting and some special tickets which got a group of us from Brum student days backstage.
In February 2019 the latest gig going venture organised by my relentless gig buddy (DPi) was for a group of us to go to the Butlins Alternative Music Festival – my Butlins debut. Who was headlining one of the nights? THE SKIDS of course, with Big Country also. The Butlins bouncing ballroom floor was in full flex.
Then the finest performance of all in this run of middle aged Skids-mania: The Albert Hall in June 2019. This joint gig, headed by Buzzcocks, and with the excellent Penetration, was all set up a year before. Jobson told us about it the previous June. In the interim there was the sad, sudden and shocking loss of Pete Shelley which led to some speculation about the gig Albert Hall event. It became very much a memorial gig for Pete Shelley with various guests performing with the various other Buzzcocks, including Jobbo doing a stint.
THE SKIDS set didn’t focus on that emotion. This was THE SKIDS celebrating their return first. Jobson, with visibly more power than ever, delivered a masterful performance with the band in the amazing surroundings of the Albert Hall.
So you can see why I’m looking forward to this Tuesday in Bristol.
It looks like calmer affair – acoustic set accompanying the new SKIDS acoustic album, entitled, presumably ironically, ‘Peaceful Times’.