Tuesday, 27 June 2017
The Skids at the Bristol Bierkeller
The Skids were one of the first Punk / New Wave bands I really got into, even though by the time this happened they were pretty much over - typical for me! They were quite a unique proposition at the time - a very young group of musicians from Dunfermline who played a very different, art-rock version of Punk. No three-chord thrashes here, but a multi-layered strangeness built on Stuart Adamson's unique guitar sound and Richard ( Jobbo ) Jobson's cryptic, poetic lyrics.
After all this I never expected to see The Skids live - they became just another lost band, their records remembered by the faithful few, occasionally popping up on repeats of Top Of The Pops on BBC 4. But then... it was the band's 40th anniversary ( this year! ) and, amazingly, a new tour was announced. I had to be there! I snapped up tickets for myself and my mate Glenn and we headed down to Bristol's dingy Bierkeller for one incredible gig...
We missed Charlie Harper's solo set ( not too upset... I've seen Charlie loads of times with the UK Subs ) but did manage to catch the legendary Tim"TV"Smith, former livewire leader of The Adverts. Tim was on top form, bashing away at his acoustic guitar as if his life depended on it, and singing his increasingly political anthems... on the eve of the disastrous General Election. He finished with some crowd-pleasing Adverts songs ( Gary Gilmore's Eyes, One Chord Wonders ) and then it was time for the main event.
All too soon the gig came to a close with the inevitable TV Stars ( updated to include the names of Tory and UKip MPs - who didn't come off too well... ) and closing anthems ( there's that word again ) Into The Valley and Charade, with a final treat - a fine new song called World On Fire from their upcoming new ( NEW! ) album. What a fantastic gig! I think the real reason I loved it so much ( as I remarked to another blogger recently ) was that here was an absolutely cracking band playing beloved songs which I never, ever, thought I'd get to see played live.
World On Fire? Band On Fire!
Soundtrack: Come on! What do you think?