The legendary outfit have been persuaded to reform for a special gig at Dunfermline’s Alhambra on Saturday, March 6.
And frontman Richard Jobson, who led the band through a spectacular performance at T In The Park in 2007, warned; "We're going to do this in style, it won’t be a shadow of our former glory – it’ll be the real deal."
Tickets are expected to sell-out in record time when they go on sale at 9am tomorrow.
The bands last hometown gigs, at Dunfermline's Glen Pavilion prior to T, sparked frenzy among the fans. And in the historic surroundings of the Alhambra - rapidly winning itself a reputation as one of Scotland's best venues - the band could be on even BETTER form.
An insider at promoters DF Concerts added: "It’s really exciting news. We're massive fans. Anyone who heard them play those classic songs like Animation, Masquerade and Working For The Yankee Dollar at the Glen Pavilion will know just how sensational they are as a live act."
The surprise reunion will be the grand finale of a week of events to celebrate Jobson's accomplishments outside music. Organisers of The Fifer Festival want to mark the singer's achievements as a writer and film maker alongside his musical successes.
Richard told A-Listed: "It's a great honour for me obviously, "The gig will be a wonderful way to finish the week. We're planning to play the classic Skids songs that people love best as well as a few forgotten gems. It's a brilliant way to start the year."
Monday, 23rd January 2010
SKIDS frontman Richard Jobson is on a crash diet – to shape up for the band’s farewell gigs.
The veteran punk star vowed to get fit for their big send-off after a ripped tendon left him in agony at T In The Park in 2007.
Jobson, 48, admitted wife Francesca warned him to be better prepared for the swansong shows at Glasgow’s 02 ABC on March 5 and the Ironworks in Inverness two days later.
He said: “We’re a really physical band. We put everything into it. I’m going to get myself ready so there are no pulled muscles this time.
“Eating habits, the gym, everything I can think of that might help. I had too nice a Christmas.” The Fife rockers had a string of hits including Into the Valley and The Saints are Coming before they split in 1981.
And Jobson – now a filmmaker – says Inverness is the perfect venue for what really will be their final fling.
He said: “I love the city. The people are quite laid back and it has a vibrant music scene.”
He added: “There are so many other things happening in my life, this will definitely be the last time we play.”Monday, 18 February 2010
Why Fife is celebrating illustrious son Richard JobsonAs Fife prepares to celebrate one of its finest talents, Anna Millar finds Richard Jobson in fine fettle
Here in Scotland, we love a tale of the local boy doing good, and musician-turned-writer and film-maker Richard Jobson has done just that. A former member of punk band, The Skids, Jobson often sets his scene – whether it be his music, photography, film or music – against the backdrop of his native Scotland.
So with Fife celebrating its cultural identity this year with a series of events, Jobson seemed an obvious choice with which to kick off proceedings. Dunfermline’s illustrious son has curated a special programme of events, complete with special guests; and audiences can enjoy plenty of firsts, with Robson presenting new exhibitions of his photographs, as well as workshops and discussions.
‘It’s that funny thing, that Fife has always been sort of overlooked as a cultural hub, which is strange considering the extraordinary things that have come out if it,’ says Jobson.Largely set at Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre, Jobson and Fife Council will start proceedings with Inspiration Day (Tue 2 Mar), an incentive designed to provide workshops to kids from deprived areas, who are interested in writing, film, production and editing. Later in the week, fellow Fifer Ian Rankin will put him through his paces with a Q&A before the premiere of his new short film The Journey, a project with Emma Thompson about the brutal realities of Sex Trafficking.
Never one for a quiet life, Jobson will also be planning the follow up to his Edinburgh-based New Town Killers while he’s there; Into the Valley, named after the Skids’ song, tells the story of a soldier’s return from Afghanistan to Fife and stars some of the cast from Killers. He’s also planning, he admits, on taking a couple of cameramen with him, and shooting what he refers to as a ‘meditation on Fife’ for a couple of days. ‘At heart I still feel sixteen,’ the 49-year old says with a smile. ‘I love what I do, and I’m delighted to celebrate in the place I came from. You can’t ask for more than that.’
The ode to Jobson comes to a close with a live performance from The Skids (6 Mar) at the Alhambra.
Excitement is growing as the sell-out gig approaches but Richard is determined that the inaugural Fifer Festival will not be overshadowed by the concert at its culmination.
The Alhambra will next week host a five-day festival celebrating the remarkable career of a West Fife hero - by turns a singer, songwriter, poet, model, style icon, actor, TV presenter and now film director.
He rose from humble roots to front a punk band whose influence still lives on around the world and now, as he approaches his 50th birthday, works with the top names in the film industry.
Aspiring directors and actors of the future will be able to gain the benefit of Richard's experience at workshops and seminars at the Alhambra.
Crime writer and self-confessed fan of the Skids, Ian Rankin, will be interviewing Richard about his life and times on Wednesday night and his films will be screened over the week.
There will also be a first chance to see his new powerful film, 'The Journey', about people trafficking, with narration by Emma Thompson.
Ironically, Richard much prefers to look ahead to the next project in his busy schedule - he has also just directed Richard Ashcroft's new video - rather than dwell on past glories.
He seemed reluctant initially to get back together for The Skids' 30th anniversary re-union in 2007, which turned out to be a great success with two concerts at the Glen Pavilion followed by a memorable appearance at T in the Park.
Richard told the Press, "When I was first asked about the Fifer Festival I was a bit shy of the idea but then I saw it was part of the bigger picture of Celebrating Fife.
"There's a lot of good work being done in Fife although the people here don't shout about it as much as some of our neighbours do.
"It's a fantastic place and remains an inspiration to me."
He admitted he thought The Skids' story had come to a close after the 2007 gigs.
"I thought The Skids had been put to bed then we were approached quite late in the day about the Homecoming Scotland event at the end of last year," he explained.
"We thought, 'why not', as it was only going to be a 20-minute appearance and we would see how it went.
"As it turned out it was great fun and I feel the music is becoming increasingly relevant."
The band are now enjoying retrieving songs from their back catalogue which have rarely, if ever, been performed live and so the Alhambra concert promises to be something special.Richard went on, "I would never be interested in getting back together to do the full touring thing.
"We've all got too much going on to do that.
"But for one-off special events like this and maybe again in the future, that's different and we're enjoying it.
"So now we're working on songs that haven't been played live before, some that haven't been played for a long time.
"The songs still have a relevance. There wouldn't be the same enthusiasm if the songs were ephemeral and it was just a mercenary thing."
Much of the band's early material such as 'Into The Valley', 'The Saints Are Coming' and 'Working for the Yankee Dollar', was based on Richard's contemporaries who joined the army and quickly found themselves in the front-line.
"Because of the economic situation facing them, they joined up and found themselves in Northern Ireland," he recalled.
More than 30 years on and if anything the themes in those songs have a greater resonance in 2010 with young soldiers losing their lives in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq before it.
After the festival, Richard will be going to Afghanistan to work on his next movie which has the working title, 'Into The Valley', about a Fife soldier in Helmand Province although filming will also take place in the Kingdom.
If The Skids' music remains relevant today, it is also proving popular with a new audience and chiming particularly in the world of sport, as was seen earlier this month.
Richard was at East End Park for the Scottish Cup tie against Celtic to see the Pars take to the field as always to 'Into the Valley' and a few hours later a TV audience of millions saw the New Orleans Saints celebrate their first ever Superbowl success to 'The Saints Are Coming'.
Looking ahead to next week, Richard said, "The workshops will hopefully encourage young people who feel maybe they can't get into certain fields because it's inaccessible because of where they come from.
"I'm there as living proof that you can."
A confident, garrulous character even from his early days, Richard said he was not hindered by such inhibitions when he was starting out.
"My mantra was always just get on with it," he said.
"I didn't really think about what other people thought about my work."
Richard is delighted that the re-birth of the Alhambra is attracting so many top bands, including his old friends, The Stranglers, this Saturday night.
"They were great supporters of The Skids in our early days and we played with them back then," he said.
"I'll be there on Saturday night, dancing about at the front."
Jumping ahead a week, Richard said,"We're very excited about playing at the Alhambra, which is an amazing venue and great for Dunfermline what's happening there.
"There's a lot happening in the town.
"I was in a great little cafe, Reuben's, in the New Row the other day. People are trying to make a difference.
"The important thing with the Alhambra is that local people are responding and they want to make it work."
The Fifer Festival runs from Tuesday to Saturday.
Disappointed fans of The Skids who missed out on tickets for the sell-out concert will have another chance to see their heroes - and they won't have to pay.
The band have announced they will play an acoustic session at the Alhambra on Wednesday night.
The performance will take place after the interview between Rebus author Ian Rankin and Richard Jobson. Tickets are free of charge and are available from the venue.
Those already with tickets are reminded of the new date as the interview was originally planned for the Thursday evening.
Thursday, 04th March 2010 by MATT BENDORIS
‘I see the world in a darker way.. I’m driven by anger’FORMER punk Richard Jobson boasts that he can back-flip as well as Celtic star Robbie Keane.
The Skids frontman wants to perform the striker’s trademark goal celebration when he returns to the stage with his band tonight.
He beams: “I did the half-time draw in the Scottish Cup game between Dunfermline and Celtic.
“It was Robbie Keane’s first goal for Celtic and he can do a really good back-flip.
“I used to always do them on stage in the 70s, but Robbie’s given me a taste for it again.”
The major difference is that Jobson turns 50 next month while Keano is some 20 years younger.
“Aye,” the Fifer concedes, “And the last flip I tried it at T In The Park in 2007, it was a total disaster.“I landed on my knees and had to be helped off stage afterwards by some people from the ambulance service. But the fans seemed to appreciate the effort.”
We meet in Glasgow’s City Inn hotel.
Jobson is around 5ft 11in with cropped, greying hair and a long face to match his long teeth.
He talks with a slight lisp and stares intently with pale blue eyes when questioned.
But Richard is a strange mix — friendly then argumentative, down-to-earth then pretentious.
His personality reflects a career which has seen him go from angry young punk to male model, TV film critic and now movie maker, with his biggest hit, the ultra-violent New Town Killers, starring Scots Hollywood hunk Dougray Scott.
He’s also just made a worthy short film with Oscar-winner Emma Thompson called The Journey — the story of a real-life sex slave from Moldova.
Yet at Glasgow’s ABC venue tonight he’ll be reliving his old anarchy days on tour and taking part in The Fifer Festival — a series of events staged in Jobson’s honour.
Isn’t it all a bit scatty?Up front ... Skids star chats to Sun man Matt
“I said I would never reform The Skids, then the whole U2/Green Day thing happened.”
That was when singers Bono and Billie Joe Armstrong performed a cover version of Richard’s 1978 single The Saints Are Coming for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. It was then adopted by this year’s surprise Superbowl winners The New Orleans Saints, as their anthem.
Jobson — who also had hits including Into The Valley and Masquerade — recalls: “I’m sitting in Abbey Road Studios in London watching Bono and Billie sing something I wrote when I was 17 in my bedroom in Dunfermline. Those words were written in anger. But I realised they were still relevant and I’m still driven by anger.”
However, the baffling lyrics, which include the line ‘A drowning sorrow floods the deepest grief... until the weather change condemns belief’, were sent up by the Maxwell TV adverts.
He says: “The commercials tried to decipher the meaning. You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself. You can’t take yourself seriously.”
Before taking himself too seriously, by admitting: “I was a little hurt when the ads took the mickey, though. My song was written about something serious.”
But everything Richard does seems to be serious.
He shrugs: “I see the world in a darker way.
“Everything I do is driven by anger and compassion.”
That could be partly down to the tragic events in his life.
He said: “Francis was a Hare Krishna monk, so we would kick around Dunfermline in the 70s, me as a hardcore punk and him as a hardcore monk.
“He was 10 years older than me and took me to the cinema.
“That’s where my love of film comes from.
“When he died in India we never really got to the bottom of what happened.
“Death in India is really no big deal. It was also during the Monsoon season when hundreds were dying every day. So another body wasn’t a big thing.”
Later the same year Skids co-founder Stuart Adamson — who went on to front Big Country — was also found dead after apparently taking his own life in a cheap Hawaiian hotel room after battling booze and depression.
Richard sighs: “Now that was a real surprise.
“I can’t lie about it, we didn’t leave on the friendliest terms when The Skids split.
“He moved onto greater success with Big Country and had to cope with suddenly being the frontman, which might have been behind some of his personal problems.
“I wasn’t a very good singer. Stuart was better and a great musician. But I had attitude and front which he didn’t have.
“I just had no idea things had got so bad as we were never huge drinkers as a band.
“I know I once wrote a film called 16 Years Of Alcohol but that wasn’t about me.
“I’m epileptic so most of the time I avoid the stuff.
“We were never very druggie either while other bands were getting into cocaine and heroin.
“So it had no context for me that Stuart became an alcoholic.”
Richard, who used to be married to husky-voiced TV presenter Mariella Frostrup, now lives in Bedfordshire with his second wife, Italian Francesca, and kids Archie and Edie.
His next two films will star Dougray Scott — a Sin City-style version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Into The Valley, about a young soldier returning to Fife from the frontline in Afghanistan.
Me: “How do you get on with Dougray — he always comes across as a bit of an a*** in real-life?”
Richard admits: “He’s a bit dry for sure. But Fifers are naturally suspicious people. I think I’ve overcome that, but Dougray is still canny and wary of folk. He’s like that with me, so don’t take it personally. But he also has a vicious sense of humour.
“I’d like to work more with him even though he knows he’ll never make much money with me.”
But aren’t Jobson’s films guilty of portraying Scots as a violent race to the rest of the world?
He sniffs: “If you don’t mind me saying so, you’re wrong. Sure my films are violent but they’re not set on some housing estate.
“New Town Killers had two hedge fund managers, wearing Armani suits, driving a Maserati and hunting a kid into the night — it’s a wee bit different.
“I don’t like sitting at film festivals in Brazil and Tokyo watching movies which show Scotland as a dung heap.”
Richard has to go, maybe to practise his back-flips?
He says: “I’m heading for the big 5-0 but I’ve never really thought about age in my head. So I’ll give the flips a go. Although, on second thoughts it may be best if I leave it to the last night of the tour.”
The Skids play Glasgow’s ABC tonight and Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline tomorrow.Thursday,4th March 2010 by Jonathon Geddes
Film director Richard Jobson is approaching 50, but he is preparing to return to his first love of music by gigging with his seminal punk band the Skids at the ABC in Glasgow tomorrow.
And he makes it clear he is still driven by the same passions as when he started with the band in 1977.
“In my head, I’m still 16!” he says. “I still have that energy and enthusiasm for doing things without wondering what the response will be. I think when you worry about the response, then you are doomed from the start.”
Richard has always done things his own way, from writing classic punk songs such as Into The Valley and The Saints Are Coming (covered by U2 and Green Day), to a stint as a television presenter on Sky, to directing films in different genres.
He has also recently shot the music video for former Verve singer Richard Ashcroft.
His next project is a film that takes its title from a Skids song, Into The Valley. It will look at the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan, and Richard admits it is the fact he believes the Skids songs still have an impact that has led him to reform the group again.
“It saddens me a bit that the Skids songs are still relevant,” he says.
“I wrote Into The Valley about kids having no prospects for work so the only road available to them was joining the Army. Then, 16 weeks later, they found themselves in Northern Ireland and came back very changed.
“Working For The Yankee Dollar, Charade, Masquerade were all about similar issues, and we are in the same situation again right now.
“A lot of the (Army) people I have spoken to do not think they are going to end up in Southern Afghanistan, but they are.
“So it has gone full circle and I am still singing the songs for a reason.
After breaking up in 1982, the Skids reformed for a few shows in 2007, including T In The Park, and then played a brief set as part of the 2009 Homecoming jamboree.
Had the passion not still been there at Homecoming, Richard is adamant he would have called it a day.
“This still means something to me – I’m not just cranking them out and saying nothing more than ‘isn’t it great to be here’.
“We always felt something in common with the people who came to see us and that was what made it such fun.
“We will be doing a lot of the songs in ways people will not expect – different versions of Valley, of Saints, and we will be using a gospel choir from Glasgow.
“We will be playing an array of different stuff, songs we have not played before.
A lot of these bands from that era just come along and chuck out the songs people vaguely remember, and do the whole greatest hits thing. We hope we can do more than that.”
Certainly, the band’s set at the Homecoming gig was one of the night’s highlights. They were joined that evening by a wide range of Scottish acts, such as Deacon Blue and Hue & Cry.
Richard appears unsure of whether the experience was good or bad.
“Homecoming was odd,” he says. “I tried my best to watch as many of the other acts as I could, but the idea we were on the same stage as Hue & Cry ?was peculiar to me.
“Given the choice, that is something I would never have taken part in because we are so different.”
He is not exactly blown away by a lot of current musical acts.
“Pop is sludge now. I have always hated Radio 1 because, aside from John Peel, it was awful songs and all that rubbish like Dave Lee Travis DJing.
“Now it claims to be the coolest station in the world – says who?”
While he believes pop is as bad as ever, he does feel music as a whole has shifted, to the extent the public are more willing to listen to all sorts of tunes.
“Music used to be very divisive, whereas nowadays people have very eclectic tastes.
“The background we are from, there were certain lines that you had – if you saw somebody with a Yes album they were the enemy – that is not really the case now.
“That passion and anger is not there, people have much more open ears for music.
“In some ways that is a good thing, but one of the great things about music is that it was a divisive thing, and if somebody had a Wishbone Ash album you knew you hated them.”
Friday March 5th 2010
Frontman Speaks of Losing Bandmate
RICHARD JOBSON frontman of The Skids, last night spoke of the loss of founder member Stuart Adamson.
The Kirkcaldy born singer and film-maker was taking part in An Evening With Richard Jobson at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, in which he spoke of his career with acclaimed crime writer Ian Rankin.
Jobson told of his early interest in comics and how his brother, Francis, had a huge influence on him.
He said, “My father was a coal miner and we were a classic working class family,
“However, my brother went out his way to be different”.
“He drew a mural of Spider Man on my bedroom wall when I was a boy living in Crosshill.
“He listened to music like Captain Beefheart, Leonard Cohen, MC5 and The New York Dolls and i saw him as being iconic.
“He took alot of abuse for this”.
Jobson said he was diagnosed as having epilepsy as a child auditioned for The Skids at Cowdenbeath Working Men’s Club.
He told the audience that he could not sing at the time and was coached by Stuart Adamson, the late guitarist of The Skids and Big Country, who died in December 2001.
Jobson said Adamson had “a natural talent” and spoke of his shock on hearing he had died.
He said, ”Stuart was an incredibly talented musician The whole episode of his death was tremendously sad”.
He added “I was in denial of The Skids for a long time after we split up - I don’t know why.
“We never had a chance to say goodbye to Stuart – there was never any closure. “So when the chance came to warm up for T in the Park with a gig at Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline, it was great”.
Jobson said “In 1976 when punk first growled, the outlook for music was bleak. “Punk was really rebellious and we had this DIY attitude in The Skids”.
He added “In the early days we managed to play at Clouds and upstairs in Kenilworth in Rose Street, both in Edinburgh. We would then go to wait at Waverly Station and got the milk train home to Dunfermline the next morning. “It was a magical time”.
Jobson said the band had their own record label, No Bad Records, before being “discovered” by the late DJ, John Peel.
He said “John played Charles every single night and hearing that made my heart skip. But success came too quickly — i was only 17 years old when we were on Top of the Pops and were touring 300 days of the year.
“There was never an acrimonious split as has been depicted”.
The audience were also shown excerpts from 16 Years of Alcohol and New Town Killers, both films directed by Jobson.
He ended the evening by singing a solo renditition of Ae Fond Kiss and was joined by Bruce Watson (Big Country) and son Jamie for acoustic renditions of Skids songs The Saints are Coming and Into the Valley.
Jobson said that he wrote both songs in Dunfermline Carnegie Library.The Skids, ABC, Glasgow
Published on 7 Mar 2010 by Jonathan Geddes
According to Richard Jobson, his intentions for this concert were to sing out of tune and dance badly, as usual.
His dancing was indeed dreadful, at one stage resembling a chicken suffering severe cramp, but thankfully his band’s music remains stirringly powerful.
Jobson spoke between songs about his belief that the lyrics still meant something today, but it was a justified claim.
The first pint of the evening went flying through the air on the acid-tongued Working For The Yankee Dollar before The Saints Are Coming was delivered in brilliantly desperate style. However, this was not a straightforward greatest hits set, and with a six-strong choir joining the group, there were moments of innovation too.
Aside from the lyrics, it was noticeable how well the actual music has endured. Never oi oi punks, Scared To Dance’s guitar was a hypnotic tribute to the late Stuart Adamson’s skills, A Woman In Winter’s chanting suited the choir’s backing and a muscular version of Hurry On Boys also impressed.
While the whole band were fine, father and son duo Bruce and Jamie Watson handled Adamson’s parts capably, Jobson was still the star, a proverbial whirling dervish whose vocal still snarls when required. His energy resonated throughout a closing trio of Circus Games, Masquerade and Into The Valley, which deserved the moshing it sparked from old and young punks alike.
It was a shame an underwhelming encore followed, in which both Saints and Valley were awkwardly repeated acoustically, a treatment that suited neither. It thankfully didn’t put too large a blemish on the evening, and if this truly is the end of the Skids, they finished on a high.
Gig review: The Skids
By Fiona Shepherd
MANY bands approach the nostalgia ticket with caution, particularly the first wave of punk bands who initially formed to sweep away the old guard and, in choosing to reform, must now reconcile themselves to facing a roomful of balding men of a certain age.
But Scotland's premier punk warhorses The Skids have come back with such passionate, vigorous, infectious spirit and rousing material that the ironies of being an old-age punk have ceased to be an issue and all that mattered was rallying with frontman Richard Jobson in his stated aim to "sing quite out of tune, dance badly and have a blast".
In the course of his reminiscences, Jobson revealed that he became The Skids' singer by intimidating founder members Stuart Adamson and Bill Simpson into giving him the job. These days he is more of a cuddly raconteur, sincerely putting each of the songs plucked from their back catalogue into context.
The entire gig also functioned as an act of remembrance for the late Adamson, whose distinctive guitar sound – as played by his Big Country sideman Bruce Watson in this line-up – has helped to preserve the kick of such muscular chants as The Saints Are Coming, Into The Valley, Masquerade and the prescient Working For The Yankee Dollar.
The set list reached beyond the hits to encompass debut single Charles and requested fan favourites such as The Olympian, while maintaining a balance between what the band wanted to play – including an acoustic encore and the rarely performed single Fields – and what the boisterous audience wanted to hear (the thrashy rant of TV Stars).
This final track was evidently not one of Jobson's proudest musical achievements but the fact that the band played it with such headlong energy anyway is one good reason why this is such a fondly-regarded and raucously received reunion.Monday, 08 March 2010 by Gary Fitzpatrick
Supreme Skids Right at Home
A SUPERB performance from the Skids set the seal on the week of events celebrating the career of Richard Jobson.
Saturday night's gig was a memorable occasion for the sell-out crowd savouring the reunion of one Dunfermline's best-ever bands in the fabulous setting of the rejuvenated Alhambra Theatre.
And it was a rejuvenated, storming set from the band as they turned the clock back, roared on by the hometown support like a swaying mass of football fans.
There was a huge ovation in memory of the late Stuart Adamson and it was fitting that his Big Country colleague Bruce Watson was on stage alongside his son Jamie to complete the line-up.
Many fans present had been there for the band's breakthrough days in the late 1970s although some in the audience were not even born then.
The set was an impressive mix of the band's popular hits such as 'The Saints Are Coming', 'Working for the Yankee Dollar', 'Circus Games' and Masquerade' with less well-known material such as 'Woman in Winter' and 'Castles in Spain', which was released by The Armoury Show, Jobson's subsequent band after the Skids.
The singer turned film director said it was a "privilege" to appear at the theatre and the fans certainly appreciated them being there.
Alhambra manager Simon Fletcher said, "It was a great event and the culmination of a really good week.
"The first Fifer Festival has been a success and the Skids concert was a triumphant return.
"When they sang 'Into the Valley' it was the biggest crowd reaction we've had since the Alhambra re-opened. The band loved playing here and the fans had a great time."
Local bars and restaurants were busy as gig-goers flocked into Dunfermline, none more so than a packed Old Inn where Skids fans gathered in the hours before the concert, at an event organised by the band's website.
They were entertained by Skids music and rare footage of the band on video.
Dunfermline's emergence as a live music hub after many years in the doldrums was confirmed on Saturday with one of the city's busiest ever nights for live music. March 14th 2010 By Tim Barr
THE SKIDS, Alhambra, Dunfermline
FIST clenched, standing four- square in the centre of the stage, Richard Jobson is belting out the lung-busting chorus of the classic Into The Valley.
And as Bill Simpson drills out the song's trademark bassline, the sell-out crowd is going MENTAL.
In scenes that'd rival even the mighty Barrowland, this hometown show - in one of Scotland's best venues - sees both fans and band going for it big-time, expending enough energy to power the national grid.
It's a reminder that The Skids, who last reunited in 2007 for their incredible 30th anniversary show on the main stage at T In The Park, have lost none of their power.
In an action-packed 24-song set - full of pulse-quickening hits like Masquerade, Working For The Yankee Dollar and, of course, The Saints Are Coming - they constantly spring surprises.
Not the least of which are the songs themselves. As they rocket into Charles - originally penned by a teenage Stuart Adamson back in 1977 - it's clear the track hasn't gathered dust at all. Its spiralling guitar riff and lyric about the creeping depersonalisation of corporate culture, still sound radical now.
With Adamson's Big Country bandmate Bruce Watson depping for the much- missed guitar hero, old favourites like Out Of Town and Melancholy Soldiers are delivered with the force of a runaway train.
Drummer Mike Baillie - who joined the Fife band in time for 1980's Absolute Game album - is a revelation too, sticks skipping around the kit as he hammers out the rock solid beat of a blistering Circus Games.
There's a neat moment when those on stage salute original sticksman Tam Kellichan, who's among tonight's crowd.
But while the music (including a rare romp through the much-underrated and never-before-played-live 1981 Fields single) is the undisputed star of the show, Jobson himself runs it a pretty close second.
CHECKOUT THE VIDEO BELOW - FIELDS
He's a magnetic presence, leaping into the air one minute, spinning round with a boxer's finesse the next, all the while bellowing out those king-size choruses. As a frontman he's up there with Daltrey, Lydon and Strummer.
That's summed up as they launch into Of One Skin - the 1978 hit that inspired both U2 and The Cult - Jobson sailing through the air like he's 17 again, still striking a blow for the newest of the new wave.7th October 2010 By Gary Fitzpatrick
Skids Swansong for Dunfermline DVD Launch?
The memorable Skids home town concert at the Alhambra in March has been captured on film and will be released at a special launch event.
The fund-raiser for the 'Help for Heroes' at the Carnegie Hall on 31st October will feature the first screening of the movie as well as an acoustic gig by the band, perhaps their last ever.
Those present in the packed audience will long remember the electric atmosphere as the Skids turned back the clock with a wonderful performance of hits such as 'Into the Valley', 'The Saints are Coming', 'Masquerade' and 'Yankee Dollar'.
The film is the work of Richard Jobson singer, film director and music video creator for artists such as Richard Ashcroft.
The Skids frontman told the Press, "You've probably heard it before but this could well be the last performance of the band. I start a new film soon and it's hard to see when will be able to get together again."
Looking back to the Alhambra concert, Richard said, "It was an incredible night. I can't remember a better atmosphere - ever. The vibe was just right and everybody was there to have a great time.
"It was just amazing to look out and see the faces. There were those who had been there from the beginning and some had brought their children and grandchildren in some cases.
"It was a great night and the end of the Fifer Festival week. I enjoyed beingable to spend time with young people who were interested in a career in film-making and music.
"The legacy of the Skids is to encourage these young people to believe that if they want to do something then do it and not to listen to what anyone else says
"We didn't get much encouragement when we started certainly from the older generation who either thought the whole thing was threatening or didn't like the music. But each generation comes along and has their own thing to say."
CHECKOUT THE VIDEO ABOVE
The Alhambra gig was captured using Canon 5D Mark II stills cameras which have hi-spec video capability and being compact gave the photographers great flexibility of movement.
"I didn't want the enjoyment of the audience to be spoilt by cameramen running around all over the place getting in their way and blocking the view," said Richard.
"By using this technology, the team, who I've worked with before and are very talented, could move around freely and the results are spectacular.
"This will be the first time it's been used in that environment and when people see what we've achieved I'm sure many will want to follow. We had five cameras but when you see the film you would think we had 50 in there."
The DVD is intercut with the interview Skids fan and Rebus author Ian Rankin conducted with Richard earlier that week as part of the Fifer Festival.
"One point I was making was the thing about a Skids gig was that the audience were same type of people as the band. There was never anything pompous about a Skids gig."
Richard previously helped the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the tune of a massive £500,000. That was the figure he would have made in royalties from U2 and Green Day's cover of 'The Saints are Coming' released for the Music Rising appeal.
This time the beneficiary will be the Help for Heroes campaign and a prevalent theme in the Skids songs was the fate of young people who joined the army as a way out of unemployment.
At that time, back in the '70s. the young recruits were thrown into the turmoil of Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and in recent years it has been Iraq and Afghanistan.
Richard said, "I feel for these young men and women. The thing's come full circle back to when we were writing the songs with the economic situation and the lack of chances for young people.
"When there are no jobs one of the things young people are told is to join the army and they can learn something. When it's the British Government involved the chances are you're going to be sent to a war somewhere.
"These people have joined up to serve their country and some have been badly injured. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is irrelevant.
"Sometimes we turn our back on these young men and women and that shouldn't happen."
The Skids DVD premiere and launch night on 31st October starts at 6pm and tickets are on sale priced £10. Prizes, including a signed guitar, will up for grabs in the raffle.
The Skids mark last stand in aid of Help for Heroes
The DVD features concert footage of the band's last tour, which included a date at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline.
Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline was the venue for Sunday's event, with proceeds from sales of the DVD going to the Help for Heroes charity.
Footage from Skids concerts in March was captured on HD cameras, and the DVD includes interviews and front man Richard Jobson talking about his early days in the band.
In addition, there was a raffle, with prizes including a signed guitar, a signed and framed Skids photo, and tickets for other shows.
A spokesman for the Skids said, "Richard donated royalties from The Saints Are Coming, which was covered by U2 and Green Day, for victims of the 2005 New Orleans disaster.
"He wanted to raise money for Help for Heroes through this DVD."
Photo © David Wardle.