Skids set for North East show as they celebrate 40th anniversary

The reformed Skids will play at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on 23 June.
The reformed Skids will play at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on 23 June.
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One of the best groups to emerge from the punk explosion are preparing for their first North East gig in 38 years

Richard Jobson, Bill Simpson, Mike Baillie, Bruce Watson and Jamie Watson.

The Skids were formed in 1977 in their hometown of Dunfermline, by Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson, Bill Simpson and Tom Kellichan.

Their first 7", the independently-released Charles EP, got them noticed by Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who became a fan.

It also earned them a support slot with first-wave pioneers The Clash, and a major label deal with Virgin Records.

They enjoyed Top 10 success with their 1979 single Into The Valley, and Masquerade, Charade, Working For The Yankee Dollar and Circus Games followed it into the Top 40.

Debut album Scared To Dance reached No 19 in the UK charts, and Days In Europa and The Absolute Game alst charted, with the latter making No. 9.

Skids dissolved in 1982, and Adamson went on to enjoy worldwide success with Big Country, before sadly taking his own life in 2001.

That was the end of their story until 2007, when Jobson, Simpson and Baillie, along with Big Country guitarist Bruce Watson and his son Jamie, reformed the Skids for three gigs to mark their 30th anniversary and as a tribute to Adamson.

Jobson remembers: "I was a kid when I joined the band in 1977 – 16 years old. By the time the adventure had run aground, I was a dazed and confused young man.

"We were fearless in the beginning, always trying new things and not afraid to be different in a musical world that was beginning to sound very derivative and safe.

"The Skids were not just another punk band – we were creatively ambitious, as well as being close to the core beliefs of our hard-won fans. But most importantly we loved playing live.

"Taking these memories and replanting them into 2017 has not been easy. How do you do it? How should it sound? Are we little more than a heritage band?

"These were the questions rattling around my head as I tried to find a way to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary.

"The answers ended up being very simple. Don’t over think it – just do it. Enjoy every minute of it. Play the songs like it might be the last time. Give it everything.

"And then there’s the new stuff! The beginning of something new, rather than the end of something old.”

The new stuff Jobson mentions is Burning Cities, a new crowd-funded album due out next month through PledgeMusic.

The 40th anniversary tour will feature the same line-up as the 2007 shows, and it calls at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on Friday, 23 June.

It's the Skids' first North East gig since they played at Newcastle City Hall in October 1979, and tickets, priced £25.31, including booking fees, are available from the venue or
They will also headline at the Rebellion festival in Blackpool in August, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year.