Punk Band The Skids, 1970s TV Stars and Bombed Out.
Above Photo: The Skids live (BBC)
Who didn’t like Punk/New Wave band The Skids back in the late 1970s? They were a great live band, they had some brilliant lyrics and memorably ball-crunching bass lines.
I remember the first time I heard the song “TV Stars” and just couldn’t believe how clever it was (see You Tube link below), with the singer, Richard Jobson, simply reciting the names of then-famous soap opera stars in the UK, which was pretty creatively Un-Punk for a Punk band back in 1978, when I first heard it.
This song’s lyrics (ie names of Soap Stars) came to have greater resonance for me. Shortly after I’d first seen the band in Eric’s Club, Liverpool, I was discussing some of those very people in an eclectic chat-up of my (to be) girlfriend Liz in the same club, and I graphically recount this awkward conversation and life-changing encounter in my ‘70s-‘80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!
My early favourite Skids’ tracks also included ‘The Saints are Coming’ and ‘Into The Valley’, for which I’ve also added You Tube links below.
I saw The Skids at Eric’s Club, Liverpool on 7th March 1979 and again on the 9th June 1979 (two shows that day, as I was working in the club) and they were fucking fantastic. I mention the band and the June gig in Bombed Out!, but had forgotten when I was writing it that I’d also seen them in March.
I found my old gig list when I was home recently, and I was surprised to discover that in the course of 9 days, I’d got to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Pop Group, ATV, The Cure, The Human League and The Skids at Eric’s.
That was some club.
Getting back to The Skids, and specifically their singer, Richard Jobson, it was with great pleasure a couple of years ago that I read that he’d been awarded an Honorary Degree from Edinburgh Napier University for his contribution to the Arts; not just musically, but also for his contributions to film-making and writing, which he got into after The Skids imploded in the early 1980s.
I thought of the band again when I was photographing my Punk and New Wave memorabilia recently, and came across (metaphorically speaking) my copy of their 1979 single ‘Into The Valley’ and ‘TV Stars’.
They were a great band.
After the Skids had hit the skids, their guitarist, Stuart Adamson, went on to set up another brilliant 1980s band, Big Country, before moving to the US, where he tragically died in 2001.
The Saints Are Coming: