SKIDS (Live)

At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., June 8, 2019

SKIDS (Live at The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., June 8, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

There’s been a fair few reunions over the years that have flickered brightly initially only to collapse in an acrimonious mess as old animosities rose to the surface in the close confines of the tour bus.

The Skids seem to have dodged that particular bullet. Not only was their triumphant 40th anniversary tour two years ago a rip-roaring success but an album of brand-new songs, Burning Cities, charted in the Top 30 showing that this reunion was no flash in the pan.

With lead singer, writer, TV personality, film maker and all-round fine raconteur Richard Jobson at the helm this was never going to be an ordinary gig. Joined by original bassist William Simpson and long-time drummer Mike Baillie this was as close to the classic line up as was feasibly possible. Big Country’s Bruce Watson was the only one who could step into the shoes of the much missed Stuart Adamson’s and having worked so closely together in Big Country, Watson knew every note and every mannerism of Adamson’s work with the Skids. The way Watson, along with his son Jamie, recreated the huge wall of guitars was the glowing tribute that Adamson deserved.

Animation and Charade provided plenty of up-tempo oomph to kick the show off on a high energy romp as Jobson did his finest Dad dancing all kicking legs and swirling arms, his enthusiasm and energy an inspiration for men half his age.

The classics Saints Are Coming and Working For A Yankee Dollar had the crowd bouncing and the more mid-paced Scared To Dance showed a finesse not usually associated with the band.

It wasn’t all a nostalgia-fest though as Kings Of The New World Order and One Last Chance from their most recent album fizzled with the same passion that fired the Skids to the charts 40 years ago, sitting so comfortably alongside the more celebrated older material.

Jobson was in sparkling form all night cracking jokes and generally poking fun at himself proclaiming the Skids “not bad for six fat lads from Scotland”. The crowd erupted into a chant of “Albert Tatlock” during TV Stars before heading into a mini medley of Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols and a tribute to Pete Shelly of the Buzzcocks in the shape of What Do I Get and Ever Fallen In Love.

Every band needs a couple of bangers to get the audience really going and Masquerade and Into The Valley hit the spot perfectly giving the crowd plenty of chance to punch their fists in the air and chant along in football terrace fashion and this union of band and fan is exactly what music is all about.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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