FP100 Fife bands 3. Skids


One of Fife’s best known bands, Dunfermline’s Skids began as a punk band, forming in Dunfermline in 1977. 
The original line up of Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson, William Simpson and Thomas Kellichan played their first gig at the Bellville Hotel in the town’s Pilmuir Street on August 19 1977.
Within six months they had issued the “Charles” EP on the No Badrecord label, created by Sandy Muir, a Dunfermline music shop owner and then manager, which brought them to the attention of Radio 1’s John Peel. A session on his programme led to a support slot for The Clash and then a record deal with Virgin Records.
The band released two singles; ‘Sweet Suburbia’ and ‘The Saints Are Coming’ (later covered by U2 and Green Day) before the scoring their biggest ever hit with ‘Into The Valley’ which reached number 10 in the UK charts in 1979. The record brought them to the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ, John Peel. This led to a local support slot for The Clash before Virgin Records then signed up Skids in April 1978. The singles “Sweet Suburbia” and “The Saints Are Coming” both made commercial inroads, before “Into the Valley” reached the UK Top 10 singles chart in early 1979, the year they released their debut album ‘Scared to Dance’ in 1979.

The band followed up with another two top twenty singles; ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’ and their follow up album ‘Days In Europa’ that same year.

Drummer Kellichan left the band shortly before the album was recorded and was temporarily replaced by Rusty Egan from the band Visage before Mike Baillie was recruited as a full-time member.

The following year William Simpson left and was replaced by Russell Webb as a permanent band member and immediately started work on the recording of the band’s third album ‘The Absolute Game’, which was released in 1980. It proved to be the band’s most commercial release, reaching the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart and contained the minor hit single ‘Circus Games’. Soon after the release and tour of ‘The Absolute Game’ Baillie and Adamson both left the band, leaving Jobson and Webb to release the band’s fourth and final album, ‘Joy’ in 1981 which contained another minor hit with the song ‘Iona’. Jobson and Webb went on to form a new band called The Armoury Show, who recorded just one album, ‘Waiting for the Floods’ in 1985 before splitting up. Jobson went on to pursue a solo career as a poet, songwriter, television presenter and most recently a film director. Adamson had huge success with his new band Big Country.

In 2007 Jobson, Simpson and Baillie, along with Big Country’s Bruce Watson and his son Jamie Watson, reformed Skids to mark the group’s 30th anniversary and pay tribute to the late Adamson. They played two shows at Dunfermline’s Glen Pavilion before performing at T in the Park.

Skids returned to the stage on 2009 as one of the headlining acts in Homecoming Live, celebrating the end of the Year of Homecoming in Scotland.

In 2010 they played two final gigs, one at the ABC Glasgow, before taking to stage at the Alhambra Theatre in their home town, in a week of events celebrating the works of Jobson as part of the Fifer Festival.

The gig was filmed and screened last year at the Adasm Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy as part of the inaugural Kirkcaldy Film festival, and it was introduced by ... Richard Jobson.