Skids set for Fife exhibition

From this Saturday, until Sunday August 26, Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries will showcase an exhibition celebrating the work and music of Richard Jobson and The Skids.
The SkidsThe Skids
The Skids

From 1977, the year that the influential group formed in Dunfermline, right up to 2018 with the release of their first album in 35 years, the exhibition will include some incredible and unusual pieces of memorabilia, artwork and photographs from fan and band collections.

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries holds a significant place for the band. In the building’s former guise, a then teenaged Jobson would seek heat and respite to pen lyrics to some of The Skids’ earliest hits under the roof of the world’s first Carnegie Library.

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Some of these original lyric sheets will be on display in the upcoming exhibition.

Commenting on the band’s homecoming, exhibition Jobson said: “I’m very proud of our roots here and want to be part of Dunfermline’s renaissance as the coolest town in Scotland – it’s really important that we all contribute to making the town a success and that it is seen by the rest of the country as a creative hub, a place where people make things happen.”

Jobson’s artwork Scared to Dance – named for the first Skids album – will also be displayed, along with footage from their gigs over the years. From posters and photographs to lyrics and rare vinyl records, the show promises to be a treasure trove for fans old and new.

Jobson reflected on the band’s outsider origins: “Punk was essentially an urban thing, so the landscape of rural Fife, the mining villages that we were all born out of made us slightly different.

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“My mother sang sentimental folk songs from her Irish heritage and that was ingrained in me and also in Stuart. My father was a coal miner so I knew lots of those types of songs. Mixed with the edge of punk, it created something quite unique. Our sensibility and how we saw the world and each other was different from the urban sound.”

Such is the timeless, worldly quality of The Skids agitpop anthems that their formative idol, Iggy Pop, recently mistook them for a brand new Californian punk band on his BBC 6 Radio show (before issuing an indignant apology on air, in classic Iggy fashion).

The Skids played their first gig on August 19, 1977 at the Bellville Hotel in Pilmuir Street, Dunfermline. Within six months they had released the Charles EP on the No Bad record label.

Guitarist and co-writer Stuart Adamson left the band after the recording of their third (and most commercially successful) album The Absolute Game in 1980.

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He went on to scale new heights as Big Country’s frontman, while The Skids continued on for one more LP release before calling it a day at their peak in 1982.

Its constituent members moved on to new chapters of their career, with Jobson later breaking into the worlds of film and literature.

The exhibition also looks at the career of Jobson – musician, poet, film maker, author and broadcaster, and visitors will be able to see some of his work in these mediums.

A series of talks and events will also be held in celebration of the band’s history. Fife music venue PJ Molloys are promoting a Skids convention which invites fans to participate in Q&A sessions taking place at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries and social events, acoustic sessions and film screenings around the town. The convention takes place at the end of Festival of Museums week on Saturday May 19 to Sunday 20.