Reviews

Skids Songs From a Haunted Ballroom CD

The SKIDS, for those not in the know, were a punk band forged in Fife, Scotland, in the late ’70s, who were a little bit different, sonically, and whose main claim to fame was that when they broke up in the early ’80s (after three excellent LPs), the guitarist went on to form BIG COUNTRY. The chiming guitars for which they became famous (“guitars that sound like bagpipes”—even though the band claimed they were emulating violins!), very much evident in the SKIDS. I guess they’ve now reformed with the original singer Richard Jobson (Stuart Adamson of BIG COUNTRY committed suicide—suffering from depression—in the early 2000s). This new record is largely a “covers” album, centered around the Kinema Ballroom in their hometown of Dunfermline. The songs pay tribute not only to their early influences (and bands they played with, such as the CLASH, and the ADVERTS), but to the working class (and gang) culture of the times. As well as reworkings of the SEX PISTOLS and MAGAZINE, there’s the ’70s glam of MOTT THE HOOPLE and DAVID ESSEX, the early New Romantic art of ULTRAVOX and the pub rock of NICK LOWE. And, appropriately enough, there’s reworkings of two of the early SKIDS classics—”The Saints Are Coming” and “Into The Valley.” A classic slice of culture from the era, all supercharged with 21st century production, and the songs suitably revved. I have to say, it largely reminded me of what a fucking great song “Complete Control” is!