Punk legends Skids are “still shouting” and taking a stand for their political beliefs as they ready to headline Aberdeen.
The problem is, singer Richard Jobson fears they are in a minority with too many bands unwilling, or too scared, to take a stand.
Formed at the height of punk in 1977 Skids have lost none of their anger, energy or relevance more than four decades on.
Scotland’s Skids rallied against injustice in the 70s and early 80s and Richard insists nothing has changed.
They retain their belief in “community, citizenship and old school socialism” and aim to make their voice loud, clear and heard.
Now 61, Richard admits he and the band may be getting on in years but that doesn’t diminish the power of their shows nor the strength of their ongoing message.
Skids headline The Lemon Tree on Saturday October 23 in a much-anticipated show where fans will jet in from all over Europe to attend – with a north-east punk Reverend also expected.
Richard said: “We are living in crazy times and I know we are getting on in years but at least we are still out there shouting.
“Our recent album Burning Cities, the title tells you everything you need to know about where we are coming from.
“A new proto-fascism has emerged in Western culture and we are in the middle of it in the UK.
“It seems like other bands are afraid to say anything because they don’t want to rock the boat or are so ignorant they’re not aware of what’s going on.
“People live in a bubble and it’s very easy when you are in the entertainment industry, for example, and you’re doing okay.
“You don’t care about anyone else which is a perfect representation of what is wrong about society at large – people only care about themselves and their own little bubbles.
“We come from a different background and are punk rockers.
“We are more political and have more of a sense of community, citizenship and old school socialism. That’s what it was – and still is for us.”
Skids songs have stood the test of time
Art-punk greats Skids were formed in the summer of 1977 and they released their acclaimed debut single Sweet Suburbia the following year.
Debut album Scared To Dance emerged in 1978 and delivered the classic top 10 hit Into The Valley.
Skids would release another three studio albums before splitting following the release of 1981’s Joy.
Following the split, Richard formed The Armoury Show and would also enjoy success as a television presenter, novelist and screen-writer.
“I don’t think a young guy from a central Fife mining community like I was would have a chance in hell now of breaking out no matter how good you are.”
He believes the current social and political climate is more concerning than the seventies when Skids emerged.
Richard said: “We sang about imperialism and the after-effects – even though we were very young the songs had a serious edge to them.
“They have stood up to the test of time, I think.
“People have a sense of entitlement now whereas in the seventies we all had nothing but we never knew what was beyond nothing.
“Now everything is cheap but the reality is nothing is cheap.
“I wouldn’t like to be a young guy now.
“I don’t think a young guy from a central Fife mining community like I was would have a chance in hell now of breaking out no matter how good you are.
“People now are stuck with no real sense of how to escape that.
“The structure of society is designed to keep you stuck in your own world, they used to call it class.
“We are told we live in a classless society which is a joke.
“The last two Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom have been Etonians. Do they really have a clue how normal peoples’ lives are?”
‘We still go for it live … there’s a lot of energy’
Skids’ first performance in Aberdeen was at the City Hall on March 21, 1979.
They would return to the Granite City later that year to play the Capital on November 10.
“I’m not going to name him but I think we have the only punk Reverend in Scotland who is an Aberdonian.”
It may be more than four decades since those shows but Richard insists Aberdeen fans will see they have lost none of their edge and energy.
He said: “We still go for it live and there is a lot of energy on the stage which transfers to the audience.
“I have a lot of friends who are Aberdonians and are coming to the gig from different parts of Europe.
“I’m not going to name him but I think we have the only punk Reverend in Scotland who is an Aberdonian.
“We call him the Punk Rev and he is the real deal, a minister in the Church of Scotland who is an absolute punk rock, Skids fanatic.
“He will be there on the night in Aberdeen and we will dedicate a song or two to him.
“I love Aberdeen as it is magnificent. Even the drive to there is spectacular.”
No exercise in nostalgia for punk legends
Skids split at their peak in ’82 before reforming in 2007 to play some shows, including T in the Park, to mark the 30th anniversary of the band.
A decade later they would get back together again but Skids’ reincarnation is not an exercise in nostalgia.
They released the powerful and contemporary Burning Cities in 2018, their first studio album for 36 years.
Songs From A Haunted Ballroom was also released this year, a raw, powerful covers album focusing on artists that influenced Skids whilst also paying tribute to the historic Kinema Ballroom in Dunfermline.
Some good news for Skids fans is that Richard has hopes for a new album of Skids material next year.
He said: “We recently released an album which is an homage to our youth in Dunfermline.
“It has a curious choice of songs on it but it is one of the finest Skids albums as it’s done in an old school garage band way and has an energy which really reminds me of the early days.
“It’s great. Now that we can meet up, play again and start to engage again properly we are now starting to put together a new album.
“So, hopefully some time next year.”