The strapline for this evening’s nostalgic Richard Jobson show at the Sage Gateshead could well have been tonight were going to party like its 1979.

Born out of the punk rock renaissance of the late 70s The Skids were one of the first groups of its kind to come out of Scotland. The band witnessed great success during their time, with a Top 10 single in the shape of Into The Valley, along with appearances on the Top of the Pops. However, frustrations within the band led to founding member and guitarist Stuart Adamson exploring pastures new with Big Country. A band who witnessed a meteoric rise during their time. This being somewhat of a bitter pill to swallow for Jobson and company.

Throughout the show, The Skids frontman talks openly about Big Country and although delivered with a witty and light-hearted approach, you could tell it left a bit of a sting. None more so than when his now ex-wife was working publicity for the Scottish rock superstars. This not exactly being a subject of choice during pillow talk.

Since The Skids reunion in 2007, Big Country’s father/son guitar partnership of Bruce and Jamie Watson have played alongside Jobson. And subsequently, the trio shares the stage this evening for a stripped-back acoustic evening of stories and songs.

Tonight’s show is the perfect representation of each of the three musicians featured on stage, and their body of work – whatever medium that may take. Simultaneously both those appearing on stage and those in the crowd are united by their admiration of the late great Stuart Adamson. And subsequently, his work and memory are paid homage to constantly throughout the evening.

After reminding the Gateshead crowd that despite their appearance, that they are not, in fact, The Proclaimers, the Clan Watson kick off the proceedings with Forever in My Dreams and Fragile Thing. The latter of which being the final song which Bruce wrote with Adamson, and a fitting tribute to the man himself.

By the third song of the set Jobson takes to the stage, receiving a hero’s welcome. And after some on-stage banter, including making his feelings known about the current PM the three-piece take the crowd through The Skids classic Hurry On Boys. The aforementioned track immediately transports those in the room back to their youth.

Aside from The Skid’s 70’s material, there is also room for some of their more recent compositions including the harmonious Kings of the New World Order, a passionate airing of World on Fire and the war tinged Desert Dust. With the Burning Cities album, The Skids most certainly channelled the ghost of Stuart Adamson.

The group’s current material sits perfectly in the set side by side to fan favourites such as Working For The Yankee Dollar, Woman In Winter and Saints Are Coming. The latter was of course covered by Green Day and U2 in aid of Hurricane Katrina. This showing the reach and influence of these punk rock legends.

A solo acapella performance of Waltzing Matilda features a superb vocal performance from Jobson. Whilst Castles In Spain proves popular with the Armoury Show fans in attendance. And of course, the show would not be complete without Into The Valley.

This evening’s show is as insightful as it is entertaining. Jobson frequently shares heartwarming stories and tales regarding his past, the band and the early days of punk which are as fascinating to Skids fans as they are to music lovers alike. Whilst the acoustic presentation allows many of these classic cuts to be reimagined and presented as heard never before.

Additionally, the intimate nature of the proceedings is further enhanced by opportunities for questions from the room making tonight’s show the ultimate event for die-hard Skids fans. And if you have been struck by the aforementioned ailment, Jamie Watson jokes the only cure is Big Country.

Event Date: 10-Sept-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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