1865, Southampton

The Skids

It’s a balmy evening on the South Coast as we await the return of Dunfermline’s finest. The Skids are in town for the latest stop on their 40th Anniversary Tour. It’s a first for this reviewer and a new venue to boot.

Southampton’s 1865 is in the most unlikely of locations, set in the middle of a housing complex. However, there is nothing to dislike about it as a venue. Good air con, competitively priced bar, a balcony, and an altogether good sound system.

Opening for The Skids are Pompey-based band The Glorias, fresh from opening for the UK Subs recently where they held their own. Tonight they seem somewhat cramped on a smaller stage but are no less efficient. For those not in the know The Glorias comprise of past members of the Good Time Charlies and Night of Treason, coming together to form a “Dirty R ‘n R” band (their words)! However, tonight’s set is clean! They open with a bit of a jam to set the mood before early highlight “Let’s Go”. Billy (guitar) is intricate in his picking, yet Nish (bass) has decided he is gonna take centre stage almost from the outset. His preening, gurning and shapeshifting is a main feature of their set. There isn’t a great deal of band/crowd interaction throughout – however Gez (vox) has dressed drown since their last outing and looks so much more at home with his band members tonight. His regular stage wanderings and handclaps are a big feature though.

The Glorias
The Glorias 12345

“Rollin’ On” has that real R ‘n R feel to it and “Life Will Get Ya” is simply great. I even detect a hint of Glam Rock in tonight’s set on one or two of the songs. “Trail Of Tears” is another great song in a set which is largely faultless, I just feel as a quintet they need more space. So much so Nish on their penultimate track “Broken Hell” goes a wandering down near the barrier to give us his one man shapeshifting masterclass.

They leave us on a cover, “Search and Destroy”. Musically it’s great but Gez’s vocal I’m afraid doesn’t compliment it. The only low point of an otherwise accomplished set. The Glorias are a niche band covering few genres at a time when nothing is original. I have no doubt they will get bigger future bookings and with a new album just around the corner, the future looks bright.

And so to the main event. Dunfermline’s finest are in town and another trip down memory lane will be enjoyed by many 50-somethings in tonight’s crowd, myself included. The Skids are part of Punk Rock “royalty” and this 40 Year Anniversary Tour has been long overdue. One by one they take to the stage and launch into “Animation”. Jobson (vox) looks so happy, grinning from ear to ear-his voice hasn’t waned one jot either, that deep Scottish drawl very apparent from the outset. Immediately after the song he embarks on the first of many ramblings and praises this near full room just for attending alone.

Bruce and Jamie Watson (guitars) intricately bring in the intro to “Of One Skin” which gets the first ripple of movement in this crowd. Bruce in particular seems to be enjoying himself, bringing a whole new masterclass in showmanship to the table. Richard (Jobson) apologises early for his waffling, a staple in tonight’s performance. However, his storytelling is interesting and we pay him the ultimate compliment of listening throughout. He explains that tonight’s set will comprise of songs from the entire back catalogue. “Melancholy Soldiers” is next and again doesn’t disappoint. He has clearly looked after himself and the “Dad dancing” hasn’t eluded him as he shows off a few moves.

One overly eager punter has taken it upon himself to shout for “Into the Valley” before each song – Jobson curtly deals with the punter and warns him that they won’t play it if he carries on, and it works. On with the show and Richard reminisces about playing the “Top Rank” all those years ago, a few cheers go up. “Dulce et Decorum Est” stretches his vocal capabilities but again sounds as fresh as back in the day. “Working for the Yankee Dollar” is another highlight before Richard is at pains to explain the importance of playing “The Saints Are Coming” in this town. He reminisces the time when a certain Lawrie McMenemy asked to use the song at the Dell, and was politely refused! Anyway, the singalongs are long and loud and the true emotion of the man is there for all to see. “Scared to Dance” is preceded by a round of applause to the late “Stuart Adamson” Thankfully the Watson’s are doing his memory proud. The storytelling continues with “Charles”, a subject matter I’m sure we can all relate to.

The Skids
The Skids 12345

The next song is “The Olympian” I have to say I hadn’t heard this since I purchased Smash Hits back in the day with the free flexi-discs. It’s another big singalong as the whole room sings in unison. On “Out Of Town” Jamie (Watson) takes centre stage with a near perfect performance. As we get nearer the end of the set the big guns are coming out. The band seem so relaxed during “Hurry on Boys” while we are greatly encouraged to sing along throughout “A Woman in Winter”. The only real disappointment (for me) was “Circus Games” which seemed to lack the grandeur of other songs tonight. However, parity is resumed by Richard’s favourite Skids song “Masquerade”. He bellows the chorus with gusto and the crowd respond accordingly. The last song needs no introduction and as the opening bars of ‘Into the Valley’ take hold, this largely middle-aged crowd explodes into life. Cue mass singalongs amid a fervent mosh pit and that was the end of the main set.

Loud applause sees the band return for two more songs. Richard apologises for this, explaining how the venue’s midweek curfew means an early finish. It matters little as they leave us with a rumbustious “Charade”. Only one song could possibly follow this, Richard once again is at pains to explain it is the “worst song they ever wrote, and it means nothing – it’s nonsense”. Cue “TV Stars”. One more mosh pit and the expectant bellowing back of the chorus. But Richard isn’t done there as he insists on one final singalong of the chorus of “The Saints are Coming” before eventually leaving the stage. Huge applause follow and that is that. Tonight has been a triumph on all levels-great headliner and support, great venue with air con, competitive alcohol prices, and a friendly crowd all here for the common goal-and what a finish. With a new live LP out and the promise of new material The Skids might just be around a few more years yet, for that we can only be thankful. Lastly, a massive thank you to Mark Tutton (Jurassic Mark) for having the vision and the balls to put on a show like this down South. Tonight I visited yet another great venue in this city which shows no let-up in its promotion of good honest live music.

Set List
The Skids
Of One Skin
Melancholy Soldiers
Dulce et Decorum Est (Pro Patria Mori)
Working for the Yankee Dollar
The Saints are Coming
Scared to Dance
The Olympian
Out of Town
Hurry on Boys
A Woman in Winter
Circus Games
Into the Valley

TV Stars

The Glorias
Riding with the G Men
Let’s Go
No Mercy
Rollin’ On
The 903
All Systems Failing
Life’ll Get Ya
It’s All Good
Trail of Tears
Broken Hell
Search & Destroy



Words by Ross A. Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery