The Brook, Southampton

The Skids

It’s a mild February night in Southampton as The Brook plays host to one of Punk’s leading lights, Dunfermline’s finest The Skids. A brief unplanned detour down the M27 means we miss the first 20 minutes of support act Borrowed Time’s set. We catch them playing “No Way Hostile” and it’s deafening – admittedly we are by the speaker! The Brook stage is so overloaded with kit frontman Rob is finding it difficult to move. His knee jerks and jumps seem to be confined to one foot square around him. His voice, however, is crystal clear. Borrowed Time play 2nd Wave Punk and take no prisoners. Their all-round sound is tight; complimented by two guitarists (Cliff and Glenn) and Elmer (drums) who keeps a furious beat in the engine room, not forgetting Steve (bass) of course. “Minute to Midnight” precedes the brilliant “Day We Broke The World”. It’s a chunky bass-driven number with a catchy yet anthemic chorus. Rob ventures down into the pit area, but on arriving there hasn’t realised the height of the stage for his return. A punter gives him a leg-up as they depart on their self-titled “Borrowed Time”. Elmer takes centre stage this time and they leave to good applause.

Borrowed Time
Borrowed Time 1234

At bang on 9pm The Skids stride onstage one by one. Richard Jobson (vox) arrives last with a beaming grin and rabble-rouses this Southampton crowd into action. They open with a note-perfect ‘Animation” before Jobson beckons us to get more involved. His wishes are heeded as the crowd comes alive. “Of One Skin” gets a few punters moving before ‘Charade’ gets the desired reaction. Once again Jobson enthuses their return to these parts and describes how the set will contain some new and old, beginning with recent single “Kings of The New World Order”. Again Jobson celebrates the achievement of securing the number 2 chart position of their recent album, bettered only by one Leo Sayer – a mixed bag of groans and banter follow. Jobson is in a playful mood tonight but less talkative than their previous visit some two years previously. Ok; so we get the now well-rehearsed Top of The Pops story, but one canít blame him for grabbing a breather.

“One Last Chance” soon follows before they return to the older material. The humorous band introduction then takes place before they launch into crowd favourite “The Saints are Coming”. He harmonises and gets everyone singing in unison before launching into the song proper – this crowd reacts with wild abandon. At the end, we are encouraged to perform another singalong of the chorus. Cue more grins from the stage as they are now in full swing. He then talks of the relevance even today of the next song “Working For the Yankee Dollar”, and amends the chorus to “Working For the Virgin Dollar”. With this enthusiastic crowd now in full voice Jobson asks for assistance with the chorus of “Hurry on Boys”, and we don’t disappoint him. Staying with the harmonising “A Woman in Winter” is a wonderful prelude to a haphazard “Circus Games”.

The Skids
The Skids 1234567

They are now in the zone as they hit us with the biggies. “Masquerade” sees an energetic reaction before an explosive “Into the Valley”, where this venue quite literally comes alive. An anthemic “Out of Town” follows as the hits keep on a coming, and ‘Happy To Be With You’ is more than apt. It’s at this point that Jobson says “it’s time for a bit of cabaret”. He asks for requests before Simpson (bass) bellows the opening lines of “TV Stars”. It’s a popular choice as Jobson amends the lyrics to include current MP’s. However what follows next is totally unexpected. A Punk mash-up in the shape of Pistols/Buzzcocks covers. A shortened version of “Pretty Vacant” precedes a tribute to Mr. Pete Shelley in the form of “What Do I Get”. It’s a popular choice as the band depart the stage leaving Jobson to conduct one more chorus of “Saints”. Then rather amusingly he has to be guided by the guitar tech to the stage exit!

Loud calls see the band return for a two-song encore. Live favourite ‘The Olympian’ sees this Brook crowd go wild one more time before they decide to play “Saints” once more. A chap behind me shouts “we’ve heard this one”, but the remainder of this audience seem happy. As the band departed with a bow Jobson is at pains to thank us for all coming to the show and looks forward to their return. And with an acoustic album in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see how this comes across in the live arena. But for now, we all leave drenched in sweat from what was a monumental Skids show that had a bit of everything. Which begs the question, why weren’t they touring 10 years ago? It would appear that The Skids love playing in Southampton and if their legacy is that the local football team come onto the pitch to one of their songs, then that in itself is a worthy achievement. I had heard on the grapevine that this is to be their last “full electric” tour. If that’s the case then I’m mighty glad I came tonight. This show I feel will live long in the memory for many.

Set Lists
Borrowed Time
Under The Radar
Motion Sickness
No Way Hostile
One Day
Minute to Midnight
The Day We Broke the World
Borrowed Time

The Skids
Of One Skin
Kings of the New World Order
One Last Chance
The Saints Are Coming
Working for the Yankee Dollar
Hurry On Boys
A Woman in Winter
Circus Games
Into the Valley
Out of Town

TV Stars
Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols cover)
What Do I Get? (Buzzcocks cover)

The Olympian
The Saints Are Coming





Words by Ross A Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)