Posts Tagged ‘The Skids’

The Skids were they just punks with O-levels, or new wave cop-outs, or just chance-takers and opportunists? The answer is probably a combination of all three. Far more important, however, is the fact that they left behind a clutch of great, if sometimes pretentious, singles. On album, it was hard not to get a little miffed at Richard Jobson’s would-be aristocrat pop nonsense. Still, this debut album release had some good tunes, courtesy of pre-Big Country Stuart Adamson, like “The Saints Are Coming” and, of course, the wonderful “Into the Valley.”

Anti-war themes are a recurring motif in the album. There are also a great deal of references in singer Richard Jobson’s lyrics to the band’s home region in Scotland, “Scared to Dance” was the first album to feature Stuart Adamson’s ‘bagpipe styled guitar playing’, which would be the trademark of his later band Big Country.

Scared to Dance has been well received by critics. Ira Robbins of Trouser Press called the album “excellent […] Using loud guitar and semi-martial drumming for its basis, Jobson’s hearty singing sounds like an 18th century general leading his merry troops down from the hills into glorious battle

The album was preceded by the single “Into the Valley”, released on 16th February 1979, which reached No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart, “Into the Valley” became popular as adopted and sung by fans of Dunfermline Athletic F.C., the band’s local football team.

Of huge importance to Skids fans is that the CD reissue includes the original live B-side to the latter, “TV Stars,” a song which will mean nothing to anyone who didn’t grow up watching British television, but a whole heap to those who did.  ‘Scared To Dance (Expanded)’ is a three CD reissue of the Skids seminal debut album through Caroline International.

Each disc comes in it’s own cardboard wallet and is housed in a clamshell box featuring the original ‘Scared To Dance’ artwork.

Disc one contains the original album expanded with nine bonus tracks. Disc two features 12 previously unreleased 1978 studio demos (long sought after by collectors of the band) and a third disc contains a complete live show from late 1978 at the legendary London Marquee from which the b-side ‘T.V. Stars’ (Albert Tatlock!) was taken. Also included is a 28 page bookle t with lyrics to the album, pictures of all relevant singles and detailed liner notes.

Originally released in February 1979 the album spent ten weeks in the UK National Charts, eventually peaking at number 19. It spawned the singles ‘Sweet Suburbia’, ‘The Saints Are Coming’ (which was covered by U2 and Green Day in 2006 as a charity single in the wake of Hurricane Katrina) and the track that catapulted them into the top 10 ‘Into The Valley’.

All though maybe not the first punk band on everyone’s lips – Skids are without doubt one of the most important. They were big influences on rock behemoths U2 and the Manic Street Preachers, and having reformed in 2017, they have been playing to sold out shows and festival across the UK with more announced in 2018.”

The Skids
  • Richard Jobson – vocals, guitar
  • Stuart Adamson – guitar
  • William Simpson – bass guitar
  • Thomas Kellichan – drums
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Record of the week goes to Amyl & The Sniffers – I’m totally in love with this band. Good-time Australian punks, inspired by Sharpie culture and AC/DC riffs, its such a fun dumb record. I hope they come to the UK this year.

The best band Australia have to offer at the moment. Snarling, exciting and totally punk. If you love Australian 70’s style proto punk n’ roll look no further. Amyl and the Sniffers are a garage punk band who sing about biffs, blowjobs and Chiko rolls. They’re proudly sporting shitty tatts and they named their band after a seedy drug that provides a brief, intense euphoria, followed by a brutal headache – which may or may not be a metaphor. With the mullets, the aggression and the unflinching embrace of Australiana, Amyl and the Sniffers have been likened to the sharpie subculture of the ‘70s – a pre-punk movement that was birthed in Melbourne and characterised by ‘sharp’ outfits and that quintessential Aussie larrikin attitude. The soundtrack to this era was Australian boogie: bands like Skyhooks, The Coloured Balls and AC/DC. AMY says she and the boys are definitely influenced by that ‘70s Aussie rock, but lyrically, she’s also intrigued by the storytelling of country singers like Dolly Parton; she likes the cheek of a Southern woman in the 1960s singing about cheating on her husband.

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Shame –  Songs Of Praise

Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fueled by feeling. NPR’s Bob Boilen noted, “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s SXSW, the band Shame seemed to mean what they played more than any other.”

Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based five-piece began as school boys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences.

Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barreled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise, their Dead Oceans debut. From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated “Tasteless” taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-to-day, Songs of Praise never pauses to catch its breath.

Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire) and recorded at Sunset Sound Los Angeles over the past few years, the band have taken many unlikely twists and turns, yet have always remained focused on the music and returning again to edge of the stage. “It’s a crazy making machine, it can chew you up as fast as it spits you out. A few years back we literally toured till the wheels came off and Leah’s brain literally started leaking out of her head” says the band’s Robert Levon Been. “It catches up with you, I know I’ve battled on and off with my own depression, and Pete’s head never came with any proper instructions. So you just gotta keep pushing buttons to see what happens.”

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club  –

‘Wrong Creatures’ returns to the core of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s alchemy, yet plunges the knife in even further. From the Cave-esque murder balladry of ‘Haunt’ to the garage punk of ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’, it runs the gamut allowing the band to flex every muscle in their armour. They remain opaque about the songs’ greater meanings, fearful of past misunderstandings. “I find myself writing about death a lot,” says Hayes. “I find myself having a discussion with death, which sounds dark. For me, it’s dark humor.” Talking about mortality allows Hayes to explore life’s great mistakes and regrets. Channelling them through rolling riffs and dirge-laden rhythms that stir the pot before reaching boiling point.

Ultimately, the band may well be survivors of an era where rock & roll can often be overshadowed by dance pop and garish commercialism. Robert Levon Been: “We are truly an island – come hell or high water, so it’s usually best to dress accordingly. Though I’m not sure what the proper attire is when drowning in fire. But leather usually goes with everything.”

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The Courtneys, The Courtneys

The Courtneys debut reissued again on limited edition blue vinyl. Vancouver three-piece The Courtneys’ excellent 2013 self-titled debut reissued and available again on Flying Nun Records. Consistently propelling itself forward this collection of eight songs are drenched in summer hooks propelled from fuzzed out guitars and creamy vocals that are both nonchalant and introspective. Not having enough money in your bank account, crushing on pizza delivery boys along with the subtle yet alluring charm of Keanu Reeves all occupy the three Courtney’s minds with lo-fi urgency which doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. It is clear to hear why The Courtneys’ felt at home in New Zealand when they first toured there in the summer of 2015 and joined the Flying Nun roster. Their commitment to the fine balance of pop and idiosyncratic indie guitar music finds lineage between The Clean, Look Blue Go Purple, The Bats while diving deeper into the fuzzy world of the likes of Bailerspace.

Radar Men From The Moon  –  

Following their recent collab LP with Gnod, under the Temple ov BBV pseudonym, Eindhoven art-punk collective RMFTM (fka Radar Men From The Moon) have announced the third and final instalment in their ‘Subversive’ album trilogy – ‘Subversive III: De Spelende Mens’, due for release December 1st on Fuzz Club Records. Influenced by the ground-breaking sonic industrialism of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Coil, as well the transcendent kinetic rhythms of Neu!, Faust and Amon Duul II, ‘Subversive III: De Spelende Mens’ see’s their industrial art-punk take on it’s most incessant, angular and free-flowing form in a frenzy of metallic drones, thunderous feedback stabs of synths and throbbing, repetitive krautrock rhythms that at times border on techno territory. With the Subversive series, RMFTM have sought to deconstruct and rebuild their creative process, pushing themselves to the limit with each and every release and ‘Spelende De Mens’, translated as ‘the playing man’, is the perfect way to conclude the series.

Skids – Burning Cities

Back in 1979, Scottish group Skids released their seminal debut ‘Scared To Dance’, an equally abrasive but more intellectual continuation of punk, but also one of the albums that helped establish the UK’s post-punk sound. Having not released a record in nearly 37 years, ‘Burning Cities’ marks their long-overdue return. Both the band and the album benefit greatly from Killing Joke bassist Youth’s punchy production, which aids the group as they simultaneously explore contemporary rock and reprise some of their early-eighties sound. ‘Burning Cities’ is the comeback album that has propelled Skids right back into relevance, in a time when their high-energy anti-establishment songwriting will resonate more than ever.

There’s a good spread of new releases out . We’ve new albums from Shame (including a limited blue vinyl LP), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Arrows Of Love, Skids and the ‘Stranger Things 2’ soundtrack has also showed up a week early, so get that limited splatter vinyl quick! Two nice 7″s out – we have a limited gold vinyl single from Otis Redding plus a just announced brand new 7″ from Jack White; released on his Third Man Records label, this is a limited single taken from his forthcoming album ‘Boarding House Reach’ that will be out later in the year. All this plus reissues from Lloyd Parks, The Ting Tings, the ‘Don’t Look Now’ soundtrack and, finally, The Stooges ‘Highlights From The Fun House Sessions’ that is very limited indeed.

Amyl & The Sniffers Big Attraction / Giddy Up – Homeless Records
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Polydgondwannaland – Bear Tree Records (Indie Exclusive)
Little Bob & The Lollipops – Nobody But You – Mississippi Records
Shame – Songs Of Praise – Dead Oceans (Indie Exclusive)
Prettiest Eyes – Pools – Castle Face
Glass Candy – I Always Say Yes – Italians Do It Better (Coloured vinyl)
Penguin Cafe – The Red Book – Editions Penguin Cafe LTD
Heavy Metal – The Nietzschean Superman Of Dustbin Rock – Harbinger Sound
Toylettes – Toylettes – Harbinger Sound
Kanker Kommado – Low Tech – 1982-88 – Harbinger Sound
To Kill A King – The Spiritual Dark Place – These Are My Bones (Indie Exclusive)
Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life – Just Another 7″ – Harbinger Sound
Arrows Of Love – Product – I’m Not From London
Bronnt Industries Kapital – Arsenal – I Own You Records

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The Rolling Stones  –  On Air

On Air is a collection of rarely heard radio recordings from The Rolling Stones formative years. The songs, including eight the band have never recorded or released commercially, were originally broadcast on bygone UK BBC shows such as Saturday Club, Top Gear, Rhythm and Blues and The Joe Loss Pop Show between 1963 and 1965. These flashbacks offer an insight into the band as a vital and constantly surprising live unit. Such was the frequency with which they visited BBC studios in the 60’s, the group constantly set out to offer listeners something different. As well as songs that never appeared on singles or albums, there are seven tracks that were debuted over the airwaves before featuring on albums or EPs.

The group’s take on familiar R&B staples like Roll Over Beethoven, Memphis, Tennessee and Beautiful Delilah (all originated by Chuck Berry) illustrate the verve and energy the Stones regularly brought to their live shows. The BBC would urge them to perform their current singles, and while happy to do so they also relished the opportunity to showcase a fuller picture of their prowess as Britain’s foremost blues outfit, packing clubs and ballrooms night after night.

Among the tracks, first heard ringing out of transistor radios over a period of just under two years, is Come On, the group’s debut single and also the first number laid down for the iconic Saturday Club, hosted by the late, legendary Brian Matthew. Other highlights include the strutting Fannie Mae(originally recorded by bluesman Buster Brown in 1959), Tommy Tucker’s Hi Heel Sneakers, and Bo Diddley’s Cops And Robbers. Nestling among the illustrious and well-chosen cover versions, are raw and vibrant renditions of Stones Jagger / Richards originals, such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Last Time and The Spider And The Fly in a form closer to the thrilling immediacy of the band’s live shows than on vinyl. These recordings bring the listener as near as possible to the excitement of the era without actually being there in person. If last year’s collection of new recordings of past masters Blue and Lonesome presented the Stones returning to their roots after more than 50 years, On Air is the perfect “sister” compendium, a lovingly curated and restored treasure trove that puts the listener front and centre in the eye of the original storm. To help recapture the spirit of the songs when they were first performed, the tapes have gone through a process called “audio source separation”, which involved de-mixing the transcripts and allowing engineers at Abbey Road access to the original instrumentation and voices within each track, so that they could be rebuilt, rebalanced and remixed to achieve a fuller, more substantial sound. The end result is the Stones at their most passionate and intense, transporting listeners back to the band’s lean and hungry years when their standing as household names was already assured, and global domination was just 12 bars away.

The variety of radio shows from which the material is compiled is testament to the special relationship the Stones had with the BBC from the very beginning of their recording career. The music speaks for itself, but ‘On Air’ also serves as an important historical artefact, and an essential of the group’s impressively evergreen canon. On Air offer a unique insight into the formative days of The Rolling Stones a few years before ‘The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World’ became a reality this was a band playing the music they loved so much – Blues, R&B, Soul and even the odd country song. Performing these songs night after night in clubs and dancehalls meant they are all honed to perfection and performed with the genuine love and affection that The Stones have for their musical heritage.

The Rolling Stones’ On Air marks the first wide release of any of the band’s live BBC sessions, recorded during the beginning of their storied career.  An audio companion to the recently published book of the same name, On Air features a bevy of tracks recorded between 1963, when the group appeared on Saturday Club just months after the release of their debut single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” and 1965, when the band returned to the show armed not only with more great blues and soul covers but a new original, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  Available in 1CD and 2CD formats, as well as a 2LP vinyl edition (which replicates the contents of the 1CD version).

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Muddy Waters  –  Electric Mud

Third Man Records reissue of Muddy Waters’ fifth studio album Electric Mud, which comes as a continuation of Third Man’s partnership with Universal Music Group and the Estate of Muddy Waters. The album, which Chess originally released in 1968 has not seen a legitimate domestic vinyl release since 2002, despite its enormous influence on generations of blues rockers. It features members of Rotary Connection as Muddy’s backing band and was very controversial upon its release for its fusion of electric blues with psychedelic elements. The album is now recognized as a forward-thinking classic, sampled extensively by artists like The Black Keys and Gorillaz.

Van Morrison  – Versatile

Van the man releases his 38th studio album Versatile, which arrives less than three months after the singer released his 37th studio album Roll With the Punches. While Roll With the Punches, found Morrison reinterpreting the work of blues and soul legends like Sam Cooke, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, Versatile sees the Irish crooner shifting to jazz standards like George and Ira Gershwin’s A Foggy Day and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Cole Porter’s I Get a Kick Out of You and Unchained Melody, popularized by the Righteous Brothers. Like Roll With the Punches, the covers are interspersed with Morrison originals; the singer penned seven new songs for Versatile, including an arrangement of the traditional Skye Boat Song.

For his second studio album of the year, Van Morrison has turned to the classics.  Versatile features six Morrison compositions alongside jazz vocal standards and other legends of the Great American Songbook.  Of the six Morrison-penned songs, three are originals and three have been previously recorded: “I Forgot That Love Existed,” “Only a Dream,” and “Start All Over Again” – on Poetic Champions Compose (1987), Down the Road (2002), and Enlightenment (1990), respectively.  Flautist Sir James Galway appears on the new Morrison song “Affirmation.”

Neil Young and Promise of the Real  –  The Visitor

In addition to new single Already Great, the 10-track album The Visitor also includes Young’s patriotic Children of Destiny, which the rock legend surprise-released on July 4th. Young recorded that song at Hollywood, California’s famed Capitol Studios alongside Promise of the Real – led by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas – and a 56-piece orchestra; in total, 62 musicians played on the track. The Visitor, also arrives less than a year after Young released his solo Peace Trail in December 2016; earlier that year, Young and Promise of the Real unleashed their double-disc live LP Earth.

Neil Young with the band Promise of the Real for his latest studio album on the same day that he opens his online archives for business.  Songs like “Already Great,” “Fly by Night Deal,” and “When Bad Got Good” show Young as fiercely political and fiery as ever.

U2  –  Songs of Experience 

U2 return with their hotly anticipated new studio album Songs of Experience. Recorded in Dublin, New York and Los Angeles, Songs of Experience was completed earlier this year with its subject matter influenced by Brendan Kennelly’s* advice to Bono, to “…write as if you’re dead”. The result is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to the singer’s heart: family, friends, fans and indeed himself. Songs Of Experience is the companion release to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, the two titles drawing inspiration from a collection of poems, Songs of Innocence and Experience, by the 18th century English mystic and poet William Blake. Produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder, with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow and Jolyon Thomas, the album features a cover image by Anton Corbijn of band-members’ teenage children Eli Hewson and Sian Evans.

U2 is garnering acclaim for this newest studio album, a follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence.  

Wilco, A.M. / Being There

Wilco revisits its first two albums this week.  A.M., the band’s 1995 debut, is expanded on 1 CD or 2 LPs with eight previously unreleased bonus tracks, including “When You Find Trouble,” the last track recorded by Jeff Tweedy’s previous band, Uncle Tupelo.  The band’s sophomore double album, Being There, morphs into a 5-CD or 4-LP box set by pairing the original album with a disc of 15 unreleased outtakes and alternates plus a clutch of live material recorded in Los Angeles just after the release of the original album. (The vinyl includes a radio set for KCRW-FM, while the CD box has that, plus a lengthy show recorded at The Troubadour a day before that appearance, on November 12th, 1996.)

Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols: 40th Anniversary Edition

UMG revisits the long out-of-print 2012 Super Deluxe Edition of The Sex Pistols’ album in a smaller format still boasting 3 CDs which include the original studio album with 1977 B-sides, a disc of outtakes, and one disc of live material. A DVD has 1977 footage of the band playing live from the infamous boat party held on the River Thames, London, the Winter Gardens, Penzance in Cornwall and the Happy House, Stockholm, Sweden.  A 48-page booklet rounds out the set.  Available today in the U.K., and next Friday in the U.S.

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The Skids  –  Scared to Dance

Deluxe Expanded Edition of the debut album by The Skids. Originally released in March 1979 the album spent ten weeks in the UK National Charts, eventually peaking at No.19. The hit singles Sweet Suburbia (No.70), The Saints Are Coming (No.48) and Into The Valley (No.10) are all featured. This three CD edition contains the original album expanded with nine bonus tracks, a second disc with 12 previously unreleased 1978 studio demos (long sought after by collectors of the band) and a third disc with the complete show from a late `78 show at the legendary London Marquee from which the B-side T.V. Stars (Albert Tatlock!) was taken. Each disc comes in its own cardboard wallet and is housed in a clam shell box featuring original album artwork. A 20-page booklet contains lyrics to the album, pictures of all relevant singles and detailed liner notes.

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Hater  –  Red Blinders

Rough Trade Shops top tip.You can imagine John Peel’s hurriedly inaccurate summation of a cold and unforgiving Swedish winter as he juxtaposes the big-jumper-like welcoming warmth of Hater. Their lush and tempered guitars are an almost Marr-approved Smiths-like foil for Caroline Landahl’s beautifully accented and accentuated vocal – it’s a heartwarming brew. Hater are new to the game. Last year’s well-received debut album, You Tried earned comparisons to Alvvays, The Pretenders and even Jefferson Airplane, eclectic for sure, but that’s just incidental. Their new EP distinguishes their very own super polished and intricate guitar-led dreamy pop. Featuring their first single for Fire, the wonderfully forlorn and truly lovesick Blushing (we’ve all been there) and Rest with its haunting monosyllabic guitar break, a super-clean chiming motif that seems like a closing salvo before it regains momentum and brings proceedings to a suitable climax, welcoming back Landahl for one last chorus. The echoey eeriness of Red Blinders could have come right out of the bubble blowing indie pop hey days of the early ‘80s, while Penthouse is a chunkier c86 groove with a wind blowing through its motorik rhythm.

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The Lovely Eggs  –  Cob Dominos

Repressed on their own Lovely Eggs imprint. Described as unhinged, strange, bizarre, cuckoo and howling mad; but with a growing army of fans including Radio One’s Huw Stephens and Art Brut’s Eddie Argos you’d be crazy not to fall in love with their underground grunge-pop sound. Inspired by everyday life, coupled with a fierce ethos that music should be about magic and art and feeling and fun, the Lancashire duo have more in common with writer Richard Brautigan and artist David Shrigley than they do with their musical peers.

Big Country, – We’re Not In Kansas (The Live Bootleg Box Set 1993-1998)

One of the Scottish alt-rock group’s lesser-known periods is examined in this band-approved 5CD set of recordings of live shows across the U.S. and Europe during their second decade.

Other Re-Issues Releases This Week on Vinyl and CD

Suicide – The First Rehearsal Tapes – Superior Viaduct
Olafur Arnalds – Eulogy For Evolution – Erased Tapes
Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – We Are Vinyl
Bob Dylan & The Band – Before The Flood – We Are Vinyl
The Specials – The Specials – Chrysalis
Special AKA – In The Studio – Chrysalis
Tom Waits – Glitter & Doom Live – Anti
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained – Silver Lining
Andy Human & The Reptoids – Kill The Comma 7″ – Emotional Response
Protomartyr – Under  Color Of Official Right – Hardly Art