The Skids and Big Country at the Academy Dublin
11:00 - 15:00
The Skids & Big Country Live at The Academy, Saturday December 1st
Tickets €30 Inc. booking fee go on sale Friday March 234d at 10am from Ticketmaster
Doors 7.00pm | Over 18’s | ID Required
Four decades after they formed – in the white-hot summer of 1977 – The Skids are back. The post-punk pioneers, currently on a hugely successful comeback tour, will release their fifth album ‘Burning Cities’ on the 12th of January 2018.
A special preview track – the incendiary ‘A World On Fire’ – will be available on Spotify, iTunes and other streaming platforms from the 18th of October 2017.
‘Burning Cities’, produced by Verve & Primal Scream studio legend Youth, re-unites founder members Richard Jobson (vocals) and Bill Simpson (bass) with Mike Baillie (drums). Stepping in for the late Stuart Adamson is his long-time Big Country band mate Bruce Watson. Additional guitar duties are provided by Jamie Watson.
“I’m incredibly excited about this album. This music is at the heart of everything our band is about: truth, revolution, loud guitars and a refusal to keep quiet as the establishment tries to smother chances for anyone other than its own.” – Richard Jobson
The new album release coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the first-ever Skids record, the ‘No Bad’ EP, which introduced the Scottish post-punk pioneers to a whole new audience courtesy of one of their biggest fans, Radio 1’s legendary new music champion John Peel.
The Skids signed to Virgin Records in May 1978 and that same month the band recorded a session for John Peel that included songs such as ‘The Saints Are Coming’, ‘Of One Skin’ and ‘Contusion’ and set out an innovative template for the post-punk era. “We were fearless in the beginning,” recalls Jobson, who was still just seventeen years old when The Skids recorded their first Top Of The Pops appearance for their Virgin debut “Sweet Suburbia’
Released in February 1979 the band’s debut album ‘Scared To Dance’ was a masterpiece of brooding atmospheres and anthemic lung-busting moments such as the irresistible ‘Into The Valley’, which gave the band their first Top 10 hit.
After a second Top 20 hit, with ‘Masquerade’, original drummer Tam Kellichan left and was replaced by Rich Kids / Visage sticks man Rusty Egan in time for the follow-up album ‘Days In Europa’ released just eight months later in October 1979. Recorded with avant-garde innovator Bill Nelson, it expanded the band’s guitar-driven sound to embrace keyboards and synthesisers, spawning two further Top 40 hits ‘Charade’ and ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’.
Mike Baillie took over on drums for the third Skids album ‘The Absolute Game’ – which combined the best aspects of both their previous albums, particularly on singles such as ‘Circus Games’ and the brilliantly inventive ‘Goodbye Civilian’. Though Adamson left to form Big Country during the initial recording sessions, the band managed one more album, ‘Joy’ (which itself included superb singles such as ‘Fields’ and ‘Iona’), before dissolving.
While Adamson went on to million-selling success with Big Country, Jobson formed the much under-rated Armoury Show with John McGeoch before going on to become a hugely successful independent movie director with acclaimed cinema releases such as 16 Years Of Alcohol, The Purifiers and Wayland’s Song.
In the summer of 2017, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the first-ever Skids gig, the reunited band set out on tour, selling out iconic venues such as London’s Roundhouse, Glasgow’s ABC and Nottingham’s Rock City. The shows were a triumph, full of joy, adrenaline thrills and an urge once again to kick against the pricks.
“In 1977, we were singing songs about what we saw as a world in crisis”. says Jobson today. “Today that message is more relevant than ever. ‘Burning Cities’ is packed full of punk rock protest songs. It’s an album we’re very proud of – and we can’t wait to share it.”
Big Country was originally formed in 1981 by guitar playing founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson both native of the band's hometown Dunfermline in Scotland.
Initially driven by a shared vision of widescreen guitar melody, harmony and lyric, the classic Big Country sound was further enhanced later that summer by the arrival of drummer Mark Brzezicki and bass player Tony Butler. This is the Big Country that (with producer Steve Lillywhite), recorded the classic debut album 'The Crossing' in 1983. The band broke massively worldwide with the release of the album's classic singles 'Fields Of Fire', 'Chance' and signature song 'In A Big Country', which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over 2 million copies and driving 'The Crossing' to 3 prestigious Grammy nominations in the USA.
The run of success continued throughout the 1980's with the release of the anthemic single 'Wonderland' and the second album 'Steeltown' (1984), which debuted at Number 1 in the UK and contained the hit singles 'East Of Eden', Just a Shadow' and 'Where The Rose Is Sown'. In 1985, Big Country appeared for the finale at Live Aid in London followed by further successful album releases 'The Seer' (1986) - including the bands biggest UK hit 'Look Away' which reached Number 1 in the Irish Singles chart –, supporting David Bowie on his Glass Spider tour in 1987, and then the 'Peace In Our Time' album (1988), which saw the band playing the first ever privately promoted gig in Russia at the Moscow Sports Stadium.
At the start of the 90's 'Through A Big Country', featuring all the bands classic hits was released, followed by the fifth studio album 'No Place Like Home' (1991) taking the band's total record sales to well over five million copies. Further studio albums 'Buffalo Skinners' (1993) and 'Why The Long Face' (1995) followed, which saw Big Country landing the special guest slot on the Rolling Stones 'Voodoo Lounge' European tour and several shows in the UK and Ireland with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in 1995.
In August 1998 they were once again invited to open for the Rolling Stones on their ' Bridges To Babylon" tour of Europe prompting Mick Jagger to say that Big Country were "one of the best opening bands we ever had". Two songs written at that time ('Somebody Else' and 'Devil In The Eye') were co-written with Ray Davies of The Kinks who invited the band to back him on the main stage at Glastonbury to perform a storming set in the rain.
By now singer Stuart Adamson had relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and so his fellow bandmates decamped to America to join him in writing and recording the album 'Driving To Damascus' – the last album they recorded together before Stuarts untimely death in 2001. Big Country scored 17 top 30 UK singles achieving 5 gold and platinum status albums along the way.
Tony Butler, Mark Brzezicki and Bruce Watson re-united in 2007 to celebrate the band's Twenty-fifth anniversary then in the summer of 2010, Bruce Watson picked up the phone and asked Mike Peters to sing with Big Country. Joined by Bruce’s son Jamie on guitar, the first gig was in Glasgow on New Years Eve 2010 and the band went on to perform at many of the UK and Europe's most famous festivals, including Isle Of Wight (Twice), V Festival, T In The Park and Oxegen, creating a new generation of fans and renewing the passion for diehards. 2012 brought the 30th Anniversary of the their first album, “The Crossing” and a tour where the album was played in it’s entirety followed before bassist Tony Butler decided to retire. Bass duties then fell to Derek Forbes (Simple Minds) for 3 years during which time the ninth studio album ‘The Journey’ was released and extensively toured in the UK as well as across Europe and North America.
In 2014 Mike Peters left to dedicate his time towards The Alarm and Simon Hough was brought in as vocalist and a tour of the UK to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of “Steeltown” was followed by a Greatest Hits tour in 2015 before Derek Forbes left the band.
2016 brought a new bass player, Scott Whitley, and a 3-week “80’s Invasion” tour with Midge Ure and Nick Heyward before the 30th Anniversary of ‘The Seer’ album which was performed in its’ entirety on tour throughout the UK in the second half of the year and into early 2017.
The second half of 2017 brought a mixture of shows from Big Country who as well as doing full electric shows with the best tracks from their first three albums plus the hits, they did a number of select Acoustic shows which promise to be something special. 2018 sees the 35th anniversary of “The Crossing” combined with the 30th anniversary of “Peace In Our Time”