Ahoy! Ahoy! Why you should listen to Skids punk rock band today

Often overlooked or forgotten, this Scottish punk band deserves your attention and adding to a playlist for St Andrews Day.
Dave Hogan/GettyImages

There are good reasons why you should play a song from this excellent punk rock group today. Skids probably aren’t one many come up with quickly if thinking of great punk rock bands. They tend to get forgotten or overlooked.  And that in itself is one of the reasons they deserve a play. 

Skids was formed in Fife, Scotland back in 1978 with Stuart Adamson, Richard Jobson, William Simpson and Thomas Kellichan in the original line up. They had several hit singles and a top ten album, The Absolute Game, but don’t get mentioned or played as often as other top punk groups of that time.  And that’s a shame as their music deserves much more than that. 

All their biggest hit singles came out in 1979. Their earliest hit “Into The Valley” is probably their best known and reached number ten in the UK Charts. It’s a superb, fast-paced song with a terrific intro and that catchy Ahoy! Ahoy! chorus.  

That was followed by “Working for the Yankee Dollar” and “Masquerade” later that same year, all reaching the UK top 20. “Charade” was in between the latter two and hit the number 31 spot. All four of those 1979 singles appeared in their debut album Scared To Dance. Surprisingly perhaps that wasn't their biggest selling album. That honour fell to the 1980 release The Absolute Game which peaked at number ten in the UK album charts.

When punk rockers Skids started to slide away

That album started the demise of the group. Shortly before recording both Kellichan and Simpson had left and although replaced, it led to a series of further comings and goings of those replacements. Even more significantly, after the promotional tour for the album, Adamson left the band. Skids eventually disbanded in 1982.

Adamson was a main figure in the band's sound with his superb guitar playing and song co-writing. He went on to form Big Country where he developed his unique guitar style brilliantly on more great albums. Sadly he took his own life in December 2001.

There have been subsequent regroupings and tours, but not anywhere near the same commercial success. With Jobson in the frontman role on stage, they will still invoke some good memories. But, to be honest, without Adamson, it's nowhere near the same band. 

You should definitely play something from this occasionally overlooked band. Hit that YouTube play button above or look them up online for more. Skids made great music that still has real energy and deserves to be remembered. And if you want a final reason— there's that St Andrew’s Day connection on November 30. You can celebrate the saint, the band, and their music and acknowledge Adamson too. 

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