heard on the wire

The sailor shot the dice straight through

Woman in Winter (front)

Some thirty years ago this was my all-time favourite record of all-time. it’s slipped down the pecking order somewhat since then, but still holds a place close to my heart.

The Skids’ third LP, Absolute Game, was hugely popular among my playground contemporaries and this was the third single from it. Like much of the record, it’s poetic gibberish but beautifully played and proved to be the last decent thing the band ever did. And at three minutes 49, it’s shorter than the LP version—and better for it. The single was packaged with a 12-page comic, detailing the band’s efforts to find treasure hidden on a Scottish island. I’m sure tongues were firmly in cheeks, as you can see below.

Shortly after the LP was finished, guitarist Stuart Adamson and drummer Mike Baillie left. Singer Richard Jobson and bass player Russell Webb hug around long enough to record a final Skids LP, Joy, that didn’t live up to its name. Still, its rapid descent into obscurity ensured that it didn’t hand around long enough to besmirch the Skids’ reputation as the best band ever from Dunfermline.

Meanwhile Adamson formed the successful Big Country, wherein he achieved a lifetime’s ambition to make a guitar sound like bagpipes. Sadly he also suffered from depression and in 2001 he committed suicide. Jobson and Webb went on to form the largely forgotten Armoury Show, before the singer became a slightly annoying, betweeded TV presenter and film maker.

The Skids :: Woman in Winter

Audio MP3

The Skids :: Working for the Yankee Dollar [live]

Audio MP3


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