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Merry Christmas

to one and all, a very Merry Christmas and a big thanks for all the support over the last year.

Wishing you all the best over the Festive season

Remembering Stuart Adamson on this day

All our thoughts are with Stuarts family and friends, much missed and never forgotten.

Skids / Big Country on Deep Fried Gospel, available now!

Deep Fried Gospel, the new album from The Gospel Truth Choir is available to buy from their website and includes a very Scottish and haunting version of The Saints Are Coming and Chance Medley by the Skids and Big Country with Bruce and Jamie Watson (Skids, Big Country)

You can get a preview of the Skids / Big Country "Mash-up" on the news item on the official Skids website news article click here

The new debut CD features collaborations with Bruce and Jamie Watson, Mary Ann Kennedy, Maeve MacKinnon, Horse, and the combined choirs of InChorus and Lothian and Borders Police.

Track list 1. Mary’s Prayer,  2. Here Comes the Rain Again / Small Town Boy, 3. The Saints are Coming / Chance. 4. Mandela Day, 5. 500 Miles, 6. The Other Side of the World, 7. Caledonia, 8. When Will You (Make My Phone Ring), 9. Shake This Mountain, 10. Last Request, 11. Amazing Grace, 12. Ae Fond Kiss (Hi Horo ‘s na Horo Eile)

http://www.thegospeltruthchoir.com/album2.htm

The Skids – The Essence Of A Live Gig

Article by Richard Jobson, November 30th 2010

 

The-Skids-2010

I have just completed a new film about my old punk band The Skids all shot on 5Ds and 7Ds.
The event was a week long celebration of the different aspects of my work in my home county Fife in the East of Scotland. The gig was the finale to a week of cinema workshops and talks including an on stage interview conducted by the crime novelist Ian Rankin about my life and work.

As a team we didn’t have long to plan how to shoot the various events. We kind of just arrived in Scotland and made it up as we went along. This is not how I normally work and being more of a control freak made this improvised approach a bit of a worry.
We had three 5D MkIIs and a 7D with a variety of prime lenses as well as Zacuto rigs and follow focus.

The-Skids-1Filming the smaller intimate events was a great way of preparing for the Skids gig. The live interview with Ian Rankin was in the same hall as the gig, The Alhambra in Dunfermline, which gave us a perfect opportunity to work out where to put the cameras on the night.

Approaching the idea of shooting the Skids gig was a somewhat daunting prospect. The band I had joined as a teenager from the East of Scotland were known for their energy and full on live performances. Would we as older, more mature members of society be able to find that same presence and madness and how the hell with such limited resources were we going to film it in a way that was going to hopefully become a small piece of Scottish r’n’r history?

Other questions were swimming around in my head. Were the band still relevant? Could we really still do it or were we just another bunch of old punks desperately trying to catch the heat of the past? There are so many bands out there from that era who are cynically cashing in on a current retro nostalgia trip. I don’t want to be part of that.

Live gigs are tricky to shoot. Intrusive cameras and operators getting in the way of the show more of often than not make the event feel fake and just a tad dishonest. If we were going to capture this moment then we were really going to have to think it through. The initial improvisation would have to evolve into something more substantial by the end of the week. It was also an opportunity to create a business model for other shoots of other bands.
The-Skids-Montage-11
Live gigs in the music industry are one of the only ways of making money, they want to record the gigs and can’t afford big productions but still want cool and effective images that capture the live vibe.

The-Skids-18-We decided on shooting both nights of the concert. The problem was that the first night was a warm up in another city and of course in another venue. We needed two nights to create enough material so we would have a fast cutting style at our disposal. The music is fast and furious so no point in locking cameras down and moving between wides, close ups and medium shots. Too boring. No, what we needed was something far more in your face without the problem of camera operators in each other’s shots.

I have been working with HDSLR technology from the beginning and have used the 5D MkII on various projects from pop promos to short films. This camera alongside the 7D (which can shoot 60fps giving us a decent slow motion option) were the tools of choice.

On the first night at the warm up gig we concentrated on close ups of all the band. We made sure that they would be wearing the same clothes the next night. Shooting from 5 different positions with moving cameras (one was on a glide rail at the front of stage) we soon found that the intimacy was captured.

The-SkidsThe second night was all about the occasion. A large sold out venue with an enthusiastic crowd meant that we needed to turn the cameras the other way. The great thing was that the audience thought of them as stills cameras so paid little attention to them being pointed in their face. In the edit we used the multi-take option in Final Cut Pro to look through the footage simultaneously and we were constantly amazed at how we never saw the other cameras at any point. It was a real breakthrough. How many times have you watched your favourite band on TV at an event like Glastonbury and been disappointed to see camera teams all over the stage? This doesn’t happen using HDSLRs, you just don’t see them.

The whole experience was invigorating, a new way of working and another feather in the cap of convergence. It’s now a style I’ll take into my next movie project: HELTER SKELTER. Mulit-cam shooting, various angles covered with small discreet cameras using wonderful glass on the front. I can’t quite put into words how this changes the game for me. I’ve been working with small budgets on all my movies but always tried to create something visually arresting – now I can really do it for even smaller sums of money and most importantly retain control.

The Skids Live 2010 DVD is available to order as a Special Edition DVD with Free CD from www.theskids.com and www.the-skids.co.uk

 

Skids Special Edition DVD now available over the counter in Dunfermline

The Skids Special Edition DVD with free CD is now available from Ali at Third base Records in Chapel Street, Dunfermline.

For the Skids fans who couldnt purchase online for various reasons, you can now treat yourelves by popping into Third Base Records and getting your copy of the Skids Live 2010 DVD in time for Christmas.

Skids swag now available from Dunfermlines longest running record and music store.

 

Skids guitar duo support Santa in Dunfermline

Published: Thursday, 18th November, 2010 9:30am by Gary Fitzpatrick at The Dunfermline Press.
click here for original article

Bruce and Jamie set to light up the town

Bruce and Jamie Watson will launch their home town festive season in style when they play at Christmas lights switch-on this Sunday.

The Dunfermline father and son rockers have enjoyed a successful year, playing memorable gigs with the Skids and bringing out their first album together.

The lights invitation is the icing on the Christmas cake and still to come is a New Year tour with the re-formed Big Country including a much-anticipated gig at the Alhambra.

The Watsons will entertain the crowd from 5.15 to 5.45pm ahead of the arrival of the star of the show, Santa, for the all-important switch-on.

Bruce laughed, “I’ve opened for many acts in my time from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones but never for the man in the big red suit!”

Jamie told the Press, “I can’t wait. There should be a good crowd there and it’s always a big occasion.”

Jamie didn’t start playing the guitar until he was into his early teens but made quick progress and went on stage for the first time when the Skids got back together at the Glen Pavilion in 2007 then a few days later was playing T in the Park with them.

Looking back to his early days on the guitar, Jamie said, “My pal played - Michael from the Modern Faces - and I used to listen to him and he showed me a few chords.

“Then my dad would come back home from touring and he would show me a few things to try as well.

“It was great to get up and play with the Skids again at the Carnegie Hall last month and earlier this year at the Alhambra was an amazing night.

Bruce said, “Playing alongside Jamie came about by accident, it wasn’t planned. After Big Country finished, I had retired from the music business.

“I had been away touring and recording when the kids were growing up and had been planning to take things easy after that. Just sit in the house with the slippers on.

“But then Jamie would have the guitar around his neck from first thing in the morning until last thing at night.

“We started doing some stuff together and they sounded quite interesting as instrumentals and I thought we could put some lyrics to them. Then the record label which once put out releases by The Who and Hendrix heard it and said we think you should record it.”

The album ‘Another Anthem for the Damned’ was released earlier this year on Track Records now run by former Big Country manager Ian Grant.

Bruce co-founded Big Country with Stuart Adamson, and co-wrote their biggest hits, including ‘In A Big Country’, ‘Fields of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and ‘Wonderland’.

He is now looking forward to the band getting back together for a tour which starts in Glasgow on Hogmanay and runs until April taking in London, Manchester, Belfast and Dublin on the way.

Bruce admitted, “Playing with Big Country is something I didn’t think I’d do again. We played a few gigs as a three-piece in 2007 for our 25th anniversary and I thought that would be it.

“But with the way things went so well with the Skids re-union, the guys thought ‘Maybe we could give it a go again’ and I’m really looking forward to it because they’re great guys and I miss playing with them.

“The Alhambra on 2nd January should be quite a night as the Pars are playing the Rovers that day and I’m sure a lot of guys will be going there and then on to the gig.

“It’s hard to look ahead and say how things will be and how you’ll feel on the night but I think it’s all rock ‘n’ roll and we want it to be a celebration of Big Country’s music.”

Susan Hughes, chief executive of Dunfermline Delivers, said, “This is really exciting news and will be sure to have the whole place rocking as we switch on the Christmas lights.

“I can’t think of a better addition to the Dunfermline Live! programme than to have a local hero like Bruce, known all over the world, come with his son, Jamie, to help us get the festive season started. We can’t thank him enough.”

Also appearing on Sunday in the parade before the switch-on are Jonathan Cairney and the Royal Burgh of Inverkeithing Pipe Band.

Russell Webb Inn On The Green full gig now on Myspace

Last May, Russell was invited by Ian Grant (manager of Big Country) to play at one of the Dissenters Gallery gigs.

The sound guys kindly recorded to cd Russell's set.

Finally I have mastered and uploaded all the tracks to Myspace.

check them out if you want at

www.myspace.com/russellwebbmusic

track list
01 Castles In Spain
02 Waiting For the Floods
03 Love In Anger
04 Iona
05 One Hand Clapping
06 Fields

Wayne 

Adamson Adulation : article on Stuart Adamson / Big Country and Skids book by Allan Glen

Dunfermline Press Article by Matt Meade
read the original article here

ON a drab Monday night in October 1977 London punk icons The Clash brought their ‘Get Out of Control’ tour to Dunfermline.

Support that night came from French female band The Lous and New York’s Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

But it was unknown local teens The Skids and guitarist Stuart Adamson, from the comparatively unglamourous Crossgates, onstage just five minutes after doors opened at the Kinema Ballroom, who struck awe into 14- year-old Allan Glen.

Since then, the former NME journalist has followed the career path of Adamson who became singer of Big Country, a band who went on to sell an astonishing 10 million albums globally.

Allan was only allowed to “tag along” to that formative gig with his big brother Bryan and his friends on instructions of their parents.

Recalling the night, in which he describes Adamson and singer Richard Jobson as “thunder and lightning” he said, “It was the first show I went to in my whole life and to this day it’s still the best show I’ve ever seen.

 

“It’s a cliché, but it was absolutely life changing.”

Allan, brought up in Dunfermline's McClelland Crescent, has now written what will become the definitive biography of his hero.

And he’s not the only one who holds Adamson in adulation.

Fellow fan James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers wrote the book’s foreword while crime author Ian Rankin writes the introduction.

U2 and Green Day, arguably two of the biggest bands in the world, collaborated on a cover of the Skids ‘The Saints are

Coming’ in 2006.

Bruce Springsteen called Adamson “The real deal”.

Another fan is Blur’s Graham Coxon.

Allan said, “While Bruce Watson (Big Country guitarist) was recording the Buffalo Skinners album he bumped into Coxon in 1993 during the Blur’s Modern Life is Rubbish era.

“Coxon told Watson, ‘I used to have a sticker of you on my guitar!’. He’s a massive fan and that’s a lovely little story.

“When people think of Stuart and Big Country they think of the eighties but often forget that they are so influential on bands today.

“The music has been an influence on the Manics, Oasis, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdiand, Kaiser Chiefs, even the Stone Roses.

"The music is still relevant and that’s a huge testament to Stuart Adamson’s talents.”

Alan’s research led him to pore over the Press archives.

He said, “Looking through the archives was bittersweet.

“You see Stuart Adamson, the Skids and Big Country develop throughout the years and, as a writer, you want to follow that path right up till now with the legacy of the band.

"Here was a teenager from Crossgates who became a global success and it’s a wonderful testament to Scottish culture.”

Adamson took his own life in a hotel room in Honolulu in 2001.

Though that life was cut tragically short, Allan’s book is a fitting tribute to a man whose musical legacy will live on for years to come.

 

 

Stuart Adamson: In A Big Country by Allan Glen (Polygon), £14.99 hardback, is available at Waterstone's Dunfermline

Also available to order online from Amazon
 CLICK BELOW TO ORDER

Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country 

 

 





 

 

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