Skids swansong for Dunfermline DVD launch?

Dunfermline Press article by Gary Fitzpatrick
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The memorable Skids home town concert at the Alhambra in March has been captured on film and will be released at a special launch event.

The fund-raiser for the 'Help for Heroes' at the Carnegie Hall on 31st October will feature the first screening of the movie as well as an acoustic gig by the band, perhaps their last ever.

Those present in the packed audience will long remember the electric atmosphere as the Skids turned back the clock with a wonderful performance of hits such as 'Into the Valley', 'The Saints are Coming', 'Masquerade' and 'Yankee Dollar'.

The film is the work of Richard Jobson singer, film director and music video creator for artists such as Richard Ashcroft.

The Skids frontman told the Press, "You've probably heard it before but this could well be the last performance of the band. I start a new film soon and it's hard to see when will be able to get together again."

Looking back to the Alhambra concert, Richard said, "It was an incredible night. I can't remember a better atmosphere - ever. The vibe was just right and everybody was there to have a great time.

"It was just amazing to look out and see the faces. There were those who had been there from the beginning and some had brought their children and grandchildren in some cases.

"It was a great night and the end of the Fifer Festival week. I enjoyed being able to spend time with young people who were interested in a career in film-making and music.

"The legacy of the Skids is to encourage these young people to believe that if they want to do something then do it and not to listen to what anyone else says.

"We didn't get much encouragement when we started certainly from the older generation who either thought the whole thing was threatening or didn't like the music. But each generation comes along and has their own thing to say."

The Alhambra gig was captured using Canon 5D Mark II stills cameras which have hi-spec video capability and being compact gave the photographers great flexibility of movement.

"I didn't want the enjoyment of the audience to be spoilt by cameramen running around all over the place getting in their way and blocking the view," said Richard.

"By using this technology, the team, who I've worked with before and are very talented, could move around freely and the results are spectacular.

"This will be the first time it's been used in that environment and when people see what we've achieved I'm sure many will want to follow. We had five cameras but when you see the film you would think we had 50 in there."

The DVD is intercut with the interview Skids fan and Rebus author Ian Rankin conducted with Richard earlier that week as part of the Fifer Festival.

"One point I was making was the thing about a Skids gig was that the audience were same type of people as the band. There was never anything pompous about a Skids gig."

Richard previously helped the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the tune of a massive £500,000. That was the figure he would have made in royalties from U2 and Green Day's cover of 'The Saints are Coming' released for the Music Rising appeal.

This time the beneficiary will be the Help for Heroes campaign and a prevalent theme in the Skids songs was the fate of young people who joined the army as a way out of unemployment.

At that time, back in the '70s. the young recruits were thrown into the turmoil of Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and in recent years it has been Iraq and Afghanistan.

Richard said, "I feel for these young men and women. The thing's come full circle back to when we were writing the songs with the economic situation and the lack of chances for young people.

"When there are no jobs one of the things young people are told is to join the army and they can learn something. When it's the British Government involved the chances are you're going to be sent to a war somewhere.

"These people have joined up to serve their country and some have been badly injured. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is irrelevant.

"Sometimes we turn our back on these young men and women and that shouldn't happen."

The Skids DVD premiere and launch night on 31st October starts at 6pm and tickets are on sale priced £10. Prizes, including a signed guitar, will up for grabs in the raffle.

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