It would be so difficult to argue about the Scottish punk rock scene and somehow avoid legendary the Skids. Talking about classic punk rock music and not mentioning some of their tremendous recordings should be considered a crime. The group delivers an ear-appealing blend of classic punk rock and a new wave since its inception in 1977. Perhaps the group went on numerous line-up changes, which later led to the imminent break up in 1982, but the group got together for reunion shows in 2009 and 2017 and pretty much works since then. Maybe they had their ups and downs like any other band, but the Skids managed to record an impressive amount of recordings since their beginning to this day. Besides countless singles, extended plays, live and compilation albums, Skids released several brilliant full-lengths, such as Scared To Dance, Days In Europa, The Absolute Game, Joy, Burning Cities, and Peaceful Times.
Recently, the news started lurking around about their brand new album called Songs From A Haunted Ballroom, which will be released on vinyl, compact disc, and digital by Cleopatra Records on June 11th. Songs From A Haunted Ballroom represents a homage to the band’s hometown venue, the great Kinema Ballroom in Dunfermline, Scotland. This album consists of the cover songs, carefully picked by the band, and some new versions of their older tunes. Skids made quite an impressive selection of brilliant tunes by Ultravox!, Sex Pistols, The Adverts, Magazine, The Clash, Iggy And The Stooges, Ace Frehley, Garland Jeffreys, David Essex, U2, and my others. Besides these covers, the band also re-recorded some of their older hits, such as The Saints Are Coming, Into The Valley, and Christmas In Fife.
Perhaps this selection may sound strange to some listeners, but the Skids paid a lot of attention while assembling this cover album. They even thought about sorting out the tracklist by going straight to the energetic tunes right from the beginning, then cutting with some more moderate compositions, then jumping to the dynamic numbers once again. They purposely left Chrismast In Fife, a beautiful folk-rock ballad, at the end of the album, which serves as an ear-appealing closure to this brilliant list of songs. Still, Skids have not just performed these covers as their respected owners did decades ago. The group implemented some innovations, rearranged, and inhaled more soul and energy into them.
Young Savage by Ultravox!, Gary Gilmore’s Eyes by The Adverts, I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy And The Stooges, Complete Control by The Clash, The Light Pours Out Of Me By Magazine, Heart Of The City by Nick Lowe, and New York Groove by Ace Frehley received special treatment, and they sound equally good as the originals. The remaining portion of the tunes articulates equally well and resonates in a distinct manner that is more appropriate for these times. This album will suit the older generation of punk rockers who were there for several decades. However, it will also serve as a perfect introduction piece to newer generations of punk rockers, who’re interested in exploring the history of the punk scene. Songs From A Haunted Ballroom is one of those cover albums you must possess in your record collection. Head over to Cleopatra Records for more information about pre-ordering vinyl or compact disc.