Songs From a Haunted Ballroom
Link: Official Site
The punk rock depth that encapsulated the 1979 album The Absolute Game set Skids on a one-way trip to punk stardom. The Scottish band expressed a drive that launched them as forerunners of the Dunfermline scene. After a couple of albums and then thirty-six years of silence, the band returned firing off a couple of albums and now a collection of influential covers.
The song selection emanates from memories of the band’s hometown venue, the Kinema Ballroom in Dunfermline, Scotland. It was a staple and cultural epicenter for youth culture and the late 1970s / early 1980s punk movement. The Skids called this venue home as they not only headlined multiple sold-out shows during its heyday but became a fixated supporting act for legendary groups like The Clash or Ultravox, for example.
Skids—Young Savage (Ultravox cover)
There is a musical dichotomy between the punk ethos of the Skids and the New Wave synth romanticism of Ultravox. Yet, when the band jumps into a powerhouse version of “Young Savage,” it demonstrates an influential artistic derivative that Ultravox had and a powerful album opener that shows the band’s stamina all of these years later.
From “Complete Control” by The Clash to David Essex’s “Rock On,” a niche cover of “35mm Dreams” by Garland Jeffreys (I am surprised “Wild in the Streets” was not selected), and a CD-only rendition of The Stooges’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” we not only get a curated collection of songs that made a mark on the Skids, but we get a historical perspective of that cultural snapshot of the Kinema Ballroom.
Buried within the album, they revisit their powerful punk monolith “The Saints Are Coming” from The Absolute Game. The song serves as a reminder of their original short-lived greatness. The recent return and now Songs From A Haunted Ballroom offers an impact and curated time capsule.
1. Young Savage
2. Complete Control
3. Gary Gilmore’s Eyes
4. Heart Of The City
5. The Light Pours Out Of Me
6. Rock On
8. 35mm Dreams
10. New York Groove
11. I Wanna Be Your Dog [CD ONLY]
12. The Saints Are Coming
13. Into The Valley
14. Christmas In Fife [CD ONLY]