The Skids : Days in Europa
Reviewed by Paul Ess

Ok, I'll throw another one out: 'Days in Europa' by the Skids. 30 years old and (depressingly) it stands up and over modern musics, and in most cases, crunches them underfoot like beetles.

I don't know why this is; when these modern turns list their influences you think 'wow!' - it's when they come to formulating and presenting their own full-blown idea's it all becomes hog-tied.

'Days in Europa' is a classic. I don't know what else you want me to say.

Despite being produced by that bombastic bore Bill Nelson, 'DIE' (I don't believe it!) breathes joy and celebration.

It's a happy album. It has loads of notions and possibilities streaming from its grooves. It's an ideas album. Ideas of being brilliant electro-dance rock music which hasn't dated.

Those of you who regularly read my notices (I was gonna call you supreme beings, but thought better of it, given the misinterpretation 'DIE's sleeve is bound to illicit in some PC numbskulls), will know I'm not into lists but some of the titles give this one's position away up-front: 'The Olympian', 'Charade', 'Dulce et Decorum Est', 'Home of the Saved', 'Thanatos', it's an arresting roll-call of literary mightiness and majesty.

Extra tracks include the rare 'Masquerade/Aftermath Dub' and the Volgar Boatmen wannabe 'Grey Parade'.

Most impressively, 'DIE' (Love it!) is a sandwich between the exhilarating 'Animation' and 'Peaceful Times' ('Animation' played backwards, with some unintelligible poetry), two magnificent cuts; guitars soaring like hawks high in the mix and chill-down-the-spine tunefulness.

The Skids were Scottish, and there is a definite air of bagpipes at Bannockburn, claymore's at Culloden about some of the melodies. This, clashing stridently with Nelson's pulsing euro-rock supervision is what gives 'DIE' it's memorable uniqueness (hey, THERE'S an idea - music being unique!).

Singer Richard Jobson eventually ended up doing poetry and directing films; and guitarist Stuart Adamson formed the over-rated stadium rock act Big Country before stupidly topping himself over a woman (Berk - like so many others).

Forever though, their crowning glory is 'Days in Europa' and not even that old critic-killer - time, can take it away from them.

Paul Ess