Into Music Review: Songs and Stories: An Evening With Richard Jobson & Martin Metcalfe
Act: Richard Jobson & Martin Metcalfe
Venue: Bar Yellow, Cumbernauld
Date: 28 February 2020
Billed as an evening of songs and stories, Richard Jobson proved himself to be a natural raconteur, equally at ease telling the audience of the epilepsy diagnosis which, in part, led to the break up of The Skids, through to singing acoustic versions of the songs he is known for.
Of course, Jobson has more than one string to his bow. Musician, poet, writer, TV presenter, model, film critic and film maker, he’s packed a lot in over the years and therefore has much to say. Accompanying him, is Martin Metcalfe, who is usually to be found fronting up Goodbye Mr MacKenzie and The Filthy Tongues, the perfect foil, adding guitar and vocals beside his long term collaborator and friend.
Kicking off with Kings Of The New World, it’s an assured start and both Jobson and Metcalfe are quickly attuned to each other, subtly playing acoustic guitars with harmonies in unison. Thereafter, Jobson tells of moving to Berlin in 1979, falling in love with a German girl and the harrowing story of her way too short life. Kreuzberg ’79 is about that and having the back story really makes the lyrics stand out in a powerful way.
The songs are interspersed with readings from Jobson’s book Into The Void which is also the basis for the film he wrote and directed called New Town Killers. The Filthy Tongues provided music for the film’s soundtrack and Metcalfe takes vocal duties to sing the theme tune.
Tales of the Glasgow Apollo follow, supporting The Stranglers and headlining the same venue a year later, Joy Division’s first ever gig (as Warsaw) supporting The Skids and a love of the music of Echo & The Bunnymen and David Bowie. This leads to excellently crafted covers of The Killing Moon and Starman which go down well with the Cumbernauld crowd.
Jobson talks openly and affectionately about the late Stuart Adamson, their time together in The Skids and tells an amusing tale regarding the success of Adamson’s Big Country at the same time as Jobson’s Armory Show were a little less successful. Biggest gig? Big Country at Live Aid, Armory Show at the Bungalow Bar, Paisley!
The back story to The Skids reunion is mentioned, starting with a phone call from U2’s The Edge about the cover of The Saints Are Coming with Green Day which made number one in countless countries across the globe in aid of the Hurricane Katrina appeal. Not bad when you consider Jobson wrote the song in Dunfermline Library at the tender age of 17. The song duly follows and is a joy, possibly the highlight of the night.
Metcalfe goes solo with unique versions of the MacKenzies’ Blacker Than Black and The Rattler before Jobson rejoins him for Hurry On Boys and the set closing Into The Valley.
These types of gigs are few and far between, the stories are enlightening and interesting and the music is different in an acoustic setting. If you get the chance, go see them and check out Jobson’s autobiography, Into The Valley which is a great read.
Richard Jobson & Martin Metcalfe play Galashiels Mac Arts 01 March