THEY hail from Dunfermline but are best known locally as the band who wrote ‘the Saints are Coming’ which Southampton FC use at St Marys as their ‘walk on music’.

New Wave band The Skids whose biggest hit was the anthemic 'Into the Valley' will play Southampton's 1865 Club on Wednesday (June 21).

The Skids formed in 1977 fronted by Richard Jobson and were Scotland's answer to the Clash; had they not split up in the early 80’s they would have probably gone on to stadium success like U2.

Now a reformed Skids are undertaking their 40th Anniversary tour.

They are said to be on magnificent form and we had a chance for a few words with singer Richard ‘Jobbo’ Jobson.

May I call you 'Jobbo'?

"Jobbo was my Dad's nickname. I seem to have inherited it. The first people to call me Jobbo were Paul Cook and Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. It seems to have stuck."

Are looking forward to playing Southampton?

"Can’t wait to get to the south coast for fish n chips and a crazy gig. Southampton was always a favourite destination. It felt like the other end of the world. The people were brilliant to us."

The connection between Southampton and the Skids is football. The Saints Are Coming is used when Saints come onto the pitch…. I understand that Into the Valley is used as well at other grounds?

"Our songs have been adopted by many different football clubs: Dunfermline Athletic and Charlton Athletic use ‘Into the Valley’ and as well as Southampton St Pauli and New Orleans Saints use’ The Saints are Coming’. It’s a wonderful honour and I have been present at most of these grounds to experience it. Hairs on the back of the neck moment.

I got a letter off Lawrie Mcmenemy telling us that he was very proud for the team to be coming out to the song. It was a touching moment. I’ve been there when it happened. Wow!!"

Your live shows so far seem to have been going down very well indeed… how does it feel to you?

"The shows have had an amazing reaction. We worked really hard to make sure we were ready and that the performance level was high and the music powerful. The Skids were always a high-energy live band and people's memories were alive to that. We couldn’t let them down."

Are you going to the gym? Are you all tee-total non-smokers now? Can you still do your Cossack-dancing/penalty-taking/ swashbuckling dance moves?

"It’s very kind of you to suggest my stage moves have anything to do with dancing. The songs have a power and I just go along with that in my idiosyncratic way. Some things in life will never change. I keep myself fit and feel ‘strong and stable’ enough to carry off a live performance each night. The Skids music is very physical. I always preferred playing live to being in the recording studio. If I wasn’t on the stage I would be in the audience."

I’ve seen a fair few bands from the era who have reformed (Magazine Penetration Ruts DC…) and the anticipation is always rewarded with great gigs (and new records). The punk era bands seem to mean much more to people than bands since… it’s more than ‘nostalgia’ and ‘mid-life crisis. ’ Is that the way it feels to you?

"It feels more important than Nostalgia. The songs feel relevant and the new songs reflect the world around us which has gone mad. Punk was essentially about relating to what was going on at the time and its importance can be seen in the world of music media and art. It was an inspiration to a new generation. Young people found a voice and a platform to project their anger and sense of hopelessness. We were all very Political. I get the feeling with Corbyn it’s happening again - at last.

Looking back objectively at 77-81 the three most iconic bands were perhaps. The Clash Joy Division and U2 …….. and in a way Skids had very much the same elements which made those bands ‘successful’… the anthemic sound the Boys Own heroism and the intensity/artiness…. Do you feel Skids legacy is not given as much value in the retrospectives of the era?

"The Skids music was definitely an inspiration and influence on other bands. But we too enjoyed being inspired by others including bands writers painters and Politicians. Plaudits mean nothing. Action means everything. We’re back and we mean it man……"

People seem to remember silly things about the Skids; the impenetrable lyrics ( that TV ad with the misheard lyrics) and the funny dancing and cricket jumpers…

"I loved the irony as a Scot wearing the emblematic and iconic English cricket jumper. At first it was a Gatsby moment of pure fun that became a loose form of identity for a brief period. Our album was called The Absolute game and there was a certain amount of gamesmanship running through the songs tour and image etc.

My lyrics are not impenetrable if you give them a chance. My understanding of them changes each night I sing them."

Going through a list of people coming to the Skids gig… I noticed a few surnames; McGregor McCarthy O’Brien Beazley… a lot of Scots blood. Do you and did you find a lot of Scots ‘ex-pats’ all over the UK who were fans?

"Scotland was our home and people coming from that country remain very proud of anything that is creative and can travel further afield. Scots are often accused of being provincial but the truth is the opposite. We had a tune and a few words and we wanted to travel - that was always our motto."

Tickets for the Skids are available from http://www.seetickets.com/event/the-skids/the-1865/1023747

Ged Babey