For years Richard Jobson has been working on merging moving images with stills in numerous projects, including his latest, The Journey, with Emma Thompson.
The broadcaster, talk-show host, writer, director, BAFTA award winner, and former frontman of punk-rock band The Skids talk about how he uses cutting-edge technology on the Mac in his film-making and broadcasting. Eddie Harrison moderates.
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By MATT BENDORIS : Published: 05 Mar 2010
click here for original article
FORMER punk Richard Jobson boasts that he can back-flip as well as Celtic star Robbie Keane.
The Skids frontman wants to perform the striker’s trademark goal celebration when he returns to the stage with his band tonight.
He beams: “I did the half-time draw in the Scottish Cup game between Dunfermline and Celtic.
“It was Robbie Keane’s first goal for Celtic and he can do a really good back-flip.
“I used to always do them on stage in the 70s, but Robbie’s given me a taste for it again.”
The major difference is that Jobson turns 50 next month while Keano is some 20 years younger.
Thrills … Scott in movie New Town
“Aye,” the Fifer concedes, “And the last flip I tried it at T In The Park in 2007, it was a total disaster.
“I landed on my knees and had to be helped off stage afterwards by some people from the ambulance service. But the fans seemed to appreciate the effort.”
We meet in Glasgow’s City Inn hotel.
Jobson is around 5ft 11in with cropped, greying hair and a long face to match his long teeth.
He talks with a slight lisp and stares intently with pale blue eyes when questioned.
But Richard is a strange mix – friendly then argumentative, down-to-earth then pretentious.
His personality reflects a career which has seen him go from angry young punk to male model, TV film critic and now movie maker, with his biggest hit, the ultra-violent New Town Killers, starring Scots Hollywood hunk Dougray Scott.
He’s also just made a worthy short film with Oscar-winner Emma Thompson called The Journey – the story of a real-life sex slave from Moldova.
Yet at Glasgow’s ABC venue tonight he’ll be reliving his old anarchy days on tour and taking part in The Fifer Festival – a series of events staged in Jobson’s honour.
Isn’t it all a bit scatty?
Up front … Skids star chats to Sun man Matt
He sniffs: “I don’t think so. I just go with the flow.
“I said I would never reform The Skids, then the whole U2/Green Day thing happened.”
That was when singers Bono and Billie Joe Armstrong performed a cover version of Richard’s 1978 single The Saints Are Coming for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. It was then adopted by this year’s surprise Superbowl winners The New Orleans Saints, as their anthem.
Jobson – who also had hits including Into The Valley and Masquerade – recalls: “I’m sitting in Abbey Road Studios in London watching Bono and Billie sing something I wrote when I was 17 in my bedroom in Dunfermline. Those words were written in anger. But I realised they were still relevant and I’m still driven by anger.”
However, the baffling lyrics, which include the line ‘A drowning sorrow floods the deepest grief… until the weather change condemns belief’, were sent up by the Maxwell TV adverts.
He says: “The commercials tried to decipher the meaning. You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself. You can’t take yourself seriously.”
Before taking himself too seriously, by admitting: “I was a little hurt when the ads took the mickey, though. My song was written about something serious.”
But everything Richard does seems to be serious.
He shrugs: “I see the world in a darker way.
“Everything I do is driven by anger and compassion.”
That could be partly down to the tragic events in his life.
Making their mark … Skids were a hit
Jobson’s big brother Francis died in mysterious circumstances in India in 2001.
He said: “Francis was a Hare Krishna monk, so we would kick around Dunfermline in the 70s, me as a hardcore punk and him as a hardcore monk.
“He was 10 years older than me and took me to the cinema.
“That’s where my love of film comes from.
“When he died in India we never really got to the bottom of what happened.
“Death in India is really no big deal. It was also during the Monsoon season when hundreds were dying every day. So another body wasn’t a big thing.”
Later the same year Skids co-founder Stuart Adamson – who went on to front Big Country – was also found dead after apparently taking his own life in a cheap Hawaiian hotel room after battling booze and depression.
Richard sighs: “Now that was a real surprise.
“I can’t lie about it, we didn’t leave on the friendliest terms when The Skids split.
“He moved onto greater success with Big Country and had to cope with suddenly being the frontman, which might have been behind some of his personal problems.
“I wasn’t a very good singer. Stuart was better and a great musician. But I had attitude and front which he didn’t have.
“I just had no idea things had got so bad as we were never huge drinkers as a band.
“I know I once wrote a film called 16 Years Of Alcohol but that wasn’t about me.
“I’m epileptic so most of the time I avoid the stuff.
“We were never very druggie either while other bands were getting into cocaine and heroin.
“So it had no context for me that Stuart became an alcoholic.”
Richard, who used to be married to husky-voiced TV presenter Mariella Frostrup, now lives in Bedfordshire with his second wife, Italian Francesca, and kids Archie and Edie.
His next two films will star Dougray Scott – a Sin City-style version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Into The Valley, about a young soldier returning to Fife from the frontline in Afghanistan.
Me: “How do you get on with Dougray – he always comes across as a bit of an a*** in real-life?”
Richard admits: “He’s a bit dry for sure. But Fifers are naturally suspicious people. I think I’ve overcome that, but Dougray is still canny and wary of folk. He’s like that with me, so don’t take it personally. But he also has a vicious sense of humour.
“I’d like to work more with him even though he knows he’ll never make much money with me.”
But aren’t Jobson’s films guilty of portraying Scots as a violent race to the rest of the world?
He sniffs: “If you don’t mind me saying so, you’re wrong. Sure my films are violent but they’re not set on some housing estate.
“New Town Killers had two hedge fund managers, wearing Armani suits, driving a Maserati and hunting a kid into the night – it’s a wee bit different.
“I don’t like sitting at film festivals in Brazil and Tokyo watching movies which show Scotland as a dung heap.”
Richard has to go, maybe to practise his back-flips?
He says: “I’m heading for the big 5-0 but I’ve never really thought about age in my head. So I’ll give the flips a go. Although, on second thoughts it may be best if I leave it to the last night of the tour.”
Courier Newspaper Article
Friday March 5th 2010 (Page 4)
RICHARD JOBSON frontman of The Skids, last night spoke of the loss of founder member Stuart Adamson.
The Kirkcaldy born singer and film-maker was taking part in An Evening With Richard Jobson at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, in which he spoke of his career with acclaimed crime writer Ian Rankin.
Jobson told of his early interest in comics and how his brother, Francis, had a huge influence on him.
He said, “My father was a coal miner and we were a classic working class family,
“However, my brother went out his way to be different”.
“He drew a mural of Spider Man on my bedroom wall when I was a boy living in Crosshill.
“He listened to music like Captain Beefheart, Leonard Cohen, MC5 and The New York Dolls and i saw him as being iconic.
“He took alot of abuse for this”.
Jobson said he was diagnosed as having epilepsy as a child auditioned for The Skids at Cowdenbeath Working Men’s Club.
He told the audience that he could not sing at the time and was coached by Stuart Adamson, the late guitarist of The Skids and Big Country, who died in December 2001.
Jobson said Adamson had “a natural talent” and spoke of his shock on hearing he had died.
He said, “Stuart was an incredibly talented musician The whole episode of his death was tremendously sad”.
He added “I was in denial of The Skids for a long time after we split up – I don’t know why.
“We never had a chance to say goodbye to Stuart — there was never any closure. “Sowhen the chance came to warm up tfor T in the Park with a gig at Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline, it was great”.
Jobson said “In 1976 when punk first growled, the outlook for music was bleak. “Punk was really rebellious and we had this DIY attitude in The Skids”. He added “In the early days we managed to play at Clouds and upstairs in Kenilworth in Rose Street, both in Edinburgh. We would then go to wait at Waverly Station and got the milk train home to Dunfermline the next morning. “It was a magical time”.
Jobson said the band had their own record label, No Bad Records, before being “discovered” by the late DJ, John Peel.
He said “John played Charles every single night and hearing that made my heart skip. But success came too quickly — i was only 17 years old when we were on Top of the Pops and were touring 300 days of the year.
“There was never an acrimonious split as has been depicted”.
The audience were also shown excerpts from 16 Years of Alcohol and New Town Killers, both films directed by Jobson.
He ended the evening by singing a solo renditition of Ae Fond Kiss and was joined by Bruce Watson (ex Big Country) and son Jamie for acoustic renditions of Skids songs The Saints are Coming and Into the Valley.
Jobson said that he wrote both songs in Dunfermline Carnegie Library.
An Evening Times Article Published on 4 Mar 2010
by Jonathon Geddes
click here for original source article.
Film director Richard Jobson is approaching 50, but he is preparing to return to his first love of music by gigging with his seminal punk band the Skids at the ABC in Glasgow tomorrow.
And he makes it clear he is still driven by the same passions as when he started with the band in 1977.
“In my head, I’m still 16!” he says. “I still have that energy and enthusiasm for doing things without wondering what the response will be. I think when you worry about the response, then you are doomed from the start.”
Richard has always done things his own way, from writing classic punk songs such as Into The Valley and The Saints Are Coming (covered by U2 and Green Day), to a stint as a television presenter on Sky, to directing films in different genres.
He has also recently shot the music video for former Verve singer Richard Ashcroft.
His next project is a film that takes its title from a Skids song, Into The Valley. It will look at the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan, and Richard admits it is the fact he believes the Skids songs still have an impact that has led him to reform the group again.
“It saddens me a bit that the Skids songs are still relevant,” he says.
“I wrote Into The Valley about kids having no prospects for work so the only road available to them was joining the Army. Then, 16 weeks later, they found themselves in Northern Ireland and came back very changed.
“Working For The Yankee Dollar, Charade, Masquerade were all about similar issues, and we are in the same situation again right now.
“A lot of the (Army) people I have spoken to do not think they are going to end up in Southern Afghanistan, but they are.
“So it has gone full circle and I am still singing the songs for a reason.
After breaking up in 1982, the Skids reformed for a few shows in 2007, including T In The Park, and then played a brief set as part of the 2009 Homecoming jamboree.
Had the passion not still been there at Homecoming, Richard is adamant he would have called it a day.
“This still means something to me – I’m not just cranking them out and saying nothing more than ‘isn’t it great to be here’.
“We always felt something in common with the people who came to see us and that was what made it such fun.
“We will be doing a lot of the songs in ways people will not expect – different versions of Valley, of Saints, and we will be using a gospel choir from Glasgow.
“We will be playing an array of different stuff, songs we have not played before.
A lot of these bands from that era just come along and chuck out the songs people vaguely remember, and do the whole greatest hits thing. We hope we can do more than that.”
Certainly, the band’s set at the Homecoming gig was one of the night’s highlights. They were joined that evening by a wide range of Scottish acts, such as Deacon Blue and Hue & Cry.
Richard appears unsure of whether the experience was good or bad.
“Homecoming was odd,” he says. “I tried my best to watch as many of the other acts as I could, but the idea we were on the same stage as Hue & Cry ?was peculiar to me.
“Given the choice, that is something I would never have taken part in because we are so different.”
He is not exactly blown away by a lot of current musical acts.
“Pop is sludge now. I have always hated Radio 1 because, aside from John Peel, it was awful songs and all that rubbish like Dave Lee Travis DJing.
“Now it claims to be the coolest station in the world – says who?”
While he believes pop is as bad as ever, he does feel music as a whole has shifted, to the extent the public are more willing to listen to all sorts of tunes.
“Music used to be very divisive, whereas nowadays people have very eclectic tastes.
“The background we are from, there were certain lines that you had – if you saw somebody with a Yes album they were the enemy – that is not really the case now.
“That passion and anger is not there, people have much more open ears for music.
“In some ways that is a good thing, but one of the great things about music is that it was a divisive thing, and if somebody had a Wishbone Ash album you knew you hated them.”
- The Skids, ABC, Friday, £25
An evening with Richard Jobson, hosted by Ian Rankin as part of the Fifer Festival 2010.
A great evening of talks about Richards life, his struggles and achievements covering his early years growing up in Fife through to his current and most recent projects. Richard spoke about his love of poetry, sci-fi, comics including Spiderman and movies from an early age and of course his love of music and how he manages to achieve success in different areas of the entertainment and media industries.
Richard also spoke briefly of his work on a new project called Into The Valley a modern day take on his original thoughts on young kids given the “choice” to join the army. For anyone that could not attend this event there may be something available soon for your viewing pleasure as the whole weeks events were being filmed.
Richard started the conclusion of the evening with a rendition of Robert Burn’s “Ae Fond Kiss” and was then joined on stage by Bruce and Jamie Watson for acoustic versions of The Saints Are Coming and Into The Valley.
The evening finished off with a showing of “The Journey” a short film made with Emma Thompson about the stark reality of sex trafficking.
An amazing and interesting evening and a huge thanks again to Visit Dunfermline, Fife Council and The Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline for providing us all with these great events.
Todays workshop was interesting to say the very least, a great insight into both film making, directing and also Richards thoughts and feelings on making movies for the big screen. This was a workshop on making movies but I could not help noticing Richard’s passion for what he does. All who attended were also given a nice bit of background about Richards career including his drama training and television work, including writing film reviews for Sky Television.
Richard was kind enough to answer questions from the audience and also provide help and advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career or a passion for making movies.
We are looking forward to tonights event to find out more about his amazing life and achievements as well as being treated to a few Skids songs.
For those of you who cant make any of these events for various reasons, Richard has pointed out that there is a lot of filming being done for all of these events using some cutting edge technology so there may be some footage available soon.
A huge thanks to Visit Dunfermline, Fife Council, The Alhambra Theatre and to Richard Jobson for making these events happen.