Waiting for the Floods
By The Armoury Show
Scottish singer, writer, actor and would-be renaissance man Richard
Jobson paid dearly for his artistic pretensions. He got the blame when
his band, the Skids, spurned punk for poetic indulgence, and he looked
even worse when ex-Skids guitarist Stuart Adamson found mainstream success
with the soaring stadium rock of his new band, Big Country. Meanwhile,
the spoken-word musings of Jobson's post- Skids solo career baffled
at least as many fans as they attracted. But on the lone outing he recorded
with the Armoury Show, Jobson's grandiosity finally found the proper
setting. Joined by former Magazine members John McGeoch (guitar) and
John Doyle (drums), as well as Skids bassist Russell Webb, Jobson created
an album that, though it went largely unnoticed, outdid Big Country
and nearly every other "big-guitar" band of the time,
save U2 in anthemic power. While McGeoch doesn't offer an instantly
identifiable guitar sound here, like the Edge's echoed riffs or the
bagpipe chime of Adamson and Big Country's ruce Watson, his versatile
playing features a little of both, plus some of his own ideas, like
the snaky, metallic riff to "Castles In Spain".
And as the rhythm section booms away in the background,
Jobson summons some of his best, most impassioned singing ever, using
a Roger Daltrey-esque bellow to turn potentially pretentious efforts
like "Kyrie" and the title track into rousing fist-wavers
that could have delivered his romantic vision straight to the arenas.
Unfortunately, it didn't come to that, andJobson's finest moment passed
into the history books, with only a couple of 1987 singles as a postscript.
But it should be remembered that on Waiting for the Floods, he finally
made the big statement he'd always promised.
By Dan LeRoy of AllMusic.com,
where you can hear tracks from the blasts from the past for free.