I saw Big Country at their start, middle and end and now again at a new start! I first saw the band support on The Jam's farewell tour at Wembley Arena in 1982 and I was impressed if a little bemused by the bagpipe guitar sound. When "Fields Of Fire" exploded into the UK singles chart in 1983 I thought it was an outstanding track and still do. The debut album "The Crossing" is a fine album and remains a favourite of mine.
During their mid career I saw the band tour the "No Place Like Home" album at Reading University and I can still remember this gig as I had spent the whole of the Sunday in bed with one of the worst hangovers of my life and almost didn't make it to the gig! But I was glad I did as it was a was great evening and I always enjoyed Stuart Adamson's banter with the audience.
By the time I saw the band on the "Final Fling" tour at Milton Keynes in 2000 the band was struggling to achieve commercial recognition. The final studio album "Driving To Damascus" is superb and if you can't achieve any success with a record like that it must make you wonder what you need to do to achieve success. A live CD "Come Up Screaming" of the final UK gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands is a great live tribute to just how good they were and there are just so many great songs to enjoy.
The tragic death of Stuart Adamson in 2001 shocked me greatly...
And now in 2011 Big Country are back touring with Mike Peters of The Alarm on vocals and young Jamie Watson on guitar. I saw the band in January at the annual Alarm Gathering in North Wales and I was greatly impressed as the sound is awesome and Mike Peters does a magnificent job on vocals; it was great to see all the old songs played live once again. There is also promise of new material in 2012 so it looks like an interesting future for the band.