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Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Big Country - The Kings of Emotion

Most people that know me will know of my love for music. I first got into to Big Country midway through the euphoria of their debut album, The Crossing, Quite fitting then that almost 30 years later I saw them perform this album in its entirety at the Olympia in Dublin last Friday.

I've followed this band for many years, made many friends with their loyal fans and spent numerous nights in Dunfermline, Scotland, the birthplace of Big Country.

Sadly, I missed Big Country in Birmingham this year because of other commitments but being the magnetic force that they are I was compelled to see them perform... and what a performance!

From the opening baseline of Angle Park, a song about a former mental institution in Dunfermline, to the finishing encores of Smokey Robinson's Tracks of my Tears, Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World and a reprisal of In a Big Country, they had me beaming from ear to ear.

In between they performed the songs from The Crossing and those B-Sides I, as a fan, have been yearning to hear performed live. Balcony and The Crossing were a trip down memory lane, a lane where 12" vinyls were the only way to get the added bonus tracks of ones favourite band.

Other favourites plucked from the vast Big Country catalogue included East of Eden, Look Away, Wonderland, Another Country and the superb Restless Natives.

The band, now fronted by Mike Peters [The Alarm] and duel guitar turnaround of father and son Bruce and Jamie Watson, haven't lost what made them. Their live performances with the dear departed Stuart Adamson were part of my eighties, nineties and noughties upbringing. 2012 and they are still belting out seriously good rock n' roll music and filling venues, such as the Olympia with their electric, nae eclectic, style.

A special shout-out to Jamie Watson, he's had to fill his father's boots on the rhythm section, he's done so with great ease. He is now part of the Big Country furniture and I have nothing but admiration for him.

Even Irish rockers U2 paid homage, leaving the band a note that said "Welcome to Dublin. From the U2'ers" and a crate of Champagne in their dressing room.

If you think Big Country were a one album wonder, you are in a minority - just ask the sellout crowd in Dublin.

Thoroughly enjoyable night. I just hope they continue to flourish and prosper.

Bob Fiddaman

Here's Big Country performing The Crossing.




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