Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Big Country back in business

by Andy Labrow
Scottish rock band Big Country has returned with The Journey, out April 30 via Megaforce. It is their first studio album in 14 years, and first with frontman Mike Peters (of The Alarm).  

“When Bruce Watson called and asked me to sing for Big Country, it was something I didn’t need to think twice about,” says Peters, a good friend of late original singer Stuart Adamson. “It’s been an incredible honor getting to know the music of Big Country intimately and a pleasure to be around such great musicians. I find singing the lyrics of Stuart Adamson very life affirming.” 

Written and produced by the entire band, The Journey is a return to the classic Big Country sound; a shared vision of widescreen guitar melody, harmony and lyric. The lineup features Peters, co-founder Bruce Watson and longtime drummer Mark Brzezicki, bassist Derek Forbes from Simple Minds, and guitarist Jamie Watson.

“New music is always in the blood with Big Country, and so it becomes the life blood the band need to evolve,” says Brzezicki. “The new songs, along with the chemistry and timing, felt right.”

Green Day and U2’s cover of The Skids' "The Saints are Coming," by Adamson's previous band, sparked big Country’s reunion. Coinciding with their 30th anniversary, the band performed at the Isle of Wight (twice), V Festival, T in the Park, and other UK fests. 

“When we are playing, it is as if we never stopped,” says Watson. “But I know we have, I know we suffered a great loss.  But you heal…slowly.” I can assure you that Stuart will be there with us every night, in our thoughts, in our words, and in our hearts.”
In 1983, Big Country released The Crossing, the seminal album produced by Steve Lillywhite that broke the band massively worldwide with classic singles “Fields of Fire”, “Chance” and signature song "In a Big Country."

The run of success continued throughout the '80s with the release of the their second album Steeltown (1984), which debuted at Number 1 in the UK. They opened for the Rolling Stones on two separate tours in the '90s, and Mick Jagger has called Big Country “one of the best opening bands we’ve ever had.”

Catch Big Country on tour in the US this summer:

June 6 - Asbury Park, NJ // Wonder Bar

June 7 - New York, NY // Gramercy Theater
June 8 - Farmingdale, NY // The Paramount
June 15 - Austin, TX // Belmont
June 19 - Solano Beach, CA // Belly Up
June 22 - Agoura Hills, CA // Canyon Club
June 23 - Redondo, CA // St. Rock
June 25 - San Juan Capistrano, CA // Coach House
June 28 - Santa Barbara, CA // Winery
June 29 - Napa, CA // Uptown Theatre
July 9 - Aspen, CO // Belly Up

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