Big Country – The Concert Hall, Motherwell 17/10/14

Big Country

Big Country Review

You don’t form a band in the 1980’s, get an album to number 1 in the charts, still be performing 30 years later and not be considered legends in your own right. In Big Country they certainly are musical legends and while there may only be two original members performing on this tour, don’t let that put you off attending one of their gigs because every note, chord and beat is played to perfection.

Joining the original members of Mark Brzezicki and Bruce Watson are Bruce’s son Jamie Watson, ex-Simple Minds member Derek Forbes, and vocalist Simon Hough. Sadly, I didn’t get to catch the support act as things were running late and my interview with Big Country got delayed – therefore I missed out on Beerjacket.

Big Country visited Motherwell as part of their tour celebrating 30 years since the release of their hit album Steeltown and it was fitting considering Motherwell was a steeltown of its own.

The show was split into two parts. Firstly, Big Country played their Steeltown album in full and then played a selection of hits. They kicked off with Flame of the West and energetically blasted through songs like East of Eden, Steeltown (which was met with a rousing reception from the crowd), and Just A Shadow. Bruce jokingly made a reference to vinyls half-way through the set by stating “now we turn over to side B”.

It was evidently clear that the band were enjoying every second of performing these songs. Huge smiles while jumping around the stage and not looking at all like they had advanced in years. Once they finished performing Steeltown in it’s entirety, Bruce stated how he only wished they had played some of those songs more in years gone by.

Chance was next and the crowd responded in very loud vocals. Simon regularly let them sing the chorus for themselves. When that was followed up by In A Big Country and Wonderland, it was like the roof was going to be blown off the building. When you have a discography the size of Big Country’s then it must be difficult cutting down your setlist to just under 20 songs but the crowd were loving every one.

Simon then announced Fields of Fire! and when the band kicked in, the beer-fuelled audience erupted with delight. That all too familiar guitar riff was performed impeccably and the band looked like they were having the time of their lives. After a brief encore, Bruce Watson named off the band one by one before one final resounding cheer as he said “To Stuart”.

As long as Big Country stick around performing sets like that, dreams will always stay with you.

9/10

Keep an eye on the site for our interview with the band coming soon!

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