Big Country, like many classic rock bands at the moment, are going through a bit of a golden period. Every year is throwing up another significant anniversary to be celebrated, last year it was 30 years since the release of the band’s ‘Steeltown’ album and this year marks the thirtieth birthday of ‘The Seer’.
This album was Big Country’s third and spawned two big hits in the shape of ‘Look Away’ and ‘One Great Thing’ which saw the band once again riding high in the charts. Prior to the band taking to the stage the PA was pumping out a mix of 80’s classics which got the crowd fired up, especially the Madness track which got the assembled throng singing along. You could tell it was going to be a lively night!
The set list tonight was to feature the whole of The Seer played in the original album order, so opening proceedings was ‘The Teacher’. The twin guitar work between Bruce and Jamie Watson impressed from the off, the father and son team have really gelled over the years and both look like they are having a ball on stage.
‘I Walk The Hill’ followed, again with great guitar interplay, before ‘Look Away’ kicked in and got the crowd bouncing for all they were worth. The album title was next on the list. This track had Kate Bush on backing vocals on the recorded version, however there was no sight of her in Falkirk, perhaps she was busy washing her hair? I doubt whether even the promise of a haggis supper from the nearby Bainsford Chippy would have been enough to lure our Kate along to this one!
The rest of the album tracks were played with a passion and enthusiasm that meant that all were treated to a rousing reception, even the less well known songs, some of which had not been played live for many years. As the last bars of the final track ‘Sailor’ rang out some wag shouted out ‘are we back to the big hitters now?’ indeed we were.
‘Harvest Home’ had the crowd on their toes once more with Simon Hough happy to let them take the lead on the vocals as well. Simon proved once again that he was the right man to take over the mic from Mike Peters, his vocal style and delivery are perfect. He was left redundant once again as the band broke into the crowd favourite ‘Chance’.
‘In A Big Country’, ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Fields Of Fire’ finished off the main set in rousing style, again with the Falkirk crowd, augmented by a few Americans over for the show and a Yorkshire super fan who is going to all dates on the tour, screaming out the lyrics. A quick encore of ‘Restless Natives’ rounded off another fantastic night in the company of a band who continue to impress thirty odd years on.
If you haven’t seen Big Country lately or before then I urge you to rectify that situation as soon as possible. You are guaranteed a top night with a soundtrack which sounds as fresh and vibrant now as it did in the mid-eighties.
Review and Photos by Dave Wilson
The Seer Tour Dates
SAT 8th BLACKBURN, King Georges Hall
FRI 21st KILMARNOCK, The Palace Theatre & Grand Hall
SAT 22nd DUMFRIES, The Venue
THURS 27th LIVERPOOL, The Cavern
FRI 28th LONDON, Under The Bridge, Stamford Bridge
SAT 29th BRIGHTON, Concorde 2
FRI 18th LEEDS, The Brudenel
SAT 19th NORTHAMPTON, The Roadmenders
SAT 26th CARDIFF, The Globe
THURS 1st DERBY, The Flowerpot,
FRI 2nd NORWICH, The Waterside
SAT 3rd MANCHESTER, The Academy
SAT 10th COVENTRY, The Copper Rooms
TUES 13TH TBC WAVENDON, The Stables
WED 14th BURY St EDMUNDS, The Apex
FRI 16th EDINBURGH, Debating Halls (special show)
SAT 17th GLASGOW, Oran Mor (special show)
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)
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