Posted in music | tour dates on April 5, 2013

by Bill Pearis

Big Country

Big Country are known as one-hit-wonders in America with "In a Big Country," from their 1983 debut The Crossing, but had a nearly 20-year run of success in the UK and Europe. America chose U2 but I still listen to those first two Steve Lillywhite-produced albums -- The Crossing and 1984's Steeltown -- which still hold up, '80s drums, bagpipe guitars and karate-chop shouting and all.

Sadly, in 2001, frontman Stuart Adamson committed suicide. As the singer and songwriter for the band, and creator of that signature bagpipe guitar sound (which he did first in The Skids), you would think that would be the end of the band. But then in 2010 the band recruited Mike Peters of The Alarm to sing, and added guitarist Bruce Watson's son, Jamie, to the line-up as well. (If you're going to reform Big Country, Peters is as perfect a replacement as you could hope for.) The band enjoyed the tour so much they started writing new material, and released a new single, "Another Country," reteaming with producer Steve Lillywhite.

Bassist Tony Butler retired from the band last year, breaking up one of the great rhythm sections of the last 30+ years with drummer Mark Brzezicki. But the new lineup will release The Journey on April 16. With this and the band's 30th anniversary, Big Country are also embarking on a North American tour that will hit the NYC area for three shows: Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ on June 6, then Gramercy Theatre on June 7 and The Paramount in Long Island on June 8. Tickets to all three shows are on sale now. While the words "tribute act" come to mind, I must admit part of me wants to go to this. All upcoming tour dates are listed below.

A video of Mike Peters and guitarist Bruce Watson talking about the new record which features some of the new songs, plus some classic Big Country videos, below...

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Big Country - "In a Big Country"

Big Country - "Fields of Fire"

Big Country - Fields Of Fire (1983) from MTVClassic1 on Vimeo.

Big Country - "Wonderland"

Big Country - Wonderland by jpdc11

Big Country - "Just a Shadow"

Big Country - "East of Eden"

Big Country - The Journey

Big Country -- 2013 Tour Dates
13/04/2013 - Lemon Tree - Aberdeen
14/04/2013 - O2 Academy - Newcastle
16/04/2013 - O2 Academy - Liverpool
18/04/2013 - Corporation - Sheffield
19/04/2013 - The Ritz - Manchester
20/04/2013 - The Talking Heads - Southampton
21/04/2013 - The Forum - London
23/04/2013 - Great Hall - Cardiff
24/04/2013 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton
25/04/2013 - Waterfront - Norwich
26/04/2013 - SUB 89 - Reading
27/04/2013 - The Academy - Dublin
28/04/2013 - Limelight 1 - Belfast
14/05/2013 - Cultuurpodium - Zoetermeer
15/05/2013 - The Garage - Saarbruken
16/05/2013 - Bochum - Zeche
18/05/2013 - Alte Seilerei - Mannheim
19/05/2013 - Rosenhof - Osnabrück
21/05/2013 - Colos-Saal - Aschaffenburg
22/05/2013 - Markthalle - Hamburg
23/05/2013 - Tante Ju - Dresden
24/05/2013 - Substage - Karlsruhe
25/05/2013 - Szene Wein - Vienna
27/05/2013 - Sommercasino - Basel
28/05/2013 - Tunnel Club - Milan
29/05/2013 - Kaminwerk - Memmingen
30/05/2013 - Modernes - Bremen
06/06/2013 - Wonder Bar - Asbury Park, NJ
07/06/2013 - Gramercy - New York
08/06/2013 - Paramount - Huntington, NY
19/06/2013 - Belly Up - Solano Beach CA
21/06/2013 - Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA
22/06/2013 - Canyon Club - Agoura Hills CA
23/06/2013 - St Rock - Redondo, CA
28/06/2013 - Wein's Family Cellers - Temecula, CA
29/06/2013 - Uptown Theatre - Napa, CA
10/07/2013 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO
13/07/2013 - Belmont - Austin, TX

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Comments (12)

I'd like to go and hear a 60-minute version of "In a Big Country" and then go home. Seriously.

Posted by Anonymous | April 5, 2013 3:00 PM

Lol. I mean, I loved this band back in the day, and they were one of the best live bands around, just a powerhouse, even though most of the songs were the same. But the thing with the guy from The Alarm made me laugh.

Posted by Anonymous | April 5, 2013 3:01 PM

No singer/guitarist or bass player? What a joke.

Posted by Anonymous | April 5, 2013 3:01 PM

so which one of those 5 offed himself?

Posted by Anonymous | April 5, 2013 3:10 PM

Just change the name and there's no issue.

Posted by Anonymous | April 5, 2013 6:37 PM

Mike Peters is obsessed with Cranford NJ.

Posted by brennan | April 5, 2013 9:38 PM

I like Big Country but not interested in seeing them without original singer.

Posted by Anonymous | April 6, 2013 11:15 AM

Big Country were a great band from 1983 through 1986, covering their first three albums and an EP. In 83 they were a huge breath of fresh air - guitars wailing, an amazing rhythm section, and a compelling singer/songwriter. They simply had nowhere to go once they said what they had to say. Sort of similar to what happened with The Strokes. People don't remember how much excitement BC elicited in 83 - at that time, their first album was nearly equal to U2's War in impact. Their show at Roseland on their first American tour was great. If Tony Butler was still in the band, this new album might have been of interest, but otherwise this is simply not Big Country. Maybe a good band, but not THAT band.

Posted by Anonymous | April 11, 2013 12:12 AM

and then the original half can retire too and Ace Frehley and Peter Criss can join, along with the guy from Simple Minds who is now on bass, and the guy from the Alarm on vocals, and they can make another album as Big Country.

Posted by Anonymous | April 13, 2013 10:51 PM

So excited. Always been a huge BC and Alarm fan. Sorry -- no snarky comments here. Looking forward to album and show!

Posted by sean | April 22, 2013 4:29 PM

Saw em in West Chester, PA and they were amazing!!!!! Mike Peters and Derek Forbes are brilliant additions and the musical chemistry of the whole band was magic. The live show energy was beyond inspiring and the whole club was thrilled. Really a fun show and I would say one a Big Country fan absolutely cannot miss out on.

Posted by Anonymous | June 10, 2013 7:22 AM

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