Revived Scots rockers Big Country follow their headlining spot on this month’s ’80s Invasion Tour by bringing their high-impact show to Nantwich Civic Hall on Thursday, March 24, as part of the 20th Nantwich Jazz Blues and Music Festival.
The band burst onto the scene in the early ’80s with a distinctive guitar sound so stirringly Scottish it was almost a surprise Mel Gibson didn’t use it for Braveheart. There was a definite martial bagpipe skirl underpinning their triple Grammy nominated debut album The Crossing and chart smashes ‘Fields of Fire,’ ‘Chance’ and ‘In A Big Country’ but, in fact, it was all guitar work via pedal-board effects devised by original front man Stuart Adamson with the help of legendary producer Steve Lillywhite.
Adamson died in 2001 but that stirring sound is back.
The remaining original members – Bruce Watson (guitar), Tony Butler (bass) and drummer Mark Brzezicki – reunited in 2007 for a 25th anniversary tour with Butler gamely taking on lead vocals. Three years later they were back in business properly adding Mike Peters (of The Alarm) as new lead vocalist/guitarist, plus Bruce’s son Jamie on additional guitar.
Butler and Peters have since quit but Simon Hough has joined as a new effervescent front man and they have just added the experienced Scott Whitley, fresh from a year-long stint with The Animals, on bass.
Support on the night comes from Headsticks with their distinct brand of punked-up roots rock ’n’ roll. Tickets cost £20.
Among other highlights of the Easter weekend festival are blues rockers Red Butler and Aynsley Lister, the soulful Kyla Brox and her band, FM featuring local guitar hero Jim Kirkpatrick, festival favourites Nearly Dan and iconic ska-sters Bad Manners.
There will also be the usual host of shows around the town with more than 100 acts accessible by wristband. http://nantwichjazz.com/.