Big Country was a band that got a lot of stick even at its peak in the early 80’s. ‘Guitars like bagpipes’ seemed to be the stick the press used to beat them with due to their use of ebow on some, but by no means all, of their early material. However, Big Country’s first three albums ‘The Crossing’, ‘Steeltown’ and ‘The Seer ‘ charted well in the 1980’s, exposing the lie that they were a ‘one trick pony’. They were also a very fine live band and as the band’s album sales dwindled it was their live work that kept their fans happy right up until frontman Stuart Adamson’s tragic suicide in 2001. For many, that should have been the end of the story, unfair as that may be for co-founder Bruce Watson. However, the band reformed in 2007, firstly with bass player Tony Butler covering Adamson’s vocal duties before Mike Peters (The Alarm) took over. He remains with the band to this day and ‘Hurt’ has his identity impressed upon it in a way that leaves no doubt he is now a permanent fixture in the band as opposed to a hired gun. ‘Hurt’ is an ebow-free zone; a fine mid-tempo ballad bearing some resemblance to ‘Chance’ from ‘The Crossing’ but also, not surprisingly given Peter’s Bono-esque voice, to U2’s ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own’. It offers hope that the forthcoming album ‘The Journey’ will be a worthy of their name.
‘Hurt‘ available online now, ‘The Journey’ is released on 14th April and the band visit the Limelight on 28th April as part of their UK Tour.