April 11, 1958 — December 16, 2001
And in other news, the surviving members of Big Country are set to release a new album. Full press release from Cherry Red Records:
Big Country will release their brand new studio album, The Journey as they embark on a 14-date tour of the UK this April. Released on Cherry Red Records, this is Big Country’s ninth studio album and their first since the sad and untimely death of lead singer and songwriter, Stuart Adamson in December 2001. The Journey was recorded on the Welsh border town of Wrexham in an old cold war nuclear bunker With 8-feet thick walls, there was no phone or Internet signal and, thus isolated and disconnected from the outside world, the group were able to enjoy a very productive time in the studio.
Aptly titled, The Journey is released some two years after Big Country embarked on a new era, when guitarist and founder member Bruce Watson officially invited Mike Peters (The Alarm) to join them as lead vocalist for two concerts to celebrate 30 years since the group’s formation. Two years of intense and emotional touring followed and as fans and critics alike responded positively and a whole new generation of fans were created, the group, imbued with new energy and passion, performed at many of the UK and Europe’s most prestigious festivals, including Isle of Wight, V, T In The Park and Oxygen.
More recently, Big Country has been joined by another long-standing friend of the group, Derek Forbes (Simple Minds), who took over bass guitar duties from original bassist Tony Butler who retired gracefully in 2012. Derek was recently voted Best Scottish Bass Player of all time and, in the words of Tony Butler himself “plays a mean D”.
Mike Peters has had a long and heartfelt association with Big Country. He first met Stuart Adamson in 1983 and was with him at his last ever Big Country show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands in 2000. Mike, who has fought and won two very public battles with cancer, also credits the words of In A Big Country as literally inspiring him to “Stay Alive” during his illnesses.
Mike wrote 99% of the lyrics for The Journey, a challenge he accepted in the knowledge that it would mean having to look into the soul of the band’s original lyricist, Stuart Adamson, whose words revealed someone who was at once both positive and pessimistic. Moreover, Mike realised the importance of following the formula for all of the great Big Country songs, which started life as instrumentals; a guitar phrase from founder member Bruce Watson or a drum break and piano melody by Mark Brzezicki, with lyrics and vocal melody coming after the music had been created by the band as a unit.
“There are themes of redemption and of coming to terms with a life lived all through this record, and the process has brought us together as a family united and ready to stand proud for what and who we are…..Big Country.” (Mike Peter)
“I am looking forward to the next Big Country chapter…. it feels right and fitting that Big Country continue the journey… and as Stuart always said, “When taking a journey, it’s not about the getting there, it’s enjoying the view on the way”” (Mark Brezezicki)
Release Date: 8/4/2012 : To pre-order the album on limited edition 12″ vinyl click here.