Scotland boasts a proud and recent history of rock and pop bands, many of which have been, at some point, appreciated by discerning music-buyers south of the border. Simple Minds, Runrig, Marillion, The Silencers, Biffy Clyro, The Proclaimers and Idlewild have all had a bit of the solid, rocky and weather-beaten landscape of their homeland in their music. In the '70s, one band was brave enough to adopt a sound that oozed Scottish attitude and imagery - The Skids.
They were fronted by Richard Jobson, who wrapped up rousing lyrics of strength, masquerades and valleys with a strong Dunfermline burr to great effect, with their guitarist, Stuart Adamson, chopping out eerie riffs that provoked a few tears in the eyes of bleary-eyed, concert-going fans back in the day. After The Skids disbanded in 1982, Jobson formed the not dissimilar Armoury Show and peddled spoken-prose albums around Europe, while Adamson founded Big Country, bringing the same sound to the table, only this time heavily treated to sound like the skirl of bagpipes - rock bagpipes. It worked a treat.
Their debut album, "The Crossing", was issued in 1983 and provided the band with a handful of hits and a future that has lasted almost 30 years. After several albums and hundreds of shows, Big Country's popularity has continued, even after the premature passing of Stuart Adamson in 2001. Tony Butler took up the vocal reins for a while before Mike Peters of The Alarm contributed to their later material and will continue to do so for their next tour.
2012 will see the band revisit "The Crossing" in its entirety during a full UK tour, starting in Newcastle on 3rd February, followed by the usual bigger cities, as well as Dunfermline (naturally) on the 7th and a London show on the 11th. We will have tickets from Friday 9th September at 9.30am, with prices ranging from £22.50 to £23.50 (London).
At around the same time, Universal will be issuing a remastered version of "The Crossing", jam-packed with extra tracks and rarities, as well as the related big hits from the album including "Chance", "Fields of Fire", "In a Big Country", "Harvest Home" and "Wonderland" (the latter normally added as a bonus in other territories). It's a worthy '80s album by anyone's standards.