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Friday, 15 March 2013

Big Country - The Journey

With the release of The Journey, the Mike Peters fronted Big Country are in a way stepping into a lions den and inviting the truculent to air their criticisms.
When the band originally reformed the gathering storm of protest from fans looked as if no teacup would be able to hold it.
However the naysayers soon found themselves having to order a portion of humble pie when they took to stages and with some aplomb turned the spluttering flame that was Big Country into a wonderful conflagration of sound that would burn every minor critique to ash.

Part of the success of the second (third to the pedantic) coming of Big Country was undoubtedly down to the bands understanding that Stuart Adamson could not be left behind.
That his memory should be honoured and the material approached with a degree of reverence that it deserved.
Not that the reverence would be coached in sombre tones either, but more that it would be a reverential celebration.
So with each gig they all reinvested in the name, and the bands history, and then even the most begrudging fan was ultimately swept along in their wake.

Quite simply put all was fine in the Big Country.

Now the storm clouds are gathering again with some fans taking umbrage that new material that is obviously sans Adamson is on the horizon.
It's partially understandable as this album will always be considered as the beginning of a new chapter.
A chapter of a story that some are happy to have considered to have ended.
Of course it's an individuals right to hang onto the past as tightly as they would wish, but this isn't a release that closes one door merely to open another, and instead it's more a stepping stone from the past into the future.

Once heard it would be safe to say that similar to how the previous live dates won the fans over that this will do likewise.
Mainly because it is still recognizably Big Country.
If the band wanted to move in a new direction then a name change would have been the best option for them, but the direction they are taking is really just another step down a path that the original members and Stuart had already charted out.
To my ears it sounds like a natural progression, and that's what will win the day out.

I can imagine that with each writing and practice session that the band themselves would have been tweaking and tinkering with every single song until they had something that they knew was of a standard that would be acceptable to the fans, and then when they went in to record it that they then turned it up a notch with the consideration that it is better safe than sorry.

In fact that about sums it up. 
It's a Big Country album for Big Country fans.
Hats off to them.
They did exactly what some thought they couldn't.
Big Country as a brand seems to be in safe hands.


  1. Ah, balanced reporting! Who knew!? Thanks very much I really enjoyed reading this.

  2. Thank you.
    It's been a great week for music.
    This arrived, picked up the latest Girl in a Coma CD, the new Eureka Machines CD turned up this morning.
    So much good music to enjoy.
    This weekend will comprise of going to see Vinyl and then catching Jericho Hill (A Johnny Cash covers band that lean towards filtering the man in blacks song through the spirit of the Clash) and then with any luck it's The Bouncing Souls on Sunday.
    By Monday I may need a week to recover.