Photos by Isabelle Haubrich
I headed on down to the Rosemount Hotel on Wednesday, September 25 to check out Scottish Rock legends Big Country as they played their album Steeltown in full, along with a bunch of other classics. The Rosemount seems to be becoming my second home this year!
The height of Big Country’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it retained a cult following for many years after. The band’s music incorporates Scottish folk and martial music styles, and the band engineered their guitar-driven sound to evoke the sound of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments. Steeltown is the band’s only UK number 1 album, topping the chart for 1 week in October 1984. I had been listening it to a lot prior to the show and was excited about the prospects of the evening.
Lincoln Mackinnon & The Wrecking Train opened the nights proceedings and really warmed everything up well for the people in attendance. They had some very uplifting chorus’ and set the mood the way it needed to be. I wish I could have more to say but unfortunately I only caught the last half of the set as I got to the venue a tad too late. What I did see was a passionate performer in Lincoln Mackinnon. I implore you all to check out more of Lincoln Mackinnon & The Wrecking Train.
As Big Country were about to hit the stage I was very happy to see they had packed the room! The Scottish contingent were there in droves with beers in hand and smiles on their dials. One thing I really took away from this show was that all the fellas were having an absolute blast. They were having so much fun on stage that it was infectious and it made everybody else in the building have fun too!
They were a lively bunch as they played through Steeltown whilst peppering in other well known songs from their catalog that dates back to 1983.
‘In a Big Country’ is their most well known song as the roof lifted off when they played it! They didn’t close on this number though, but it was a massive highlight just over halfway through the set.
Their drummer Mark Brzezicki is absolutely phenomenal, having played with The Cult, Roger Daltrey, The Pretenders and many more – but is known primarily for his work with Big Country. When you looked closely enough and saw the fine tooth comb he was using to play his intricate beats, he really is a master tub thumper that’s for sure. There was such precision and such ease in what he did up the back.
Guitarist Bruce Watson lead the charge the whole evening speaking to the audience with his great dry humor and his son Jamie, who also plays in the band, had some great banter between the two as they took the piss out of one another. Again – the band is having fun so we’re all having fun.
They finished off the set in style with ‘Fields of Fire’ and the crowd were sent home ecstatic. It was a great feeling in the room the whole evening, an evening for the Scottish to unite!
Many props and thanks to the band for coming down under and putting on such a fun show.