Big Country/Simon Townsend/Dave McPherson - Cardiff, Solus - 23rd April 2013 Print E-mail
Written by Rob Watkins   
Friday, 03 May 2013 04:00



Back to the good ol' 1980s, or is it a throughly modern musical revival in the here and now? Whatever your particular feelings, Big Country are here stirring things up around the country in 2013 entertaining the masses in their own unique and original style.


Dave McPherson opens the show tonight but, unfortunately, we only caught a small portion of his set: Dave, who is probably better known as a part of Brit rock outfit InMe, is here tonight performing a solo acoustic show and he seems to be well received the early attendees, banging out his compositions in an Ed Sheeran kinda slant if that's not too unkind of me to mention.


The main support, Simon Townsend, was also performing solo acoustically and going down rather well too, knocking out his ever so catchy tunes that have risen him out of the shadows of his older brother, The Who's Pete Townsend, although the family influence has extended to the songwriting with elements within the arrangements pretty evident at points of The Who on their mellower moments, but it should be uttered that Simon Townsend is an established mikepetersbigcountrytunesmith in his own right who possesses more than enough quality, and this can be heard impressively throughout tonight's set for him to florish here in Cardiff. And florish he does, performing songs spread over 30 years and sprinklings of the '80s can be heard in all their glory on certain tracks that were written during that golden period....Nice one Mr. Townsend.


Scottish band Big Country have certainly had their lows for obvious reasons, but tonight this collective of experienced musos are on an extreme high playing tune after tune of Scottish traditional inspired, hook-laden ditties with the original core of Bruce Watson on guitar and drummer extraordinaire Mark Brzezicki, and keeping the Scot flag flying high ever so high with former Simple Minds bassist Derek Forbes. Add Watson's guitarist son Jamie and the formidable, one and only Mike Peters on vocals/acoustic guitar to the equation and you have a driving musical tour de force.


Once within the Big Country empire you are reminded of how many infectious tunes these guys have crafted over the years, such as 'Look Away', debut single 'Harvest Home', 'Chance' and, of course, their tune of tunes, 'Fields Of Fire (400 Miles)', but this is 2013 and the band have a brand new opus, 'The Journey', to tour that includes some brilliant songs that cross over perfectly into the live arena, such as 'In A Broken Promised Land', 'Home Of The Brave' and the musical intelligence of 'Hurt' with Peters paying well deserved respect to Stuart Adamson without whose original vision and guidance none of us would be here in Cardiff tonight.


The encore of 'In A Big Country' goes down a storm as you'd expect to conclude a performance of wonderment, high energy and thankfully original entertainment.


Big Country I salute you......


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