Big Country coming back to Borders at the double

Big Country's current line-up, featuring original member Bruce Watson, second from left.
Big Country's current line-up, featuring original member Bruce Watson, second from left.
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Alternative rock veterans Big Country are returning to the Borders at the double and can be seen here twice in the space of four months.

They’re back at Innerleithen Memorial Hall in December after appearing at the Leithen Road venue in July, and they can also be seen in Melrose next year.

Their Innerleithen show is lined up for Sunday, December 15, and they’ll be headlining a finale concert at next year’s Melrose Sevens festival on Sunday, April 12.

Their December date is being organised by On the Brinck Promotions, and its boss, Clive Brinck, told us: “We had such a brilliant time in July with the guys from Big Country.

“They really enjoyed themselves and were only too happy to confirm a return date.”

The band will be supported by Coco and the Butterfields, Innerleithen’s own Tommy Ashby and Peebles singer Millie Hanlon Cole, alias Magpie Blue.

Tickets, priced £25 are available at www.onthebrinck.co.uk

They’ll be supported at their April show, in a marquee off Melrose High Street, by Newcastle folk group Northern Company.

Tickets for that show cost £26.50 and can be bought online at www.melroserugby.org/sevens-rugby-festival-2020

Phil Morris, Melrose Rugby’s commercial and marketing director, said: “I am extremely excited about this concert, and it will be a fantastic way to celebrate the end of the Melrose Sevens rugby festival.

“Whether you are a rugby fan or concert-goer, this rugby festival has something for everyone.”

Big Country were formed in 1981 in Dunfermline in Fife and were reunited briefly in 2007 after splitting up in 2000 and have been together again since 2010.

Their current line-up features only one original member, guitarist Bruce Watson, but also includes his son Jamie, on guitar too, and long-time drummer Mark Brzezicki, with them from 1981 to 1989, 1993 to 2000, in 2007 and since 2010.

Simon Hough has taken over from Alarm singer Mike Peters and, before him, the late Stuart Adamson on vocals, and bassist Scott Whitley replaces Derek Forbes and, prior to the ex-Simple Minds member’s recruitment in 2012, Tony Butler.

Big Country, previously seen in the Borders at Jed-Forest rugby club’s Riverside Rock festival in 2014, have released nine albums to date, eight with Adamson between 1983 and 1999 and one with Peters in 2013, The Journey.

The second of those, 1984’s Steeltown, gave them their only chart-topper, and two of the others were top five hits – The Crossing, a No 3 the year before, and The Seer, a No 2 in 1986, a chart placing matched by the 1990 compilation Through a Big Country: Greatest Hits.

They’ve also notched up four top 10 singles – Fields of Fire (400 miles), a No 10, and Chance, a No 9, both in 1983; Wonderland, a No 8 in 1984; and Look Away, a No 7 in 1986.