Big Country was originally formed in 1981 by guitar playing founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson
both native of the band’s hometown Dunfermline in Scotland.
Initially driven by a shared vision of widescreen guitar melody, harmony and lyric, the classic Big Country sound
was further enhanced later that summer by the arrival of drummer Mark Brzezicki and bass player Tony Butler.
This is the Big Country that (with producer Steve Lillywhite), recorded the classic debut album ‘The Crossing’ in
The band broke massively worldwide with the release of the album’s classic singles ‘Fields Of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and
signature song ‘In A Big Country’, which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over 2 million copies
and driving ‘The Crossing’ to 3 prestigious Grammy nominations in the USA.
The run of success continued throughout the 1980′s with the release of the anthemic single ‘Wonderland’ and the
second album ‘Steeltown’ (1984), which debuted at Number 1 in the UK and contained the hit singles ‘East Of
Eden, ‘Just a Shadow’ and ‘Where The Rose Is Sown’ . In 1985, Big Country appeared at Live Aid in London followed
by further successful album releases ‘The Seer’ (1986, which included the bands biggest UK hit ‘Look Away’, which
also reached Number 1 in the Irish Singles chart) and ‘Peace In Our Time’ (1988), which saw the band playing the
first ever privately promoted gig in Russia at the Moscow Sports Stadium.
At the start of the 90’s ‘Through A Big Country’, featuring all the bands classic hits was released, followed by the
fifth studio album ‘No Place Like Home’ (1991) taking the band’s total record sales to well over five million copies.
Further studio albums Buffalo Skinners (1993) and ‘Why The Long Face (1995) followed, which saw Big Country
landing the special guest slot on the Rolling Stones ‘Voodoo Lounge’ European tour and several shows in the UK
and Ireland with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in 1995.
In August 1998 they were once again invited to open for the Rolling Stones on their ‘Bridges To Babylon” tour of
Europe prompting Mick Jagger to say that Big Country were “one of the best opening bands we ever had”.
Two songs written at that time (‘Somebody Else’ and ‘Devil In The Eye’) were co-written with Ray Davies of The
Kinks who invited the band to back him on the main stage at Glastonbury to perform a storming set in the rain.
By now singer Stuart Adamson had relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and so his fellow bandmates decamped to
America to join him in writing and recording the album ‘Driving To Damascus’. It would be the last album they
recorded together. With Stuart at the helm, Big Country, scored 17 top 30 UK singles achieving 5 gold and
platinum status albums along the way. Stuart and Big Country would tour Europe one final time in 2000 and on the
closing night at their beloved Barrowlands in Glasgow the band were fatefully joined on stage for one last song by
Alarm singer Mike Peters and Bruce Watson’s son Jamie on guitar.
On December 16th 2001, Stuart Adamson took his own life in Honolulu, USA. He is survived by his children Callum
and Kirsten. A celebration of Stuart’s life was held at Glasgow Barrowlands in May 2002 featuring the remaining
members of Big Country with special guest vocalists including Mike Peters who would also sing with the band at a
fan club convention in Zaandam, Holland.
In the summer of 2010, Bruce Watson finally picked up the phone and asked Mike Peters to do what he had
previously been reluctant to do and sing with Big Country officially. In order to celebrate 30 years since the band
was formed, Mike (a longstanding friend of Stuart’s who credits the words of ‘In A Big Country’ as literally inspiring
him to ‘Stay Alive’ through two very public cancer battles), instinctively agreed and dates were booked. The first
was fittingly in Glasgow, Scotland on New Years Eve 2010 and the second in the band’s hometown of Dunfermline.
There was instant chemistry with the band also being joined by Bruce Watson’s son Jamie on guitar as Big Country
again sought solace in the music and the freedom to express their love and admiration for their departed friend
Stuart Adamson (who’s usual space at the centre of the stage was left symbolically vacant).
Two years of intense and emotional shows followed with the ‘new’ Big Country fuelled by a renewed energy and
once again revelling in the dreams and visions that had brought them together in the first place, finding instant and
respectful acceptance by fans and critics alike. Since then, the band have performed at many of the UK and
Europe’s most famous festivals, including Isle Of Wight (Twice), V Festival, T In The Park, Oxegen, Pink Pop and
Cropredy creating a new generation of fans and renewing the passion for diehards with the introduction of new
original songs such as ‘Another Country’ and ‘The Journey’ which encapsulate not only the sound but the heart and
soul of Big Country past, present and future.
With the promise of a new era dawning for the band and the realisation that Big Country now have the platform to
once again record and tour on a world wide scale, bassist Tony Butler has decided that his time in Big Country has
come to a close and so he has retired gracefully from the stage. The band now welcomes Scott Whitley on bass.
In April 2013, Big Country released The Journey and toured across the globe in support of this highly acclaimed
album throughout the year.
Coming into 2014, new challenges arose for Big Country. With Mike Peters dedicating his efforts full-time towards
the support of the 30th Anniversary of The Alarm’s Declaration, Big Country have been joined by Simon Hough to
perform vocal duties. He has fit in perfectly as the band continues its touring throughout the year that Big Country
celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the release of the album, ‘Steeltown’. 2015 sees a massive Best Of (and more)
tour of the UK and Europe, during which, Scott Whitley joined the band on bass, following Derek’s departure after
3 years. With 2016 comes the 30th Anniversary of ‘The Seer’ with the album being performed in its entirety on