We’ve just had St Andrews Day, so it makes sense that I choose a Scottish (sort of) band for this week’s entry. The reason I say “sort of” is because, although often referred to as Scottish, only Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson – the guitarists in the band – were Scots. Bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki were English. Listening to Tony and Mark had a big influence on me wanting to be a drummer or bassist.
I’ve chosen this track because it’s one of my favourites, and because the video shows the incredible energy that surged through the crowd at a Big Country gig. I love the interaction the band members have with each other and the way they feed off the crowd – and vice versa. This was recorded at Glasgow’s Barrowlands Ballroom – The Barras – which regular readers will know I enjoy as a venue. Watch the video, and try to imagine you’re near the front enjoying the show…
Fields of Fire – Big Country
A long time ago, in a country far far away – well, Scotland – my girlfriend at the time persuaded me to go with her to see Big Country. In those days it was pretty much the law that if you were Scottish you had to love Big Country: I didn’t (but do now). I couldn’t see the big deal with them, but went along to keep her happy, and of course I was glad to be going to see live music. Two bus loads of fans went up from our area, and the pre-gig anticipation was huge.
The gig came and went, and a good time was had by all. I even enjoyed Big Country. However, I upset a fair few people on the bus on the way home by insisting that the support act had been much better than Big Country. They’d had me up dancing for most of their set, which didn’t really happen in those days. It was almost seen as uncool to like the support band at all.
A few weeks later, the support act were on music shows and the radio across the UK with their debut single, and this week’s TBT is it. She Sells Sanctuary was released not long after the band changed lineups and name from The Death Cult – and prior to that they’d been The Southern Death Cult. They’d been kind of goth / indie but became much more mainstream, eventually morphing into a great rock band. They’re one of my go to bands if I just want some good honest rock and roll.
Two minor interesting facts about this song:
- It’s the first one I learned to play on bass by ear – the notes came to me while listening to it in my car
- The drummer in the video is none other than Mark Brzezicki of a Big Country!
I would have played the Long Version, but there’s no video for it. Chill and enjoy!
She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
I didn’t get to post this last night as it was pretty late by the time we got home. Dee and I had been to see The Stranglers, who were playing much of their album Black and White on this tour. Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of JJ Burnel, bassist with The Stranglers, and he didn’t disappoint last night. I can honestly say that it’s the first time I’ve felt my nostrils close due to the bass vibrations! It was weird but awesome at the same time, and only for about 30 seconds during one song.
The support act was The Alarm, who I’d last seen back in the 80s. Mike Peters, their lead singer, was still flying the flag and going strong. I’d seen him sing with Big Country several years ago, but it was good to see him belting out his own tunes again.
By a weird coincidence, the last time I saw SLF in Glasgow before last week was in 1983: The Alarm were their support that night. Don’t you just love this circular world we live in? :O)