On Friday November 1st, Big Country took to the stage at Swansea’s much-loved Sin City. Here’s what The Siren’s Georgia-May Goodall had to say about the event…
As a 20-something-year-old, I bet you’re asking yourself…Who/what is Big Country? I can forgive you for not having heard of them; the height of their fame and popularity was in the 1980’s, when most of us were just a twinkle in our parent’s eyes. You could also be forgiven for thinking they were a country music band, as the name throws a lot of people off. In fact, they are a Scottish rock band; also cited as covering the genres new wave, celtic rock, and post-punk.
My dad is the reason I love Big Country; we were one of those families that holidays somewhere within the UK every year, which nearly always involved a traumatising 5 hour car journey where the only thing to keep you sane was music. My dad would play Through a Big Country: The Greatest Hits (which, coincidentally, was released the year I was born: 1990) and I had no choice but to love them, because who wouldn’t once they’d listened to them properly?
For the gig at Sin City, my dad came over to Swansea to stay with me so that we could see them together and reminisce about the old car holiday days. Sin City was the perfect venue for this; it was just the right size to be big enough for Big Country’s local fans (though a group of guys had driven from Tenby just for the gig), but small enough to be intimate.
The first thing I noticed upon arriving was that I, as a 23 year old, was at least two or three decades younger than every other person there…which wasn’t really much of a surprise! The next thing was that tucked in the corner by the end of the bar was a table where you could sign up to be a bone-marrow donor. Yep, you read that right…you could sign up to be a bone-marrow donor at this gig! We found out why when Big Country came on to the stage. Replacement vocalist Mike Peters (of the band Alarm) explained to the crowd that he had previously had leukaemia and his life was saved due to bone-marrow donation. He has since founded a cancer foundation called Love Hope Strength and raising awareness about donation is something he is passionate about and does at every gig. Unfortunately, due to health reasons it turned out I was unable to donate but my dad went over and signed up straightaway.
After this more serious introduction, Big Country started their set and the room was immediately brought to life by their energetic and upbeat music and stage presence. The majority of the band and crowd being in their 50s didn’t mean there was any less jumping around, air guitaring, and singing along at the top of their lungs than at any other gig. In fact, the crowd was even more lively than those I’ve seen at younger populated venues recently; one man even took his top off and twirled it around his head for a while…
Overall, the atmosphere of the gig was amazing; it was energetic and infectious, whilst being intimate and personal. Big Country played a mixture of their greatest hits and lesser known songs, ending with an encore of one of their most famous songs, In a Big Country. It was my first experience of a gig at Sin City, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on their upcoming acts and going again at some point!
by Georgia-May Goodall
For more information on bone marrow donation: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow/