Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome to 1984

It's another wild New Year's Eve for me. I will do what I have done every Dec. 31 since 1990. I'll watch Big Country usher in 1984 from Glasgow's legendary Barrowland. I have written about this show so many times that I really don't have anything new to say. This is my No. 1 time machine moment. I love the unbridled enthusiasm from everyone in the ballroom. Stuart and the lads were kings of the world, and this was their homecoming. They had just returned from taking America by storm, and they were exhausted but exhilarated. Big Country played two shows on Dec. 31, 1983. There was an early show for the youngsters and a later one for those old enough to ring in the new year. Bassist Tony Butler called it "one of the best moments in my gigging life." Drummer Mark Brzezicki said, "Even just before the gig the atmosphere was electric, and just walking on stage can only be described as being at a cup final and scoring the winning goal." Guitarist Bruce Watson recalled, "The excitement going on in the room that night was really a Scottish thing. We tried to make it a huge party." And frontman Stuart Adamson remarked that the crowd "was out of their heads."

I bought Big Country's 'At the BBC' box set when it came out a few years ago, and their show from the Edinburgh Playhouse on Dec. 31, 1984 is part of the DVD package. It's a very nice show, but the magic from a year earlier just isn't there. The crowd is restrained, sitting in seats and in posh surroundings. There are no foot stomps and chants of "here we go!" The band is different too. The innocence is gone. They are well dressed, polished and downright professional. That night at the Barras could never be recaptured.

As the clock struck 12 and 1984 began, Big Country abandoned "The Storm" and left the stage for a quick breather. The Deysart and Dundonald Pipe Band took over in what can only be described as one of the most unique moments in the annals of rock history. As Watson said, it's a Scottish thing.



Enough pontificating. Enjoy the band's first four singles from the show. Happy New Year!

"Chance"
"Fields of Fire"
"Harvest Home"
"In a Big Country"/"Auld Lang Syne"

11 comments:

charity chic said...

Enjoy Big Country Brian and a Happy New Year to you and your family

kevinpat said...

It is a big country sir!! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!! Enjoy! I will lament the Patti Smith Group show I saw many New Year's eve's ago whereas Bruce Springsteen brought a cake to the stage and sang "Because the Night" (of course!) with Ms. Smith. Ahhh, those were the days.. Hahahaha. Live & love the new year away!

Brian said...

Same to you fellas, CC and Kevinpat. Best part about living on the West Coast... watching the ball drop in Times Square at 9:00! The kids were in bed at 9:50. Woo-hoo! Not too many years of that left, I'm afraid.

Echorich said...

Happy New Year Brian - to you and your's!!! Here's to a 2016 with even more musical discussion and discovery. And may our little corner of the blogosphere have an even greater impact than I know it has begun to have.

The Swede said...

New Year's Eve used to be an annual get together for my gang of 5 closest friends, in the pub when we were young, then at one of our houses as we got older and began to appreciate more comfortable surroundings. Girlfriends joined the group and, over the years, gradually became wives. A couple of children were born, but we all still managed to meet up every new year's eve, until one year when a pal's wife was expecting her second child in very early January and so they understandably couldn't make it to the reunion. That was in 1999 and the original 5 of us have all been in the same room only once since then. Time flies and life happens. On the plus side, I'm a proud Godparent to my pal's second child, now a fine young lady, whose birthday is next week.
Happy New Year to you and your family Brian.

Scott said...

Happy New Year Brian to you and your family. All the best for 2016...

C said...

Happy New Year to you and yours Brian, have a good one.

JC said...

Happy New Year Brian. I just knew what I'd find when I dropped in to have a look. As ever, your love for the band and that moment in time comes through loud and clear.

Brian said...

Bittersweet story, Swede. I hope you all get together again someday. Happy New Year to you.

Hi, C. I hope you're feeling a little better as we enter 2016. Looking forward to those heartfelt posts again.

Scott, Wonderful to her from you. I won't get on you too much about blogging, but just know you have been missed round here. Have a wonderful 2016.

Echorich, Thanks for making all of our posts better, and it has been so nice to see the increased use of your own blog too. Happy New Year!

JC, Another stellar year over at your place. I don't know how you do it. Listening to your podcast this very minute, and it sounds terrific. Hope you are having a great holiday.



drew said...

Hope you had a good new year. Things have been a bit hectic around these parts, three parties yesterday and the final one of the festivities today. I will be glad tomorrow and Monday, sitting and doing nothing.

Brian said...

Hi Drew. You certainly know how to ring in a new year over there!