Big Country: We’re Not in Kansas (The Live Bootleg Box Set 1993-1998) – Review

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It’s possible to divide the career of Big Country into two phases (with admittedly subsections within them) which largely correspond to the decades in which they were released. There is the swirling, soaring success of the ‘80’s, which saw breakthrough album ‘The Crossing’ followed by Number One placed ‘Steeltown’ and the Number Two placed ‘The Seer’. This would be the era of anthems such as ‘Fields of Fire’, ‘In a Big Country’, ‘Chance’ and ‘Look Away’ and arena tours. Big Country were seen as being in the vanguard of that nebulous genre of “Celtic Rock” (despite not a single member being born in Scotland) and occasionally stereotyped with glib “bagpipe guitar” soundbites. They were a formidable live act as well as being successful in the charts.

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‘The Black Chat’ – Abbo on the roots of Goth


UK Decay frontman Steve ‘Abbo’ Abbott on Dylan Thomas, Beethoven and that interview. 

The recent release of the 5 CD boxset, Silhouettes and Statues, A Gothic Revolution 1978-86 has prompted a fresh analysis of what has become one of the most enduring subcultures over the past thirty years. With the standardised, almost corporate, image associated with the movement today, it is easy to overlook that the birth of the dark scene was actually forged in the white heat of the Punk and Post-Punk scene of the late Seventies and early Eighties. One of the main torch bearers of this scene, and certainly one of the most influential, was UK Decay and I recently caught up with frontman Abbo, whose interview with Steve Keaton for Sounds in February 1981 saw the term ‘Punk Gothique’ coined for the first time.

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Focus Wales Day One: Georgia Ruth and Golden Fable – St Giles’ Parish Church, Wrexham



Sometimes things just come together, most often it’s a plan as demonstrated time and again in the A Team and now here in the serene Medieval setting of St Giles’ Parish Church, Wrexham. Standing for over five hundred years it has certainly witnessed some changes, reputedly Oliver Cromwell, took sufficient umbrage that he opened fire on the place with canon. It survived and still stands firm, a permanent beacon of hope, strength and tranquillity for those of the parish in need. A symbol of consistency in change, reassurance in uncertain times.

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