Big Country Info Big Country Info



With less than 48 hours until the 1999 Big Country convention, events were taking a turn for the worse, and things were going distinctly pear shaped. Visiting the venue on Thursday lunchtime, I was " ambushed " by 4 members of the university staff. It was clear to me that their internal bureaucracy was putting the convention into serious doubt. By 7.00 pm that evening the chief of bureaucracy told me she was cancelling the event! Ultimately, thanks largely to the intervention of lan Grant, the University agreed to allow us to proceed, and the fans who were coming from all over the world, including New Zealand, Peru, Japan all over Europe and the US would get their convention! And what an extravaganza of Big Country it turned out to be! Without doubt, the way in which Stuart, Tony, Bruce and Mark threw themselves into the proceedings was what made the day so special.

After the obligatory quiz, came the question and answer session with the Band,
which was at times hilarious, and always riveting. Marks admission that he couldn't remember the lyrics to ANY Big Country songs and Stuarts tale of a man's head and an elephant's bottom still make me smile! But, of course, what we were all really there for, was the live performance. Over the years, Big Country concerts have always been fantastic and exhilarating, but somehow this seemed to me even more special, as though the bond between the Band and the fans shone through even stronger.

And at the end of the gig, when Fatboy ( yours truly ) and Slim ( Willie Tocher ) manned the turntables for the Disco, Stuart, Tony, Bruce and Mark stayed on to chat with the fans, to make a great day truly memorable for all present.

This un-edited video gives those of us present the chance to re-live the day, and those who were not, to see what they missed. There is the odd moment when the ground or ceiling was dwelt on too long and moments when maybe the whole raffle needn't have been filmed. But, warts and all it was decided the whole two hours should be copied and not censored or edited. The music is not mixed. Far from it. It is merely the sound recorded on the camcorder. But, it works.

Special thanks to Ian & Debbie Grant, Stuart, Tony, Bruce and Mark, the Crew and of course the rest of the organising_team: Willie and Ali, Mazz and Graham, Tara and Russ and Paula.

Tony Greco. February 2001.

Royal Holloway University of London
Saturday 18th September 1999