Big Country Info Big Country Info


24 December 2016

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Easing into the Yuletide spirit

  • Back after a flurry of episodes. Or is it a blizzard? We investigate if we ever had a busier episode release schedule, and find that we didn’t.
  • Tom rejoices his own Christmas miracle – that we have two people editing the shows now!
  • We go over the plan for the Yuletide episode.

Looking back at Big Country-related music releases of the past year (musical samples included for all)

  • “Hope In the Air” charity CD, which is the CD debut of the Big Country track “All Lay Down”.
  • Lee Petterson released a video for “Coming Home”, featuring Bruce and Jamie Watson, with the music written by Jamie.
  • DOG (featuring Tony Butler) released two videos: “Don’t Give A Damn (It’s All About the Money)” and “Sirens”, with a full album to follow in 2017.
  • Derek Forbes released “Echoes”, where he covers early Simple Minds songs that he was involved in writing and/or performing. Engineered by Andrea Wright who did a great job on The Journey.
  • “5 Classic Albums” is a cardboard sleeve-compilation of the five first BC studio albums, with an interesting mistake at the beginning of No Place Like Home disc…
  • “Greatest Live Hits” is a compilation release with the best bits from previous releases from the 2011 tour, which is the line-up featuring Bruce, Jamie, Mark, Tony and Mike. Missing tracks and typos aside, a great performance!
  • Mark partnered with Tony Lowe to form a project called ESP, which released an album called “Invisible Din”. This is progressive rock with jazzy influences, and Mark sings lead on two tracks.

Looking ahead to BC-related releases in 2017

  • The Skids reunion, featuring Bruce and Jamie, which will also give us a new studio album “Burning Cities”! Also, it is funded by way of crowd funding!
  • DOG (feat. Tony Butler) has also been announced for 2017
  • Tony Butler’s solo project which Mark has laid down some drum tracks for – no timeline on this, though.
  • Big Country’s proposed live album from Australia. The recordings were made, something could possibly be done with them. We’ll see!

Looking back at the episodes we released in 2016

  • Our highly uneven release rhythm.
  • The length of episodes, and how we deliver more content than ever with slightly fewer episodes, as the episodes have grown a lot on length.
  • Sweeping through every episodes of the year, our thoughts about them, with listener comments/feedback for each.
  • Episode download statistics for 2016.
  • Reflections around how things said on the podcast will forever be set in stone, while in reality opinions and rankings can change.

A postscript to the Peace In Our Time episodes

  • An e-mail from Teemu Öhman in Finland
  • Tony’s full 2006 comments about Peace In Our Time.
  • Tony feeling like a rock star for the first time, and perhaps suppressing early misgivings and being good boys.
  • Tony’s references to rough mixes. Are they still around somewhere?

Festive and merry Yuletide Speakpipes from Alan Smith, Kenny Henderson, Claus Tappert, Doug Mitchell, Mark Cole, Paul Barker, John Lewis, Craig Clark, John Wilbur, and Steve Coulter.

Listener feedback and statistics

  • Episode rankings – we work our way from lowest to highest ranked episode.
  • The activity on the TGD Facebook page during the PIOT DEEP DIVEs. It really has peaked, and been incredibly busy, with a lot of great discussion from everybody. Thank you for staying engaged!
  • The “favourite moments” from 2016. The votes are counted, and we go through the highest nominated ones by episode.
  • Tom provides a complete tally of our 2016 downloads (at the time of the recording).
  • The “favourite Speakpipe” of the year, as voted by listeners. We go through the memorable mentions and play Arlin’s winning entry.

A late Speakpipe from Ayelet Sackstein from Israel, talking about her recent trip to UK to see Big Country for the first time, and twice!

Listener questions and wrap-up

  • What are our favourite Christmas songs? We play samples, and how many expected Manowar to be featured?
  • Have we ever regifted a Christmas gift?
  • What albums did we listen to in 2016?
  • Which Big Country album have we listened most to in 2016?
  • Ayelet talks about her recent Stuart Adamson presentation in Israel (19 Dec).
  • We sign off for 2016, reeling from the long recording and all the recent PIOT-episodes. Happy new year, and hope to see you in 2017!

“Auld Lang Syne” – from the Homecoming DVD, 1983/84.