Day 1 – Part 1

The whirlwind has started…..

…snow sweeping across the country, storms gathering and the cold is biting as I set off for the ‘Big Country – Crossing The Country Tour’ which begins in Manchester tonight. Appropriate weather for ‘The Crossing’ album presentation we are about to undertake. Shirts have been ironed and trousers selected plus the boots of shiny leather. All aboard the tour bus -let’s rock.

We did a lot of the rehearsals for this in the week immediately after Christmas to coincide with ‘The Crossing at Rak Studios’ session in London a few weeks ago.

Those particular performances of the album in it’s entirety before 40 of the most exacting BC fans in the world have prepared us for tonight in a way that conventional rehearsals cannot.

There is a confidence about the band that is evident in the performance of show opener ‘Angle Park’. The crew are all familiar faces, as are the guys from ‘Gun’ who will be playing the majority of these shows with us.

It’s not all rock and roll though as I help Willie Tocher to set up the Love Hope Strength banners announcing Snowdon and Ben Nevis Rocks for August 19th and 25th respectively . We decide to place these at the rear of the venue as the flyers arrive from the printers that will be handed out by volunteers. My old friend Russ Taylor is working the show tonight for SJM Concerts and we have a laugh and a memory jolt about the Mod revival days and my part in it’s downfall. Of course being Manchester we talk football…. United of course!

Jules and my brother Steve come up to say ‘Hi’ before the show and I run out to introduce Gun. The dressing room is absolutely full of nervous energy before we go onstage as we check out the clothes we are all wearing and make last minute verbal adjustments to the end of ‘Close Action’ at the last minute we remember to go back to the live ending of ‘Lost Patrol’, not the album version end that we played at Rak…(Good call Mark B.). This is the sort of thing that occupies us before we cross the line onto the stage…. intro goes on and after a quick band hug we are on……. to be continued!!!!

(Words and pictures: Mike Peters)