Big Country

Largely sidelined by the 2001 suicide of frontman Stuart Adamson, Scottish New Wave rockers Big Country — immortalized by their iconic hit “In a Big Country” — have drafted Mike Peters of The Alarm to take over as lead singer for a series of 30th anniversary concerts beginning New Years Eve.

Original members Tony Butler (bass, vocals), Mark Brzezicki (drums, vocals) and Bruce Watson (guitar, vocals) will be joined by Peters and additional guitarist Jamie Watson for the trek, which so far includes seven U.K. dates beginning Dec. 31 in Glasgow and running through Jan. 8 in Liverpool (see full tour dates below).

A statement posted on Big Country’s website last week says “the band are lining up concerts for a period of celebration that will not only embrace their illustrious past but also honor the life and times of original lead singer, guitarist and co-founder Stuart Adamson.” Peters will be “joining the band for these dates and more.”

In that statement, Peters says:

“I first met Stuart on stage at a U2 concert in Hammersmith Palais back in 1983. Bono introduced us to his audience as being ‘part of the the new breed’ and Stuart was literally passed up onto the stage by the fans and I shook his hand as I handed him a guitar — an unforgettable entrance. The last time I saw him was also on stage with Big Country at Glasgow Barrowlands for the last night of the Final Fling tour in 2000, when we sang Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ together. When Bruce Watson called and asked me to sing for Big Country, it was something I didn’t need to think twice about. I’m looking forward to meeting all the fans again and playing a part in keeping the spirit of Stuart Adamson alive and celebrating the music of a band I have loved from near and afar for the whole of my adult life.”

This won’t be the first time Big Country has performed without Adamson (he’s second from the right in the vintage promotional photo shown above); in 2007, the surviving members of the band toured the U.K., with Butler handling lead vocals. The trio subsequently released a live chronicle of that trek, the 11-track Twenty Five Live.

Butler, on the band’s site, says another Big Country tour “was only going to happen if we could find someone who could complement the band and sing the songs in the way they need to be sung — with heart and soul. … It’s about time the songs got another airing, and we think Stuart would be pleased, too.”

See Big Country’s tour dates after the jump…

Big Country tour dates:

Dec. 31: O2ABC, Glasgow, UK
Jan. 2: Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, UK
Jan. 3: Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, UK
Jan. 5: O2 Academy, Newcastle, UK
Jan. 6: Islington O2 Academy, London, UK
Jan. 7: O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK
Jan. 8: O2 Academy, Liverpool, UK

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