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Big Country: The Journey

Celtic rockers return. No need to look away.

“Respectfully dedicated to Stuart Adamson” and opening with the lines, ‘The past is a foreign country/Suicide tore apart,’ the new Big Country don’t ignore the elephant in the room so much as throw a saddle over the fucker and lead it stampeding through the glens.

Mike Peters’ sincerity, decency and empathy with a fanbase that wants to celebrate the music and life of Adamson but feels uneasy about a BC MKII powers this new incarnation. On debut single, Another Country (included here), Peters sang of ‘a chance to live, to begin again… This is another Country now’ (I’m guessing at the capital C) and the title track pleads: ‘Don’t be afraid to make this journey here with me/There’s no disgrace, no guilt or shame.’ And there isn’t.

What The Journey lacks in subtlety – nothing here quite matches the beauty of Porrohman or the sheer exuberance of In A Big Country – it makes up for in heart. Guitars skirl triumphantly, Mark Brzezicki’s signature rim‐shots, fills and martial rolls are still a joy, and on song after song – In A Broken Promise Land, After The Flood, Last Ship Sails and the two mentioned above – Peters acquits himself in his new role perfectly. Singer? No, healer.