Big Country Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Crossing live at the Manchester Ritz

It was probably Wonderland that really got my attention when I was a kid, it wasn’t until about 1991 before I actually gave them the attention they deserved. I bought ‘Through a Big Country’ and was hooked. 

The Seer and The Crossing are two of my all time favourite albums. I have never seen them live and after the passing of Stuart Adamson I’ve never really had the motivation to.

Fast forward to 2023 and I see they are touring as a Celebration of The Crossing……40 years, one of very few albums by any bands that I rate every song on it. It was time.

Now fronted by Simon Hough ( who sounded spot on ) there are only 2 original members…..Bruce Watson and Mark Brzezicki. So onto the gig.

It was just one class song after another, 3 of my favourites were played when I was in the pit shooting pics. Then as I was finding somewhere to watch the show, they played Lost Patrol. When I first listened to The Crossing, it was on LP, I don’t know why but it doesn’t sound as good on CD, must be the extra tingly sound LPs gave from the needle, if that makes sense? What an amazing song, in my eyes it’s the song that epitomises Big Country’s original sound.

From start to finish there was only one song I didn’t sing along to and that was Ships, that was only because I’ve only ever heard it a couple of times.

Bass player Gil Allan and Guitarist Jamie Watson were new faces to me but were absolutely superb. There is still a great Big Country sound considering there are only 2 originals.

I thought to close the show with Inwards was a belting decision, was singing it to myself until I got home.

Thank you Big Country for a memorable night, a great celebration to an outstanding Album!!

Photos and Words by Philip Goddard 


1000 Stars

Look Away

Close Action

Lost Patrol

The Storm

Just a Shadow




Harvest Home


In A Big Country


Fields of Fire







Philip Goddard

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