The Great Divide Podcast Episode 26
Big Country Info Big Country Info



REVIEW OF ‘AT THE BBC’


7 November 2013
1:20:00




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  • Initial expectations of the boxed set – we clearly expected less than what we got!
  • Bruce & Mark comments on the boxed set (from BC YouTube video), plus comment from Tony B from The Daily Express – all surviving guys from the classic line-up are clearly very excited about the release!
  • “Unboxing audio” – what’s in the box?
  • The book in the box, written by Tim Barr.

CD 1 – the Jensen/Peel sessions + Hammersmith Palais

  • About David “Kid” Jensen.
  • BC’s sessions for Jensen’s radio show in 1982.
  • John Peel and BC’s sessions for his radio show in 1983.
  • The Hammersmith Palais show in 1983.
  • The development of songs live, and hearing songs done live early, before they became settled.

CD 2 – Reading Festival, Wembley Stadium & the Russian Embassy

  • The historic significance of the Reading Festival show in August 1983 – starting out being bottled, managed to turn the mood, and ending the night by being bombed by the Stranglers.
  • The “Summer of 84” concert in Wembley Stadium June 1984, playing alongside Elton John, replacing Paul Young at the last minute.
  • Interview with Stuart Adamson from June 1984, talking about the Wembley show which is due to happen later that day!
  • The Soviet Embassy performance, September 1988. A good PR campaign, but a little strange for them - more about the occasion than the performance.

Disc 3 - Hammersmith Odeon 1989

  • Complete disc dedicated to show. More or less your typical PIOT-era set, including Josh Phillips on keyboards, but after the singing ladies had left the tour.
  • Partially released before, but not complete show - we explore differences and omissions, do some track listing analysis and discuss several of the performances.

Disc 4 - the DVD. Tom & Svein cover the highlights, which are:

  • The various Top of the Pops clips
    • The lip synching is a bit ridiculous. Tom & Svein both agree that BC were not good at lip syncing. It’s fine to have it, but the real draw is the live material.
  • Sefton Park, Liverpool 2 July 1983
    • Stage very far from audience, with high catwalk over water. Strange stage set-up, but great performance. A funny fashion moment for the band.
  • Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh 31 Dec 1984
    • A rare Steeltown video from a tour which has proven a little elusive. This is of course a New Year’s show, with the festivities which go along with that.
  • Reading Hexagon 1986
    • Fantastic three-punch opening with Wonderland, Rose Is Sown & Remembrance Day. Great Seer-era stage designs. Another weird fashion moment, but fantastic show from a band that at this point truly has come into its own.
  • There's much more, but both Svein & Tom mentions the clip where Richard Jobson interviews Stuart in 1990 as a favourite. It feels good to see the two old friends talk together again, and perhaps there is a subtext of melancholy?

And that's pretty much a wrap! Grab the boxed set while you can. It will go for high prices later. (Edit: this turned out to be pretty prophetic, didn’t it?)

Ending with a reminder about the competition mentioned in #25!