BIG COUNTRY / DEPARTED - The Globe, Cardiff 25.11.17



A fair crowd had arrived to see the support act, Departed who were performing a stripped down, acoustic set due to illness. We’ve seen these guys perform as their full band supporting Status Quo and we weren’t sure what to expect. Mark (Vocals) & Ben (Guitar and Kick Drum) took to the stage and looking a little exposed, opened their set. Playing a number of tracks off their 2016 Self titled album they won over the crowd before the end of their first song. It was unusual to hear these songs so bare but they seemed to have another dimension to them.


Mark, a great front man had the crowd singing back to him by the second song. He took a little time to explain that Connor, the drummer had been rushed into hospital in the week and rather than let the Cardiff crowd down by cancelling they came up with the idea of the acoustic set. Covering Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ they had the entire crowd singing along with them. The crowd gave the two musicians a huge round of applause at the end of the set. Mark and Ben clearly overjoyed with the reception, said that they’re back in South Wales at Planet Rockstock and pledged to return to Cardiff with the full band soon.


Set List:



Don’t Follow Me

All I Want

Pretty Little Thing


Tie Your Mother Down

Are You Ready?


Tonight Departed are:


Mark Pascall (Vocals)

Ben Brookland (Guitar/Kick Drum)

Normally joined by

Connor Spring (Drums)

Howie Spring (Bass)


Check them out at:




The now at capacity Globe welcomed Big Country to the stage and the band and crowd instantly engage with the opening track ‘Restless Natives’. Bruce Watson (Guitar) welcomes everyone to the ‘Big Country Christmas Party’ as they roll into the classic ‘Look Away’ which gets the Globe bouncing, knowing exactly how to work the crowd who are loving this and so are the band. ‘Steeltown’ recorded in ABBA Studios in Sweden but as Bruce says “it sounds f**k all like ABBA”


Bruce is in fine form with the banter, taking time to chat with the crowd between songs, saying that Big Country try and get to Cardiff once a year and that they’ll return in 2018


‘Ships’ and ‘One Great Thing’ with the crowd singing back to them, with the pedigree of the bands back catalogue it easy to forget that these guys formed back in 1981 because the music doesn’t feel at all dated and with the reaction of the crowd means it’s still very much enjoyed.


Dropping in a cover of Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’ with Scott Whitley (Bass) on vocal duties to the delight of the crowd, it was clear that all five members of the band were enjoying every moment on stage.


Next up was ‘Chance’, I haven’t heard the Globe in such fine voice for a long time with the song taken over by the crowd and with the look on the band faces they were both a little taken aback by this and at the same time touched.


With a “let’s get this party started” they played ‘In the Big Country’ and managed to get the place bouncing even more raucously, at the end of the song Bruce thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm but asked to reign it in a little as it’s a small venue and he didn’t want anyone hurt. Following up with ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Fields Of Fire’ the energy of the crowd was off the scale.


Before leaving the stage Bruce says that “Big country love playing in Cardiff” and from the reaction in the Globe, Cardiff loves Big Country playing here.


A brief break before their encore of ‘Harvest Home’ and everyone, Band and Fans go home very, very happy.


Set List:

Restless Natives

Look Away


Just A Shadow

River of Hope

Lost Patrol

The Storm


King Of Emotion


One Great Thing



In A Big Country


Fields Of Fire

Harvest Home


Big Country Are:

Simon Hough (Vocals/Guitar)

Bruce Watson (Guitar)

Mark Brzezicki (Drums)

Scott Whitley (Bass)

Jamie Watson (Guitar)


Check them out at:





Overall this has been a great night, Big Country still have the ability to belt out great tunes and to entertain crowds, I personally had forgotten how good these guys are. I will be catching them again. Departed, a young band who have the right mindset and are great musicians, rather than cancel due to the illness of a member they adapt showing their true spirit. From all At Down The Front Media, Get Well Soon Connor.




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