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Stuart Adamson

May 2000

It is 1980. Derby Assembly Rooms. Stuart Adamson is barking at the crowd: "Any more gobbing and we walk."
The Skids' guitarist is less than keen on the phlegm-chucking habit of punk rock audiences which made its way into new wave gigs as punk started to fade.
Frontman Richard Jobson, now a respectable TV presenter, doesn't seem to mind, spouting his absurd potted poetry while dance-jogging backwards around the stage.
Into The Valley, Charade, Working For The Yankee Dollar, Circus the set unfolds the crowd don't let up, so Adamson simply stands further back out of range.
A million miles from that time and about 2,000 miles from Derby, Adamson, now 42, is still less than amused.
"I always hated that part of it. If you like someone why spit on them? The place I grew up, if someone spat at you, you decked them."
As far as I was concerned at 13, when I went to that gig, my very first, the Skids were the best band in the world. A year later, when Stuart Adamson left Jobson and co. without a searing layered guitar line or melody between them, The Skids were all but over.
And then, back home in Dunfermline, he got a new band together: Big Country. And I wasn't keen. The anthemic quality was there but Adamson had turned his guitar in to an extension of his, erm, bagpipes.
But from the debut album, The Crossing, came Fields Of Fire (400 Miles), the first of 17 Top 30 singles.
"We were opening for U2 at the Royal Concert Hall the day that Fields Of Fire went to number ten. And we went for a big celebratory curry at the restaurant right behind the venue."
But this is the end of the road for Big Country. The tour, alongside 80s band The Alarm, goes under the title The Final Fling.
"I would never say never about making another record but I just don't want to be on the road any longer.
"It's not like we've fallen out with each other but I've spent pretty much eight months of every year of my life since I was 19 years old travelling. I missed out on a whole bunch of things."
Now on his second marriage, Adamson moved to Nashville over three years ago.
"It is perfect. I've never really been a part of a songwriting community before. And I find it inspiring. I just fell in love with the place. It's half past eight in the morning here and it's already 65 degrees."
He plans to continue working with other Nashville musicians for the foreseeable future. A final Big Country single, Somebody Else, written with Ray Davies, is out next week.

Footnote: Stuart Adamson committed suicide in Hawaii December 2001


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