Published: Thursday, 18th November, 2010 9:30am by Gary Fitzpatrick at The Dunfermline Press.
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Bruce and Jamie set to light up the town
Bruce and Jamie Watson will launch their home town festive season in style when they play at Christmas lights switch-on this Sunday.
The Dunfermline father and son rockers have enjoyed a successful year, playing memorable gigs with the Skids and bringing out their first album together.
The lights invitation is the icing on the Christmas cake and still to come is a New Year tour with the re-formed Big Country including a much-anticipated gig at the Alhambra.
The Watsons will entertain the crowd from 5.15 to 5.45pm ahead of the arrival of the star of the show, Santa, for the all-important switch-on.
Bruce laughed, “I’ve opened for many acts in my time from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones but never for the man in the big red suit!”
Jamie told the Press, “I can’t wait. There should be a good crowd there and it’s always a big occasion.”
Jamie didn’t start playing the guitar until he was into his early teens but made quick progress and went on stage for the first time when the Skids got back together at the Glen Pavilion in 2007 then a few days later was playing T in the Park with them.
Looking back to his early days on the guitar, Jamie said, “My pal played - Michael from the Modern Faces - and I used to listen to him and he showed me a few chords.
“Then my dad would come back home from touring and he would show me a few things to try as well.
“It was great to get up and play with the Skids again at the Carnegie Hall last month and earlier this year at the Alhambra was an amazing night.
Bruce said, “Playing alongside Jamie came about by accident, it wasn’t planned. After Big Country finished, I had retired from the music business.
“I had been away touring and recording when the kids were growing up and had been planning to take things easy after that. Just sit in the house with the slippers on.
“But then Jamie would have the guitar around his neck from first thing in the morning until last thing at night.
“We started doing some stuff together and they sounded quite interesting as instrumentals and I thought we could put some lyrics to them. Then the record label which once put out releases by The Who and Hendrix heard it and said we think you should record it.”
The album ‘Another Anthem for the Damned’ was released earlier this year on Track Records now run by former Big Country manager Ian Grant.
Bruce co-founded Big Country with Stuart Adamson, and co-wrote their biggest hits, including ‘In A Big Country’, ‘Fields of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and ‘Wonderland’.
He is now looking forward to the band getting back together for a tour which starts in Glasgow on Hogmanay and runs until April taking in London, Manchester, Belfast and Dublin on the way.
Bruce admitted, “Playing with Big Country is something I didn’t think I’d do again. We played a few gigs as a three-piece in 2007 for our 25th anniversary and I thought that would be it.
“But with the way things went so well with the Skids re-union, the guys thought ‘Maybe we could give it a go again’ and I’m really looking forward to it because they’re great guys and I miss playing with them.
“The Alhambra on 2nd January should be quite a night as the Pars are playing the Rovers that day and I’m sure a lot of guys will be going there and then on to the gig.
“It’s hard to look ahead and say how things will be and how you’ll feel on the night but I think it’s all rock ‘n’ roll and we want it to be a celebration of Big Country’s music.”
Susan Hughes, chief executive of Dunfermline Delivers, said, “This is really exciting news and will be sure to have the whole place rocking as we switch on the Christmas lights.
“I can’t think of a better addition to the Dunfermline Live! programme than to have a local hero like Bruce, known all over the world, come with his son, Jamie, to help us get the festive season started. We can’t thank him enough.”
Also appearing on Sunday in the parade before the switch-on are Jonathan Cairney and the Royal Burgh of Inverkeithing Pipe Band.