Dunfermline Press Article by Matt Meade
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ON a drab Monday night in October 1977 London punk icons The Clash brought their ‘Get Out of Control’ tour to Dunfermline.
Support that night came from French female band The Lous and New York’s Richard Hell and the Voidoids.
But it was unknown local teens The Skids and guitarist Stuart Adamson, from the comparatively unglamourous Crossgates, onstage just five minutes after doors opened at the Kinema Ballroom, who struck awe into 14- year-old Allan Glen.
Since then, the former NME journalist has followed the career path of Adamson who became singer of Big Country, a band who went on to sell an astonishing 10 million albums globally.
Allan was only allowed to “tag along” to that formative gig with his big brother Bryan and his friends on instructions of their parents.
Recalling the night, in which he describes Adamson and singer Richard Jobson as “thunder and lightning” he said, “It was the first show I went to in my whole life and to this day it’s still the best show I’ve ever seen.
“It’s a cliché, but it was absolutely life changing.”
Allan, brought up in Dunfermline's McClelland Crescent, has now written what will become the definitive biography of his hero.
And he’s not the only one who holds Adamson in adulation.
Fellow fan James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers wrote the book’s foreword while crime author Ian Rankin writes the introduction.
U2 and Green Day, arguably two of the biggest bands in the world, collaborated on a cover of the Skids ‘The Saints are
Coming’ in 2006.
Bruce Springsteen called Adamson “The real deal”.
Another fan is Blur’s Graham Coxon.
Allan said, “While Bruce Watson (Big Country guitarist) was recording the Buffalo Skinners album he bumped into Coxon in 1993 during the Blur’s Modern Life is Rubbish era.
“Coxon told Watson, ‘I used to have a sticker of you on my guitar!’. He’s a massive fan and that’s a lovely little story.
“When people think of Stuart and Big Country they think of the eighties but often forget that they are so influential on bands today.
“The music has been an influence on the Manics, Oasis, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdiand, Kaiser Chiefs, even the Stone Roses.
"The music is still relevant and that’s a huge testament to Stuart Adamson’s talents.”
Alan’s research led him to pore over the Press archives.
He said, “Looking through the archives was bittersweet.
“You see Stuart Adamson, the Skids and Big Country develop throughout the years and, as a writer, you want to follow that path right up till now with the legacy of the band.
"Here was a teenager from Crossgates who became a global success and it’s a wonderful testament to Scottish culture.”
Adamson took his own life in a hotel room in Honolulu in 2001.
Though that life was cut tragically short, Allan’s book is a fitting tribute to a man whose musical legacy will live on for years to come.
Stuart Adamson: In A Big Country by Allan Glen (Polygon), £14.99 hardback, is available at Waterstone's Dunfermline
Also available to order online from Amazon
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Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country