Feb 1 2012 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
ONE example of the perfect pop song has, for me, always been European Rain by the Big Dish, writes Jim Milton.
Try as you might, you just can’t find any way to improve it. Flawless in its craftsmanship, it is a work of genius that made little to no impression on the charts.
Saturday saw the ‘Dish’s’ long-awaited return to live action and the fact that European Rain found no place on the set list probably says more about the set list than the song.
If further proof was needed, their glorious, supposedly one-off homecoming at the O2 ABC demonstrated the sheer wealth of material the band have at their disposal over just three studio albums.
From the opening bars of Prospect Street from their debut record, 1986’s Swimmer, a sense that this was going to be an occasion to remember became evident in the beaming faces among the sell-out crowd. Scotland had waited a long time for this.
Christina’s World, Big New Beginning, Swimming, Waiting for the Parade, Slide and their nearest thing to a hit single, Miss America, were all delivered with jubilant aplomb while Breakdown from Steven Lindsay’s first solo album Kite showed that there is life beyond the band’s demise in 1991 if you only care to search it out.
And what about Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes for an encore?
Beyond everything else though, it’s Lindsay’s splendidly distinctive voice that makes the Big Dish stand out. Remarkably untarnished in the two decades since they called it a day, it should be officially designated a national treasure.
The Advertiser’s Gordon Robertson talked about the possibility of the Big Dish gracing the stage of the newly refurbished Sir John Wilson Town Hall. Excelsior Stadium shouldn’t even be big enough.