Originally posted on the BBC News website on Sunday 27th January 2002

Ex-Big Country bassist Tony Butler (right) with football manager Jim Leishman

More than 600 family, fans and friends from the music industry have attended a memorial service for late rock singer Stuart Adamson in his home town in Scotland on Sunday.

The service, taking place in Dunfermline, featured a musical tribute from the former Big Country singer’s teenage daughters as well as prayers, hymns and video footage of Adamson.

Fans flew from Germany, Holland, Belgium, the United States and even Thailand, according to Adamson’s former manager, Ian Grant.

Among others who attended were his former Big Country band members, the group Runrig, Marillion frontman Fish and ex-Dunfermline football club manager Jim Leishman.

The service was held at the town’s Carnegie Hall, with speakers outside the venue relaying proceedings to fans who were unable to get tickets.

Adamson’s children, Callum, 19, and Kirsten, 16, performed one of their father’s most famous songs, Fragile Thing.

“It is most poignant that Callum and Kirsten are performing and I think their dad would be very proud as they are two special young people,” Mr Grant said before the event.

“I think we could have filled the hall four or five times over if it had been a bigger venue.”

“It will be very strange holding a memorial which feels like a concert.”

Adamson “did not like a fuss”, but would have appreciated the tributes expressed at the service as well as those that came in after his death, Mr Grant said.

“He would have been so chuffed that Bruce Springsteen said whoever wrote In a Big Country was the real deal.”

Adamson, who was 43, committed suicide in a Hawaii hotel in December after a battle with drink and personal problems.

The service was conducted by a Church of Scotland minister while Richard Jobson, who was in Adamson’s first band The Skids, was acting as a “link man”.

A bigger musical celebration of the singer’s life is planned for the summer at Dunfermline Football Club’s East End Park ground.

Adamson was a dedicated fan of the Scottish Premier League side.

Mr Grant will meet club officials on Monday to discuss the proposals, and musicians who have paid tribute will be asked if they would like to perform.

As well as Springsteen, U2 guitarist The Edge and veteran rocker David Bowie were among those to send messages of condolence.

The memorial service and concert follow a private funeral for Adamson at Dunfermline Crematorium, which was attended by around 50 close friends and family last month.


Adamson was born in Manchester but grew up in Crossgates near Dunfermline in Fife.

He became a member of The Skids in the late 70s but was most famous after he formed the band Big Country in 1982.

A string of hits included Look Away, Wonderland, In a Big Country and Fields of Fire.

The band were massive stars throughout the 80s, with two Grammy nominations and total sales of more than 10 million albums.

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