Stuart Adamson interview “The best days of my life October” 1988

Performing behind the Iron Curtain and going doolally as Dunfermline won the Scottish Football Cup are all among Stuart Adamson’s favourite days. Andrew Fleming meets the man from Big Country (in Russia, to be precise) to find out more.

Playing in Russia
This was brilliant. We played a gig in East Berlin once and it went so well that we were asked to come and play in Russia. Not only did we think it would be a great experience, but the trip would fit in well with the sentiments of the album (Big Country’s album is called  “Peace In Our Time”). One of the gigs was held in an ice rink on the outskirts of Moscow. At the beginning, the audience were a bit reserved, but as we got well into it, they got wilder and wilder. At one point even the soldiers were dancing, which just summed up the whole point of coming over here.

The most amazing thing about Moscow is the architecture, it’s breathtaking. I think generally though, they’re well behind Britain and many other parts of the world. I mean the food is very basic – stale bread and apple juice for breakfast. The band would love to come back here some day, though.

Meeting Sandra, his wife

I was still a teenager in Dunfermline when I met Sandra. Friends and I would go down to this dancing club called The Roxy, and we met each other one evening. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight though, we were friends for quite a while first, and we went out for ages before we decided to get married. If I can remember right, it wasn’t a get-down-on-one-knee job – after a while, both us just knew we were going to get married.

Getting hitched

I can remember being so nervous on our wedding day. My best man and I got all dressed up in these morning suits and looked really smart. The worst thing about the wedding was making the speech at the really posh reception after the wedding. I can sing in front of thousands of people, but making the speech to thank everyone was so nerve-wracking. The funniest bit of the wedding was when we went to this hotel for our honneymoon. I found out that George Best (famous old crinkly footballer) was staying in the same hotel as us, so I was more interested in getting a glimpse of George than spending time with Sandra! No, that’s nottrue.

Passing his motorbike test

I think I was the first person ever to fail my motorbike test in Dunfermline! It used to be so easy up there – all you had to do was take the bike round these cones and you’d pass. I failed! Finally I passed though, and it was brilliant. I love the feeling of driving along in the freezing cold with the wind rushing past your face. It’s so invigorating, so refreshing, and you feel really free – not like when you’re enclosed in a car. I’ve got a couple of bikes at the moment up in Scotland and I go out on them as often as I get the chance. Sandra does tend to worry when I out.  I think bikes are safe as long as you don’t do anythng silly.

His youngsters being born

Unfortunately I was somewhere in Europe when our first kid was born. I got a phone call from my mother-in-law telling me that Sandra had just had Callum (now aged six), and it was the wierdest experience, knowing that we’d become parents. Suddenly there was this added responsibility. I didn’t get to see him for ages, ’cause I was on tour with the band.

When our daughter Kirsten (now three) was born, I was at the birth, which is the strangest experience ever. I think it’s a very mother/child
experience which men will never really be able to understand. The children are great – really the best thing that’s ever happened to Sandra and myself. They’re quite clever as well.

Dunfermline winning the Scottish Football Cup

I’ve been going to see Dunfermline, my local football team, since as far back as I can remember. At one point I was well into it – I had the scarf and everything. The year they won the cup was just unbelievable. I can remember every minute of the game and when they won there was the most massive cheer ever. The town was mad that night. All the shops on the main road put up congratulations banners on their windows and
the team came home on an open-top bus with the cup. Everyone was going mad. I still go and see the team play whenever I get the chance, with my brothers-in-law and my father-in-law. I’m still a keen supporter.

Any Christmas day

I get well into Christmas. As a youngster I loved it, and it’s brilliant playing Father Christmas to Callum and Kirsten. I loved waking up as a kid to find that Father Christmas had been. I can’t tell you what the kids are getting this year, ’cause no doub’t they’ll see this and that’d spoil the surprise.

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