Hydro Review by David Milloy
Having made a triumphant return to the world of music in 2012 with sell out gigs at Celtic Connections and the Darvel Music Festival, Scotland’s great unclaimed musical treasure The Big Dish returned to the stage on 24th January with a brief live set in support of Del Amitri at Glasgow’s latest concert venue, The Hydro.
Like a good few others in the 8,000 strong crowd, I was principally there to see Steven Lindsay and his merry band (Brian McFie on guitar, Raymond Docherty on bass , Allan Dumbreck on keyboards and Jim McDermott on drums) bash out some old favourites. That wasn’t entirely how it turned out, but in a good way. Because after the best part of a quarter of a century since their last offering (boy, that makes me feel old) the lads treated the audience to a new song, Cherry Blossom Falls. Steven Lindsay’s introduction to the song was typically humble: “It’s probably rubbish.” Needless to say, it was far from that. Indeed, it managed the rare feat of sounding both fresh and familiar at the same time, and that’s no bad thing.
The rest of the set contained a fine selection of crowd-pleasers drawn from all three Big Dish albums. Personal highlights, apart from the new song, were Swansong, Wishing Time, Jealous and The Big Dish’s equivalent of the Dambusters March, the set-closing Swimmer. Truth told, though, the quality of the band’s back catalogue is such that their entire set list could easily be replaced twice over by songs of the same high quality, and that’s without factoring in Steven Lindsay’s excellent solo output.
The only criticisms I would offer are that 45 minutes just isn’t a long enough set (not the band’s fault – they were a support act, after all) and the acoustics in the section of the Hydro where I was sitting fell short of the standard I would have expected from such a modern venue.
So, having treated us to an unexpected reunion and a cracking new song in the last couple of years, what’s next for The Big Dish? I don’t think for a minute that their set at the Hydro marked their own swansong. A new album and some more live dates would do very nicely, thank you. How about it, lads?