The Colin Berwick interview

Colin Berwick

The list's own Tom Kercheval interviewed Colin Berwick by email
and kindly donated the interview for use on this site.
So without further ado here it is:

1. Who are your major musical influences?

From 'T.Rex' to 'Massive Attack', 'Led Zepplin' to 'The Cocteaus', 'Jelly Roll Morton' to 'Ben Harper'. The list goes on..............

2. How did you get the Big Country gig?

Got the gig thro' a very kind chap 'Kenny Graham' from Dunfermline.

3. You played on the No Place Like Home tour, supporting an album that many BC fans (though not all of course) saw as a low point in the band's career. Yet the shows seemed spirited and fun. What was the general mood of the band on that tour?

We all had, as Stuart would put it, "a very large time"

4. What's your opinion of the material you were playing on that tour? What was your favorite song to play live? Least favorite?

Good fun to be part of. My favorite songs were 'SHIPS and 'KANSAS'. Don't have a least favourite.

5. What are some of the most memorable moments of the tour? Best gig? Worst gig? Strangest gig?

Playing in 'Dublin' at Christmas Time had to be the best but then I do like Irish Coffee!!! Strangest probably 'Dingwall' North Scotland. I had my keyboards behind the PA stack, small and sweaty!

6. During your time with the band, you recorded a version of "killiecrankie" that many fans have on video. Is there a more polished recording of this that exists somewhere? It's become a real cult favorite among many fans.

God I'd forgotten all about that, ask Ian Grant, perhaps you could mail me a copy!!!

7. You and Chris joined the band shortly after drummer Pat Ahern left the group. A lot of people wonder what happened with Pat. He just seemed to disappear. Can you shed any light on this?

Can't shed any light on that.

8. There was a story that Steve Lillywhite came to see the band during the NPLH tour, and remarked how great you guys sounded, saying "Phonogram doesn't know what it has on its hands." Any thoughts on why the general record-buying public doesn't seem to know "what it's got on its hands" where Big Country is concerned? Why aren't they selling zillions of records and selling out large arenas these days?

I feel that the UK companies have fallen back on "What's safe" i.e. Take That, The Spice Girls,....... They're not supporting bands as they should be. (Easy money!!)

9. Did you guys ever write together during sound checks, time off, etc.?

What time off!!!

10. Were there any songs that you guys learned and were ready to play on the NPLH tour but didn't? If so, which ones?


11. What are your thoughts on BC's musicianship? Songwriting?

As you might put it: 'Awesome'

12. From what you witnessed while with the band, why do you think BC has remained together for so long?

They're down to earth.

13. Who's the task master of the band? Who whips them into shape and gets them focused?


14. Are you still in contact with the guys?

Tony at Great West Records.

15. So, what are YOU up to these days?

Have joined forces with a Kiwi Producer 'Barry Stewart' and a London Composer 'Matt Hayward' and have opened up a sound production studio servicing the Advertising/Film industries, Surry Hills Sydney Australia. A new ball park but none the less exciting.

16. Oh, almost forgot this one - Did you get a chance, during your work on the Buffalo Skinners album, to witness Simon Phillips' drum playing? If so, can you offer your opinion on the age-old question: Simon Phillips or Mark Brzezicki - who will be left standing after a nuclear holocaust?

Don't know about that 'both enormous talents'

Hope these answers have been of some use.

Colin Berwick

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