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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific debut!, 9 Jan. 2015
Brendan Newport (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Swimmer (Audio CD)
Way back in 1986 my then-girlfiend (now wife) gave me 'Prospect Street', the 12" single, as a gift. I've still got it. Later I purchased 'Swimmer' and although the original vinyl has gone, the CD is still cherished and often-played.

As indeed is 'Satellites', but really only because of the songs 'Miss America' and 'Across The Province'. I could never take to the second album 'Creeping Up on Jesus', and I reckon The Big Dish lost some momentum with that release.

'Swimmer' is a more rounded affair. Opener 'Prospect Street' echoes Springsteens 'Born To Run' 4-note guitar cadence, and it was this song, not the title track itself that engendered me to the band.

But my favorite song is easily a bonus track on the CD 'From The Neighbourhood' - a perfect and fantastic treasure.

There just isn't a song on the album that isn't infectious, catchy or melodic. But this was 1986, and then music was exiting and dynamic and there were plenty of other artists and bands able to write catchy songs. These days of course any record label would bite its own hand off to sign a band like The Big Dish, with its hit-machine-in-the-making Steven Lindsay.

But that was then and this is now. And we can only speculate. Lindsay had good reason to want to have nothing to do with the music industry after The Big Dish was effectively killed-off (by Virgin).

You can't keep a good man down though, and he re-emerged with what is a low-key but still excellent solo career (my personal favorite is 'Kite'). And best yet he reformed the band to perform a few gigs, though he hasn't ventured beyond Scotland to-date.

I'm a 'prog' fan and Lindsay would probably happily strangle me if I called his music 'progressive'. It isn't, but it is certainly 'intelligent pop'. The songwriting, arrangements, playing and production are wonderful. Lindsay is still a mighty, though relatively unknown force in music, and his story would make a great autobiography. For now though we have his music, both through The Big Dish and his solo output. I can heartedly recommend both.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They Should Have Been Bigger, 16 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Swimmer (Audio CD)
I first came across the Big Dish supporting Lloyd Cole & The Commotions in Glasgow - they seem to have supported them several times from my shaky memory of the 80's! I always felt they would go on to be big, but it never quite took off.

This is the first of their 3 albums and it's worth checking out the other two as well - Creeping Up On Jesus and Satellites. There is also a compilation - Rich Man's Wardrobe - A Concise History.

Also worth checking out Steven Lindsay's more recent solo album - Exit Music, released in 2004 (he was the singer and songwriter in the band).

The first four tracks were all singles - with Prospect Street released twice. For me though the strongest track is the title song Swimmer which has an epic feel to it.

Go on, check them out!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long overlooked classic band and album, 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Swimmer (Audio CD)
A timeless classic. Great songs, well played. Production is a little dated, but still a great album, especially after all these years.
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Swimmer by The Big Dish (Audio CD - 1989)
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