Postcards from Slough
Postcards from Slough

Mark Brzezicki

Mostly known as the drummer for the rock band Big Country, Mark Michael Brzezicki was born in Slough on 21st June 1957. He is the son of a Polish war veteran and an English mother. His younger brother Steve Brzezicki is a session musician playing bass. They have often worked together providing the rhythm section for various acts.

 

Mark Brzezicki (pronounced ‘bruh-zickee’ in English) was drummer for Big Country between the years of 1981–89, 1993–2000, 2007, and 2010-present.

Collaborations with other acts on studio albums during breaks from Big Country:

  • Pete Townshend – All the Best Cowboys have Chinese Eyes (1982)
  • Pete Townshend – White City: A Novel (1985)
  • The Cult – Love (1985)
  • Ultravox – U-Vox (1986) with Steve on bass
  • Nik Kershaw – Radio Musicola (1986) with Steve on bass
  • Midge Ure – Answers to Nothing (1988) with Steve on bass
  • Midge Ure – Pure (1991) with Steve on bass
  • Procol Harum – The Prodigal Stranger (1991)
  • Procol Harum – The Well’s on Fire (2003)

Mark Brzezicki has also played with Roger Daltrey, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Midge Ure, Fish, The Pretenders, Nik Kershaw and many others.

Big Country

Big Country originally formed as a five-piece band in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981. There were a number of changes in the line-up before the recording of their debut album The Crossing in 1983 and consisted of Stuart Adamson (lead vocals, guitars, e-bow, piano), Bruce Watson (guitars, e-bow, vocals), Tony Butler (bass guitars, vocals) and Mark Brzezicki (drums, percussion, vocals).

 

The band’s first single Harvest Home didn’t reach the UK charts but the second single Fields of Fire which took number 10 in the UK charts 1983. Following this success, the band released the album The Crossing which reached number 3 in the UK album charts. The third single was In a Big Country which reached number 17 and the fourth single Chance number 9.

The band had a unique sound and style which consisted of bagpipe-sounding guitar riffs accompanied with strongly martial drum styles and rock bass and guitar chords. This style is epitomised in the single In a Big Country, a fast and fresh opening track for their debut album.

 

The Crossing sold over a million copies in the UK and was followed by a worldwide tour and the release of the EP single Wonderland, a UK number 8, in 1984.

 

The second album Steeltown was released in 1984 and went straight to number 1 in the UK but their popularity waned in the US. Later that year all of the members of the band featured on the Band Aid charity single Do they know it’s Christmas?

Big Country continued to tour throughout 1984 and 1985. In 1986 the band released their third album The Seer which reached number 2 in the UK and included the single Look Away which reached number 7. From here on the success began to decline and the lowest point came with the demise of lead singer Stuart Adamson in 2001.

 

Adamson had been struggling with alcoholism for several years and the band completed their farewell world tour in 2000. He was reported missing by his recently estranged second wife in 2001 and was later found dead in December 2001 having hung himself in a hotel room in Honolulu.

 

Big Country split up but reformed in 2007-2008 for a 25th anniversary tour and reformed again in 2013 releasing the album The Journey. The current line-up is Bruce Watson (guitar and other stringed instruments), Mark Brzezicki (drums), Jamie Watson (guitars) Derek Forbes (bass) and Simon Hough (vocals, guitar and harmonica).

Big Country discography

  • The Crossing (1983) #3
  • Steeltown (1984) #1
  • The Seer (1986) #2
  • Peace in Our Time (1988) #9
  • No Place Like Home (1991) #28
  • The Buffalo Skinners (1993) #25
  • Why the Long Face (1995) #48
  • Driving to Damascus (1999) #82
  • The Journey (2013)

The only Big Country studio album that Brzezicki did not appear on was The Buffalo Skinners (1993)

 

Big Country were inactive from 2002 until 2007 and again from 2008 to 2010.

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