SCOTTISH rockers Big Country will kick off this year’s Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music festival early, with a warm up gig at the Civic Hall on March 21.

The band, formed in 1981 by guitar playing founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson, saw worldwide success with their debut album, The Crossing, in 1983.

“When I found out Big Country were touring again I tried to book them for the festival weekend in April,” explained festival organizer, Phillip Martin.

“They could not do the date we had in mind, so decided to do the show in March.

“Tickets have been selling well and I am sure it will be a fantastic show. They have had so many hits in the 80s and 90s.”

The visit of Big Country will whet the appetite of music lovers in Nantwich ahead of the festival on bank holiday weekend, April 17-21.

Singles like Fields of Fire, Chance and their signature tune, In a Big Country, helped The Crossing sell more than two million copies and gain three USA Grammy awards nominations.

Appearances at Live Aid, opening for the Rolling Stones and collaborations with Ray Davies from The Kinks, helped bring the band’s music to ever larger audiences.

Of Big Country’s latest incarnation, drummer Mark Brzezicki said: “I am looking forward to the next Big Country chapter.

“Along with the constant warmth and affection shown to Big Country by its dedicated fans from around the world, and on its 30th anniversary, it feels right and fitting that Big Country continue the journey.”

For tickets see, call the Civic Hall on 01270 628633 or the Crown Hotel Nantwich on 01270 625283.