The Big Dish (band)

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The Big Dish
OriginAirdrie, Scotland
Years active1983–1991, 2012
Past membersSteven Lindsay
Brian McFie
Mark Ryce
John Harper
Stewart Hall
Paul Albertis
John Hendry
Ian Ritchie
Allan Dumbreck
Dave Cantwell

The Big Dish are a Scottish pop band formed in Airdrie, Scotland in 1983. The band initially comprised Steven Lindsay (vocals/guitar), Mark Ryce (guitar) and John Harper (keyboards). The trio was subsequently augmented on stage by Paul Albertis (bass) and John Hendry (drums). As well as releasing three studio albums, the band performed live as support to Lloyd Cole and Big Country.


By the time their debut album Swimmer was released on Virgin Records in 1986 the line-up had undergone notable changes, with Lindsay and Raymond Docherty joined by new guitarist Brian McFie, keyboardist/saxophonist Ian Ritchie (album recordings only), Allan Dumbreck on Keyboards and Dave Cantwell replacing John Hendry on drums. Tracks on Swimmer were significantly polished versions of the tracks that had been played live up until then.

Lindsay, McFie and Docherty then completed the follow-up album Creeping Up On Jesus in 1988 with session musicians — including drummer John Hendry and horn men Gary Barnacle & John Thirkell, Craig Armstrong and Paul Wickens (keyboards). Despite Bruce Lampcov's muscular production, this second effort proved commercially unsuccessful and the band was dropped from Virgin, when Lindsay refused to countenance recording a cover version.

Lindsay and McFie recorded the band's last album Satellites for the American East West label (a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records) in 1991 with assistance from Armstrong, Docherty, record producer Warne Livesey and a number of session musicians, including bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Manu Katché. They also put together a new touring line-up featuring bassist Tracey Gilbert and drummer Skip Reid. However, despite critical acclaim for the new record and a hit single ("Miss America" entered the UK Singles Chart at #37),[3] the group disbanded shortly afterwards.

A compilation of the group's work entitled Rich Man's Wardrobe was released by Virgin Records in 1994, featuring cuts from the band’s two albums with the label, and the inclusion of rare track "Voodoo Baby".

Post-Big Dish[edit]

Not long after the split, Lindsay resumed his partnership with Armstrong. Lindsay provided vocals on Armstrong’s 2002 album As If to Nothing. To promote this release, Lindsay returned to the live arena, performing throughout Europe with a thirty-piece orchestra.

Lindsay returned to the fold in late 2004 on his own Seminal label with the piano-driven Exit Music featuring string arrangements by the Scottish Ensemble. Lindsay plays and programmes all other instruments and the album has received widerspread acclaim. The Australian edition of the album contains two additional tracks. Lindsay was then signed to Chrysalis Records, and in 2007 the second solo CD Kite was released, including a cover of "Monkey Gone to Heaven", originally by Pixies.


The band reunited to play a sold out show at Glasgow ABC on 21 January 2012 as part of the Celtic Connections festival, and the Darvel Music Festival in May 2012. The lineup for the reunion was Lindsay, McFie, Docherty, Dumbreck and Ross McFarlane (drums). One new song 'Cherry Blossom Falls' was included in the set.



  • 1986: Swimmer
  • 1988: Creeping Up On Jesus
  • 1991: Satellites
  • 1994: Rich Man's Wardrobe - A Concise History


  • 1985: "Big New Beginning"
  • 1985: "Prospect Street"
  • 1986: "Slide"
  • 1986: "Prospect Street" (re-release)
  • 1987: "Christina's World"
  • 1988: "European Rain"
  • 1988: "Faith Healer"
  • 1990: "Miss America"
  • 1991: "Big Town" (remix)
  • 1991: "25 Years"


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Big Dish – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ Robbins, Ira. "Big Dish". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 57. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]


  • Amazon
  • VH1
  • Trouserpress
  • Encyclopedia of Modern Music, Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989-2004