Hampshire's "Union Leader" Gives us Press
April 4, 2002
We always have such a great time when we play out...
and Manchester has been EXCEPTIONAL at making us feel
welcome. Here's a recently printed article from Manchester's
own Union Leader:
The Big (haired) '80s are
By DARLENE GRIMM
For NH Weekend - Union Leader
Call it nostalgia, a love of heavy eye-shadow or just
a need to rebel, but the fascination with anything '80s
is hot. And it's not only the flamboyant style, but
that unforgettable music.
What a wild time the 1980s represent -- flashy clothes,
big hair, lots of make-up, and plenty of attitude. It's
no wonder that with life becoming so CNN-focused these
days that we're finding the age of decadence creeping
back onto the more carefree music and fashion scene.
Local bands are taking the cue, and one in particular
has not only captured the sound, but that unmistakable
look. The BIG 80's
combines strong vocal and instrumental abilities with
wild '80s clothes to create a groove and stage show
that keeps clubs packed with dancing feet.
Based out of Massachusetts, the band consists of Don
Dawson on lead vocals and bass, Scott Finlayson on vocals/drums
and Rob Ketch on guitar/vocals. In addition, Dawson
and Ketch both work for a leading amplification company
during the day and Finlayson is a graphic artist. The
band has been playing together since June of last year,
but initially weren't sure how well their music would
"It was Rob's idea to start playing eighties
music, and at first I was like, '80s music?" says
Dawson. "But once we got out there, it took off
It helps that all three members played with bands
during the 1980s.
"It just feels like going back to what we used
to do." Dawson said. "We all take turns on
the microphone and feel very comfortable".
Some people are surprised by the fact that no keyboards
are used in the band. We are talking about techno keyboard-driven
'80s music here, so it takes a whole lot of extra talent
to pull it off.
"Rob's guitar skills far exceed anything that
an eighties song provides." says Dawson. "We
use vocals and guitar to fill in where necessary."
And although being without a keyboard limits the material
they cover, BIG 80's
songlist seems to satisfy the public with cover songs
made popular during that decade, "Mony Mony"
(Billy Idol), "Sharp Dressed Man" (ZZ Top),
"Hungry Like The Wolf" (Duran Duran), "Smokin'
In The Boy's Room" (Motley Crue), "Panama"
(Van Halen), "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
(The Clash) keep college students up to 30-somethings
hollering for more.
"We had a great time playing at Jillian's last
year," Dawson says. "It was like a concert
out on the deck, with people holding up their lighters
and screaming out for songs by Poison and U2."
Aside from having a lot of fun, the band said it's
success also comes from the way the band portrays the
'80s image and the look of the artists they're covering.
They put together their own costumes, and go to great
lengths to keep coming up with new productions.
"People love when we do Devo and ZZ Top,"
Dawson says. And true fans of the '80s will be glad
to know that drummer Finlayson has recently purchased
an authentic Flock of Seagulls wig that mimics the big
blondish swoops favored by that band's keyboardist and
Plan to see them this Friday and Saturday night at
the Derryfield Restaurant and Lounge starting at 9 p.m.
Other planned venues include Whippersnappers in Londonderry
this June; The Village Square in Hampstead this June;
The Sea Ketch at Hampton Beach in July.
We really appreciate the great feedback and tremendous
support we've gotten from everyone and hope to see you
all at a show again real soon!
"Oooooh... no more
yankie my wankie... the Donger need FOOD!..."
-Long Duk Dong, Sixteen
- Rob, Don & Scott