Bombs Away! Duncan Reid has come to play Brighton! 1

Duncan Reid - pics by Ian Bourn / Scene Sussex/Media Works

Duncan Reid

Duncan Reid and The Big Heads

3 March 2018 saw the triumphant return of Mr Reid and his band The Big Heads. About time! The snow and ice had melted and the audience were packed in tight tonight at Brighton Electric.

There are only two people in the entire world who can claim to have played with the Ramones while not actually being tagged with the ‘Ramone’ nom-de-plume. Duncan ‘Kid’ Reid is one of those people. As singer and bass player of Joey Ramone’s favourite band, The Boys, Duncan rode on the crest of a wave during punk’s original late 1970s heyday as part of a wider collective of friends and peers that included Sex Pistols, The Clash, Generation X and a host of other power-chord pioneers. The Boys remain one of the best-loved and influential bands of their generation. Fast forward and Duncan’s new group The Big Heads, are powering their way around the globe and astounding audiences from Buenos Aires to Berlin to Dublin and back again. And tonight it was a return visit to Brighton!

The Band – The Big Heads

Duncan Reid and the Big Heads are a great band. They produce a tight powerful sound. I had previously written somewhere “Not sure I can adequately put into words how to describe Duncan Reid and the Big Heads set. So will give it a try – Bloody Brilliant! Such a nice guy, top performer, top bass man, and put into the mix a great band with an armoury of songs that will stay with you for a lifetime”. Duncan came back with “You missed out how good looking we are Ian!“. Absolutely!

Bass guitar, keyboards and lead vocals: Duncan Reid
Drums: Karen Jones,
Guitar/keys: Sophie Powers,
Guitar and vocals: Nick Hughes.

These guys give you a great hour of live music. They are all great musicians and they utilise every inch of the stage to deliver the Duncan Reid and The Big Heads experience! Damn they are tricky to photograph! Had a meet up before the gig, and just great to get the coffees, beers and tea in and to chat with everyone. Duncan had explained the gig and the trials and tribulations to get everything finalised. Well done Duncan, so glad it all fell into place. Looking forward to this!


The Set

Outside it was cold and wet and so what better time could there be for an evening of purple power-pop courtesy of Mr Reid and his Big Heads? Duncan led the band onto the stage at The Brighton Electric. The band plugged in, and Karen settled in at the back behind her kit. Duncan led us into the set with Cant Stop, Montevideo, Soda Pressing and one of the catchiest slices of live music C’est La Vie.  Some of the tunes we were played tonight really are modern pop classics. The band and those songs really are brimming with energy. Baby Doll and Let’s skip to the good bit really do confirm my previous point. Classic.

We got the title track from the latest album Bombs Away and then Kellys Gone Insane. The set had been well planned, a perfect selection of songs old and new and also from The Boys back catalogue. One of the songs I fell in love with last time I saw these guys was C’mon Josephine  and it was next. Just as I remembered they delivered the song full of twists and jumps around the compact stage whilst delivering a totally on point performance of the song.

Duncan removed his trademark purple jacket and Wasting Time, Brickfield Nights fired at us. We then got two absolute gems ’77 and the marvelous First Time  – this was audience participation time “Oh…. Oh oh oh…….” Duncan leapt of the stage, almost decapitating me and a couple of folk at the front with his monster purple Rick bass. He vanished! The band led the chant until Duncan rejoined them.

Great to see Nick deliver some vocals and his usual high standard of playing during the set. Sophie would hit the keyboards from time to time, playing her well beaten white Les Paul Junior into the ground whilst her hair flew around her head. She plays that guitar hard! Karen at the back, smiling for most of the set, just powering through on the drums. Its got to be hard trying to keep that lot in line Karen – well played!

One song from the new album in the set was The Shortest Song In The World. It was. We got it twice in case we missed it the first time! Brilliant!

We were heading towards the end of the set and One Night in Rio, Gotta Call and Sick on You. We did get an encore of a couple more songs. Terrific! Each song ended with warm and genuine applause. Thoroughly deserved. The carefully executed set just, well, flowed from song to song. We got it all tonight and again these guys gave us a great night. Duncan is a great song writer, the albums and live shows prove that beyond any question of doubt. The last time I saw them it was Nicks second gig with the band, and now Duncan has a solid, damn good band with Sophie, Nick and Karen. They genuinely seem to be having a party up there, I know we were. Excellent night – just keep doing it!

A Video

Duncan Reid and The Big Heads: Live!

Duncan Reid and The Big Heads: Live! Brighton Electric 03/03/2018

Posted by IANB's Media Works on Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A mixer of a few songs from the night. If you are lucky to see these guys are playing near you – GO!

Duncan Reid and the Big Heads have a new album out called Bombs Away: “Everyone who has heard it says it’s our best one yet including the critics who are going mad about it.” I got my copy – at last and signed by the guys – thank you! Just as I was leaving I got a Sophie hug. What a terrific way to end a night of fabulous live music.

If you want to hear it you can go to the  Spotify or Bandcamp site:

Duncan Reid is on the WWW at

Wavestate Promotions are on Facebook

This was an event billed as Plague UK \ Duncan Reid And The Big Heads – Punk Shake Up! It was organised by Wavestate Promotions and took place at Brighton Electric.

Please note all images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.

All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2018.

Got an event coming up? Need some gig photography, promo shots, previews or reviews? – please get in touch! See you down the front – come and say “hi!”


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One thought on “Bombs Away! Duncan Reid has come to play Brighton!

  • George

    I’ve seen Duncan and the Big Heads a few times. The sound at this gig was by far the best I’ve heard so a big hand to the sound guy. He was excellent.