BIG FIGURE PROMOTIONS originally started promoting live music in September 2012 when Gemma Ray played at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees. Named after the drummer from Dr Feelgood a band that Stephen Harland was hugely influenced by. However before that Stephen had dabbled in promoting a Comedy Club event at Feethams - home of Darlington FC in the mid - nineties. The late Sean Lock was the headliner. Fast forward to September 2010 and a group of individuals had got together to promoter a reunion event for people who used to attend Middlesbrough Rock Garden. Stephen, as well as the late Dave Griffiths and Gary McGee put the money up to get it off the ground with a six band line - up. Having tried to make contact with the owners of the old Arena nightclub with no response - all telephone calls and e-mails were ignored Stephen suggested the trio try the Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Tees which was a 180 capacity theatre that had previously been a confectionery warehouse in another life. A meeting was set up with Paul Burns of Tees Music Alliance and it was agreed that six band line - up would feature. The event was a great success and the trio decided to continue promoting live music; Dave wanted to host his favourite band Penetration and Stephen wanted to host Punishment of Luxury. At that time there was no intention to go any further.
Punishment of Luxury was actually the next gig after the successful reunion which took place on a snowbound evening in December 2010 and produced another full house. Subsequent shows over a three year period featured bands like 999, The Cravats, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Inca Babies, John Otway, Penetration, The Rezillos, Ruts DC, Spear of Destiny, Sylvain Sylvain, Theatre of Hate & The Wolfmen. In May 2012 Gary McGee decided to call it a day and was given a cheque for his help. That left Dave & Stephen who decided at the end of 2012 Rock Garden Revisited had gone as far as it could have and to go their separate ways. Theatre of Hate and 999 saw the year finish on a high. There was one final show together in April 2014 when The House of Love reformed and that was the end.
During the life of 'Rock Garden Revisited' there had been the occasional disagreement over who should play and it was probably these circumstances that led to both Dave and Stephen promoting their own shows long before they called it a day together. Stephen originally wanted to bring Lene Lovich back to Teesside as it had been 35 years since she had played on Teesside however unbeknown at the time Dave had already booked Martin Stephenson for the same date. Although nothing was in writing Stephen didn't fancy clashing with Dave who had reasoned that they would attract two different audiences. The Lene Lovich show never went ahead.
Gemma Ray became the first show for Stephen, she had been collaborating with Sparks and released some music with the Mael Brothers. Stephen also promoted The Primevals at The Sun inn in Stockton and both Gallon Drunk and Chelsea at the Georgian Theatre on his own before a pal from speedway racing Barry Simpson co -promoted six shows including Colin Vearncombe from Black, Punishment of Luxury and The Rezillos. Sadly Barry died from MND a few years later.