Track Of The Day: Big Big Train
They don’t come much more British than Bournemouth prog rockers Big Big Train. Now nearly 20 years old, they’re about to release their sixth album. And the title track – all 23 minutes of it – is the newest Track Of The Day. Click here for previous Tracks Of The Day.
Big Big Train are now essentially the trio of vocalist David Longdon, songwriter Gregory Spawton and producer Andy Poole – the latter pair are also multi-instrumentalists. They came together in 1990, releasing their debut album (Goodbye To The Age Of Steam) four years later. This was co-produced by Martin Orford of IQ, which gives you some indication of the style of music we’re talking about here. It is classy, creative, complex yet supple prog, owing much to the likes of Marillion, but also reaching back towards Van der Graaf Generator and Yes.
At the time, the line-up was Martin Read (vocals), Poole (bass/keyboards), Spawton (guitar/keyboards), Ian Cooper (keyboards) and Steve Hughes (drums). Cooper had been replaced by Tony Muller by the time English Born Wonders hit three years later. This was put out by IQ’s label, Giant Electric Pea.
It was to be five years before Bard appeared, although the line-up was in a state of flux at the time. Hughes quit to join The Enid, only to return, with Cooper also leaving and coming back.
Sean Filkins came in on vocals for 2004′s Gathering Speed, staying for The Difference Machine (2007), by which time the band were down to a four-piece, with Cooper finally leaving permanently. Hope you’re following – there’ll be a test later.
Now, the band are ready to release The Underfall Yard, with Longdon on vocals as the band are now a core trio. However, there are guest appearances on the album from prog luminaries Francis Dunnery and Jem Godfrey.
Right that’s the complicated background out of the way (well, it is prog!). Interested? Download the 23-minute title song of the upcoming record (due in December) at: www.bigbigtrain.com
That’s where you’ll also get more info on the band.