Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “nick d’virgilio”

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Big Big Train release new instrumental single ‘Apollo’

“Apollo” is the second track to be taken from Big Big Train’s forthcoming album ‘Common Ground’ due out on July 30th, 2021 on English Electric Recordings. The new album, recorded during the worldwide pandemic, sees the band continue their tradition of dramatic narratives but also tackles issues much closer to home, such as the Covid lockdowns, the separation of loved ones, the passage of time, deaths of people close to the band and the hope that springs from a new love.

“Apollo” is a seven-minute plus instrumental written by Big Big Train drummer Nick D’Virgilio and will be an undoubted highlight when the band tour in 2022. “When the time came to start coming up with ideas for the next BBT album, I felt very strongly that we should include a quintessential instrumental track. I wanted to write the band’s version of Genesis’s Los Endos and to make a track that really showed off the talent of all the amazing musicians in this band. I knew that the team could totally play anything I threw at them, and boy, did they prove me right! I thought about the unique instrumentation of BBT. We have so many wonderful ‘voices’ to play with and I wanted every one of them in this song. In the big end bit, I can totally envisage the crowd with their hands in the air going back n forth, all of the lights and haze on the stage, the band just absolutely slamming, the crowd singing along with the melody the BBT brass ensemble is playing, until we reach a glorious end.”

Watch the video for “Apollo” here:

 

1. The Strangest Times
2. All The Love We Can Give
3. Black With Ink
4. Dandelion Clock
5. Headwaters
6. Apollo
7. Common Ground
8. Atlantic Cable
9. Endnotes

‘Common Ground’ is available for pre-order now as Double Vinyl, CD, and Bandcamp Download at these sites:
https://burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain
https://bigbigtrain.bandcamp.com

BIG BIG TRAIN UK TOUR 2022

TUE, MARCH 15TH – YORK, BARBICAN
WED, MARCH 16TH – CAMBRIDGE, CORN EXCHANGE
FRI, MARCH 18TH – BIRMINGHAM, SYMPHONY HALL
SAT, MARCH 19TH – BATH, FORUM
MON, MARCH 21ST – GLASGOW, ROYAL CONCERT HALL
TUE, MARCH 22ND – MANCHESTER, BRIDGEWATER HALL
WED, MARCH 23RD – LONDON, PALLADIUM

https://myticket.co.uk/artists/big-big-train

The post Big Big Train release new instrumental single ‘Apollo’ appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

New independent film follows Big Big Train and the ‘Journey of the Passengers’

Big Big Train will be part of a new film based on their 2019 UK Grand Tour. This is a feature length documentary made by independent film makers about a unique event – the band’s first full UK tour and the fans (‘Passengers’) who helped make it happen.

The film features interviews with Greg Spawton from the band as well as interviews with 28 passengers from all around the world. Plus, never seen before concert footage from 5 of the 6 shows on the tour, (excluded is from the London show) as well as rehearsal footage from Real World Studios and more than a few surprises along the way.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a preview viewing and am happy to report that it’s a very interesting watch and a very well made film. I am looking forward to this being released in the summer.” Greg Spawton, Big Big Train

The film has a total running time of 132 minutes and will be released in 6 weekly episodes starting on August 20th.

“Three years in the making this film has been a labour of love from the start. It was meant to be a way to document a moment in time, a one-of-a-kind interaction between a band and their fans and a part of the story that usually does not make it into official films about music. I hope that you enjoy our film.” Philip Briddon, Producer

Here is a trailer about the film:

 

Big Big Train recently announced a new album titled ‘Common Ground.’ The self-produced new album from Big Big Train on their own label, English Electric Recordings and released on July 30th, 2021. Watch the video for the title track here.

 

Tracklisting:

1. The Strangest Times
2. All The Love We Can Give
3. Black With Ink
4. Dandelion Clock
5. Headwaters
6. Apollo
7. Common Ground
8. Atlantic Cable
9. Endnotes

‘Common Ground’ is available for pre-order now as Double Vinyl, CD, and Bandcamp Download at these sites:
https://burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain
https://bigbigtrain.bandcamp.com

The band have also announced a series of UK tour dates. For the ‘Common Ground’ tour, which will be their most extensive to date and which will culminate in the UK with a show at the prestigious London Palladium, Greg Spawton (bass), David Longdon (lead vocals, flute), Nick D’Virgilio (drums, vocals) and Rikard Sjöblom (guitars, keyboards, vocals) will be joined by Carly Bryant (keyboards, guitars, vocals), who contributes vocals to ‘Common Ground’, Dave Foster (guitars), who plays on two tracks on the new album, Clare Lindley (violin, vocals) and by a five piece brass ensemble. The band expect to announce North American tour dates shortly.

Big Big Train has taken lyrical and musical inspiration from periods of history that are recognised as great leaps forward. Now with ‘Common Ground’, they are making such a surge themselves.

BIG BIG TRAIN UK TOUR 2022

TUE, MARCH 15TH – YORK, BARBICAN
WED, MARCH 16TH – CAMBRIDGE, CORN EXCHANGE
FRI, MARCH 18TH – BIRMINGHAM, SYMPHONY HALL
SAT, MARCH 19TH – BATH, FORUM
MON, MARCH 21ST – GLASGOW, ROYAL CONCERT HALL
TUE, MARCH 22ND – MANCHESTER, BRIDGEWATER HALL
WED, MARCH 23RD – LONDON, PALLADIUM

TICKETS ON SALE FROM MAY 14th, 2021
https://myticket.co.uk/artists/big-big-train

The post New independent film follows Big Big Train and the ‘Journey of the Passengers’ appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Nick D’Virgilio – Invisible Live (Concert Review)

by Geoff Bailie

Well you don’t need me to tell you 2020 and 2021 have been gig starved years, and many artists have turned to different creative ways to keep music live: from the Prog From Home extravaganza to an online Morsefest!

This week, it was the turn of Nick D’Virgilio whose eclectic Invisible album I reviewed for The Prog Report almost a year ago in June 2020 https://progreport.com/nick-dvirgilio-invisible-album-review/ A concept album, it cried out for a live presentation and, given the lockdown circumstances, Nick turned to his Sweetwater crew and other friends to record this version which was broadcast online. Those who have seen Nick in performance, especially as lead singer of Spock’s Beard, will know that as well as an incredible musician, he’s also a entrancing and energetic frontman. Add to that a killer live band and an amazing sound mix, and you have a recipe for a brilliant live show. As a viewer it was clear from the start that the production values were of the highest standard and when the high energy “Turn Your Life Around” kicked in I found myself thinking – this sounds even better than I remember it on the album!

Performing in front of an enormous video wall, modern prog’s finest video artist, Christian Rios, provides a backdrop that shifts with the moods of the music: from the frantic beats of “Money (That’s What I Want)” to the mellow sunset of Waiting “For No One” (shout out for Don Carr’s guitar licks on this one!). The Spock’sy “Snake Oil Salesman” shows this incredibly tight band being powered along by Ryan Holquist on drums (kudos for nailing NDV’s original parts) and Andy Rice on bass, while Where’s The Passion is a vocal tour de force for NDV – spine tingling moments in that one. Jacob Dupre dazzles on the keyboard throughout but particularly on the shredding into to “Mercy,” whose London imagery is a wonderful accompaniment to the shifting time signatures and dynamics.

As with the album, the styles shift throughout the set, yet it’s seamless when the horn section joins for “In My Bones”, before the riffs and electronica of “Wrong Time Wrong Place” take over. A very clever combination of looped vocals and visuals find multiple NDV’s on screen covering the parts in this crazy tune, with a staggering Tom Morello-esque noisy/scratchy guitar solo!

“Not My Time To Say Goodbye” has shining harmonies with Nick’s daughter Sophia joining her dad harmonizing, as the show powers through riffs and reprises from throughout the album to finale “I Know The Way,” which I’ll admit I was singing along to solo… before giving the whole entourage my own standing ovation!

As many on the in-show chat said, the performance needs to get a wider release in video and audio from. If you liked the original album, this is it on steroids and then some!

Well done to NDV and crew and here’s hoping when live shows return this becomes a tour.

You can watch it here: https://boxoffice.mandolin.com/collections/nick-dvirgilio

 

 

 

 

 

The post Nick D’Virgilio – Invisible Live (Concert Review) appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Big Big Train announce new album ‘Common Ground’; share first single and video for title track

Big Big Train are back with a new album titled ‘Common Ground.’ The self-produced new album from Big Big Train on their own label, English Electric Recordings and released on July 30th, 2021. The follow-up to their last release, Grand Tour, was recorded during the worldwide pandemic,  The band continue their tradition of dramatic narratives but also tackles issues much closer to home, such as the Covid lockdowns, the separation of loved ones, the passage of time, deaths of people close to the band and the hope that springs from a new love.

‘Common Ground’ sees the band taking in wider musical and lyrical inspiration from artists such as Elbow, Pete Townshend, Tears For Fears, Elton John and XTC, as well as acknowledging their more progressive roots. As ever, Big Big Train will take listeners on a journey, be it waiting for the UK 5pm pandemic press conferences (’The Strangest Times’) to the library of Alexandria (‘Black With Ink’) to the bottom of the ocean (‘Atlantic Cable’).

Watch the new video for the title track, created by Christian Rios, here:

 

“This is unashamedly a love song. It is about finding things that we share and have in common with other people. When my partner and I first came together as a couple, we lived not far from Avebury in Wiltshire, a very Big Big Train kind of place. The chalk hills and standing stones were part of the imagery of our ‘Folklore’ album, and once again I was writing what was literally happening in the location in which we found ourselves. I remember seeing my white chalk dust footprints upon the black of the car mats after we’d been walking around Avebury. I’m pleased that we both get to have this time with each other and ‘Common Ground’ is about finding out the things that we have in common with each other and deciding what we want to do in life together.” – David Longdon

Tracklisting:

1. The Strangest Times
2. All The Love We Can Give
3. Black With Ink
4. Dandelion Clock
5. Headwaters
6. Apollo
7. Common Ground
8. Atlantic Cable
9. Endnotes

‘Common Ground’ is available for pre-order now as Double Vinyl, CD, and Bandcamp Download at these sites:
https://burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain
https://bigbigtrain.bandcamp.com

The band have also announced a series of UK tour dates. For the ‘Common Ground’ tour, which will be their most extensive to date and which will culminate in the UK with a show at the prestigious London Palladium, Greg Spawton (bass), David Longdon (lead vocals, flute), Nick D’Virgilio (drums, vocals) and Rikard Sjöblom (guitars, keyboards, vocals) will be joined by Carly Bryant (keyboards, guitars, vocals), who contributes vocals to ‘Common Ground’, Dave Foster (guitars), who plays on two tracks on the new album, Clare Lindley (violin, vocals) and by a five piece brass ensemble. The band expect to announce North American tour dates shortly.

Big Big Train has taken lyrical and musical inspiration from periods of history that are recognised as great leaps forward. Now with ‘Common Ground’, they are making such a surge themselves.

BIG BIG TRAIN UK TOUR 2022

TUE, MARCH 15TH – YORK, BARBICAN
WED, MARCH 16TH – CAMBRIDGE, CORN EXCHANGE
FRI, MARCH 18TH – BIRMINGHAM, SYMPHONY HALL
SAT, MARCH 19TH – BATH, FORUM
MON, MARCH 21ST – GLASGOW, ROYAL CONCERT HALL
TUE, MARCH 22ND – MANCHESTER, BRIDGEWATER HALL
WED, MARCH 23RD – LONDON, PALLADIUM

TICKETS ON SALE FROM MAY 14th, 2021
https://myticket.co.uk/artists/big-big-train

The post Big Big Train announce new album ‘Common Ground’; share first single and video for title track appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Nick D’Virgilio announces ‘Invisible’ livestream concert

Drummer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train, ex-Spock’s Beard, ex-Tears For Fears) released his second solo album “Invisible” last year, a star-studded album praised by fans and critics alike, which featured musical contributions from Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Paul Gilbert (Mr Big, Racer X), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings / Steve Hackett), Jem Godfrey (Frost*) and several other special guests.

Now, D’Virgilio is announcing his first official streaming event, a full live performance of “Invisible” from the Sweetwater Studios theater stage happening on Friday May 14th 2021 at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. Accompanied by a full band – comprised by Don Carr and Pete Lock on guitar, Andy Rice on bass, Jacob Dupre on keys, Ryan Holquist on drums, Isak West on tenor sax and background vocals, Adam Griswold on baritone sax and Nick’s own daughter Sophia D’Virgilio on background vocals – the charm and finesse of “Invisible” will be brought to life, its uplifting music paired with first-class video work produced by Christian Rios.

Virtual tickets are now for sale HERE, and options include:

Virtual General Admission Ticket – $15
VIP Virtual Pre-Show Meet & Greet + Virtual General Admission Ticket – $45
VIP Virtual Post-Show Acoustic Set and Q&A + Virtual General Admission Ticket – $55
All Access Bundle (VIP Virtual Pre-Show Meet & Greet + VIP Virtual Post-Show Acoustic Set and Q&A + Virtual General Admission Ticket) – $65
Watch the event video teaser below and don’t miss this unique opportunity of enjoying the live presentation of a triumphant new chapter for this highly-esteemed artist.

 

 

The post Nick D’Virgilio announces ‘Invisible’ livestream concert appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Big Big Train – The Underfall Yard 2021 (Album Review)

by Geoff Bailie

My personal journey aboard the Big Big Train began in 2007 with The Difference Machine. I’ll admit that the initial attraction was the guests who appeared on the album (Trewavas, Meros and D’Virgilio) but I ended up enjoying it a lot.

That made the decision to buy its follow up, The Underfall Yard, an easy one. The new singer, David Longdon, was known to me from Martin Offord’s fantastic swan-song album, The Old Road, and XTC’s Dave Gregory brought fantastic credentials, along with NDV on the whole album this time. It was very clear from the first listen that this album was BBT on steroids, with horns and cellos, and songs that demonstrated a breadth and depth they’d been building up to. From the simple beauty of “Last Train” to the epic twists and turns of “The Underfall Yard”, this was a whole new thing – and I loved it!

Scroll forward and it’s 2021 – six full albums and a few EPs have come from largely this same line up, along with 3 live outings where many of The Underfall Yard songs have been brought to life on stage. With TUY having reached its 10th anniversary, plans were set in motion to revisit it, not least to get it on to the vinyl format. However the project snowballed from a “polish” to producing the fantastic new package that is The Underfall Yard 2020. So what does that include?

Well for a start there is a remixed version of the original album. There is no doubt that as their cache grew so did their access to budgets and facilities to create better and better sounding albums. So the revisitation had given the band and audio supremo Rob Aubrey the chance to give TUY the sonic treatment it deserved. If you’ve owned the album from day one, depending on how you listen to it you might not perceive a massive difference – but with a sound set up that does it justice it’s definitely a welcome refresh in which the benefit of time and familiarity has resulted in a great listening experience. There is some nice retouching, mostly replacing some synthetic instruments from the original with the real thing, and just a much better soundscape that gives every instrument the space to shine.

So what about the bonus disc? Well don’t worry – it’s not a case of collecting the scraps from the cutting room floor! “Songs From The Shoreline” starts the album – at 18 minutes long, it combines a re-recorded version of “Victorian Brickwork”, which follows the live arrangement of the track, with “Fat Billy Shouts Mine”, a song from the same time period that appeared on the subsequent Far Skies Deep Time album. The longer track works very well – you can see how another epic could have overpowered the original album, and so now you have the choice! Next up is a re-recorded “The Underfall Yard”, preceded by a Prelude which reflects some of the musical themes from the epic track, and played by the trusty BBT brass players. Like “Victorian Brickwork” it takes elements from the live arrangement to create a slightly different perspective on this iconic track. It’s not radically different, with the exception of the prelude, but it’s something that is great to have in this set.

The collection closes with “Brew and Burgh”, a brand new Greg Spawton song. I suppose there’s a risk that a song like this gets overlooked as a bonus disc “extra” – it’s not a crazy prog workout like some moments on TUY – but if you enjoy BBT at their most reflective and pastoral then this is the track for you. Lots of lyrical references to other BBT songs, but done in a way that it all makes sense. We now know it serves as the final outing of the Grand Tour line up, drawing a line under the particular evolution that began with TUY, and in that context it’s a very nice coda.

More than 10 years on, and having played these songs many times, I still find this album to be a prog tour de force. What I didn’t know in 2009 was the significance of the journey this album started. Of course today we do, and this fantastic reissue is the perfect way to celebrate this brilliant collection, which stands proudly manicured and dressed in its finery in its 2020 incarnation.

Post Script: To delver further, check out BBT’s The Underfall Yard micro-site https://www.bigbigtrain.com/underfall-yard/ and the fanastic Passengers’ Club whose regular releases in recent weeks have included some demos from the period around the making of this album which case it intriguing new light on the songs and the eventual arrangements/ recording.

CD Disc One
1. Evening Star
2. Master James of St George
3. Victorian Brickwork
4. Last Train
5. Winchester Diver
6. The Underfall Yard

CD Disc Two
1. Songs From The Shoreline:
(i) Victorian Brickwork (2020 Version)
(ii) Fat Billy Shouts Mine
2. Prelude To The Underfall Yard
3. The Underfall Yard (2020 version)
4. Brew And Burgh

The Underfall Yard is available from Burning Shed at www.burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain

The post Big Big Train – The Underfall Yard 2021 (Album Review) appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Big Big Train release video for new song “Brew and Burgh”

Big Big Train have released a new video, created by Love Fagerstedt, for the track “Brew and Burgh.” The brand new song was recorded for the re-issue of the band’s 2009 album The Underfall Yard, which will be released on 9th April 2021.

Greg Spawton says: “Brew and Burgh is a song about how individuals can build something strong if they work together. And, even if a fellowship comes to an end, the ties that bind the individuals still remain in place. I first came across Love Fagerstedt’s animation work when he made a film for a song called They Fade by my Big Big Train band mate Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly. I have been hoping that Big Big Train could work with Love ever since and the release of Brew and Burgh as a single gave the perfect opportunity. Love has made a beautiful film which tells the story behind our song in a way which I think many will find very moving.”

Watch the video here:

 

Released in December 2009, The Underfall Yard was the first Big Big Train album with vocalist David Longdon and drummer Nick D’Virgilio as full band members, the first to feature Dave Desmond’s brass band and the first to include the guitar playing of Dave Gregory.

Alongside the remix of the original recordings, a second companion CD/third vinyl LP features 48 minutes of material, including a new 2020 studio recording of the title track, preceded by a previously unreleased brass prelude.

Also included is the Songs From The Shoreline suite, which was planned for the album’s original release in 2009. For this re-issue, in 2020 the band completely re-recorded Victorian Brickwork, which segues into Fat Billy Shouts Mine (which has to date only been available on the Far Skies, Deep Time EP).

The final track on the second disc is Brew and Burgh, a newly composed song written by BBT founder and bassist Greg Spawton specifically as a companion piece for this re-issue of the album. In addition, original album artist Jim Trainer has painted some new images for an expanded booklet.

CD Disc One

1. Evening Star
2. Master James of St George
3. Victorian Brickwork
4. Last Train
5. Winchester Diver
6. The Underfall Yard

CD Disc Two

1. Songs From The Shoreline:
(i) Victorian Brickwork (2020 Version)
(ii) Fat Billy Shouts Mine
2. Prelude To The Underfall Yard
3. The Underfall Yard (2020 version)
4. Brew And Burgh

The Underfall Yard is available for pre-order now from Burning Shed at www.burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain

The post Big Big Train release video for new song “Brew and Burgh” appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Big Big Train release new lyric video for The Underfall Yard

Big Big Train have released a lyric video, directed by Christian Rios, for the 23 minute title track from their re-issued album The Underfall Yard, which will be released on April 9th, 2021. The song includes a newly recorded guitar solo by former It Bites leader Francis Dunnery.

“The music of It Bites was a big influence on me back in the day,” bassist Greg Spawton explains. “When we were originally working on the album in 2009, I knew that the title track needed a big guitar solo, so I reached out to Francis to ask if would contribute a solo. Whilst he was keen to work with BBT, he was going through a stage where he wasn’t interested in playing in the fluid, legato style he had mastered with It Bites, so the solo he played for us, whilst great, was different from what I was expecting. Subsequently, Francis has re-connected with the music of It Bites so I thought I would ask if he was prepared to have another run at the solo. He was up for it and has delivered a storming piece of guitar work for this new mix of The Underfall Yard.”

“The Underfall Yard was an important album for BBT and we wanted the re-issue to offer the best possible audio quality,” drummer Nick D’Virgilio adds. “Our sound engineer, Rob Aubrey, has immersed himself in the multi-track recordings and has used all of his considerable skills and experience to deliver a beautiful new mix.”

“Back in 2009 we made what was then a controversial decision to make the whole 23 minute title track available as a free download ahead of the album’s release,” vocalist David Longdon remembers. “Of course, that was before streaming really took off, so it doesn’t seem so unusual in retrospect! At the time our decision helped us to get our music heard by a bigger audience, so we thought we would repeat the exercise, but this time with a film to accompany the song.”

“Christian Rios has made a beautiful film for The Underfall Yard,” Greg Spawton continues. “Amongst other things, the song is about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the great Victorian engineers. Christian wanted Isambard to appear in a specific way in the film and decided there was only one thing for it: he had to don the outfit and cigar himself!”

You can watch the full video for “The Underfall Yard” here:

 

Released in December 2009, The Underfall Yard was the first Big Big Train album with vocalist David Longdon and drummer Nick D’Virgilio as full band members, the first to feature Dave Desmond’s brass band and the first to include the guitar playing of Dave Gregory.

Alongside the remix of the original recordings, a second companion CD/third vinyl LP features 48 minutes of material, including a new 2020 studio recording of the title track, preceded by a previously unreleased brass prelude.

Also included is the Songs From The Shoreline suite, which was planned for the album’s original release in 2009. For this re-issue, in 2020 the band completely re-recorded Victorian Brickwork, which segues into Fat Billy Shouts Mine (which has to date only been available on the Far Skies, Deep Time EP).

The final track on the second disc is Brew and Burgh, a newly composed song written by BBT founder and bassist Greg Spawton specifically as a companion piece for this re-issue of the album. In addition, original album artist Jim Trainer has painted some new images for an expanded booklet.

CD Disc One

1. Evening Star
2. Master James of St George
3. Victorian Brickwork
4. Last Train
5. Winchester Diver
6. The Underfall Yard

CD Disc Two

1. Songs From The Shoreline:
(i) Victorian Brickwork (2020 Version)
(ii) Fat Billy Shouts Mine
2. Prelude To The Underfall Yard
3. The Underfall Yard (2020 version)
4. Brew And Burgh

The Underfall Yard is available for pre-order now from Burning Shed at www.burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain

The post Big Big Train release new lyric video for The Underfall Yard appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Big Big Train announce Big Big Train announce reissue of 2009 album The Underfall Yard on 2CD and 3LP

Big Big Train are delighted to announce the re-issue of their breakthrough 2009 album The Underfall Yard. The new release will be available as 2CD and 3LP Vinyl as well as in digital formats and will be available on 25 March 25th (CD version in Japan via Marquee) and 9 April 9th (rest of the world via English Electric/RSK/2 CD/digital version and Plane Groovy/RSK/3 LP version).

Released in December 2009, The Underfall Yard was the first Big Big Train album with vocalist David Longdon and drummer Nick D’Virgilio as full band members, the first to feature Dave Desmond’s brass band and the first to include the guitar playing of Dave Gregory.

Alongside the remix of the original recordings, a second companion CD/third vinyl LP features 48 minutes of material, including a new 2020 studio recording of the title track, preceded by a previously unreleased brass prelude.

Also included is the Songs From The Shoreline suite, which was planned for the album’s original release in 2009. For this re-issue, in 2020 the band completely re-recorded Victorian Brickwork, which segues into Fat Billy Shouts Mine (which has to date only been available on the Far Skies, Deep Time EP).

The final track on the second disc is Brew and Burgh, a newly composed song written by BBT founder and bassist Greg Spawton specifically as a companion piece for this re-issue of the album. In addition, original album artist Jim Trainer has painted some new images for an expanded booklet.

“The Underfall Yard is where the story of the contemporary line-up of Big Big Train begins. For the re-issue we asked BBT mixing engineer Rob Aubrey to open up the original sessions and to completely remix the album so that we could make a definitive version,” explains Greg Spawton. Rob had more time and a bigger budget to work with, plus the benefit of another decade of mixing experience. His new mix has significantly improved the sound and dynamic range of the album.”

“The Underfall Yard just missed out on the vinyl revival, so for some time we have been planning for a vinyl version of this re-issue,” David Longdon adds. “We’re thrilled to have the album available on vinyl for the first time and so beautifully presented with Jim Trainer’s paintings.”

CD Disc One

1. Evening Star
2. Master James of St George
3. Victorian Brickwork
4. Last Train
5. Winchester Diver
6. The Underfall Yard

CD Disc Two

1. Songs From The Shoreline:
(i) Victorian Brickwork (2020 Version)
(ii) Fat Billy Shouts Mine
2. Prelude To The Underfall Yard
3. The Underfall Yard (2020 version)
4. Brew And Burgh

The Underfall Yard is available for pre-order now from Burning Shed at www.burningshed.com/store/bigbigtrain

The post Big Big Train announce Big Big Train announce reissue of 2009 album The Underfall Yard on 2CD and 3LP appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Spock’s Beard’s 2nd album ‘Beware of Darkness’ turns 25 years old

Having made a splash in the Prog world with their first album, The Light, in 1995, Spock’s Beard, now complete with a full five person lineup, went straight to work on their sophomore record, Beware of Darkness. While much of the first album happened by accident, turning demos Neal Morse had written into an album while recruiting a band, this time the band went into the studio having to figure out how to make an album as a group. This is the album where the trademarks of the group would rise to the forefront, with tracks like “Thoughts”, a nod to 70s Prog icons Gentle Giant, “Waste Away” an acoustic rocker, and “Walking on the Wind” the Neal Morse signature epic.

Bassist Dave Meros recognized the different vibe going into the making of the album, “We considered ourselves an official band by this point. The Light was done almost entirely as an experiment, but now we actually saw some possibility of a future. Neal was on fire creatively and I can still feel the excitement that we had going into that album. At the time that I joined the band we were just a four piece. Neal had recorded all the keyboard parts on The Light by himself. But after The Light was recorded we wanted to start doing some gigs and Neal realized he couldn’t cover it all by himself, so Ryo was brought back in. So it really was a complete band then in a physical sense. But beyond that, this was going to be our second album, we had done some live shows as a full band, there was a bit of a buzz going on, we had a new recording contract, and there was definitely a feeling that Beware Of Darkness was our first focused push forward.”

The band would sign with Progressive label InsideOut and finally had a recording budget. This drove them to seek out Kevin Gilbert, as Neal Morse recalls, “Nick had made this connection with Kevin Gilbert. I remember him really setting out to do that. He went up and jammed with him at some ski area or something and we wanted to get to know Kevin so we wound up having Kevin mix some of the songs on Beware of Darkness. We couldn’t afford to have him do the whole thing because he was expensive for us in those days. He mixed “Thoughts”, “Walking on the Wind” and “Time Has Come”. I had flown out back out there to remix some other stuff with Kevin and that was when he was found dead in his studio.”

The album opens with the title track, which is actually a cover of a George Harrison song, but it was not that original version that drove Neal to decide to cover the song. “I’d always really liked Leon Russell’s version of that song and he does these kind of piano jam things before he goes into the song. If you’ve ever heard his version it’s different from George Harrison’s version and one day while I was in the shower I started thinking about a Prog version of that song and taking some of Leon’s keyboard riffs and kind of you know making them into full band things which is where the intro thing comes from that. And yeah I don’t know if this all began to play in my mind that day and so I demoed that and we decided to do it.”

One of the signature songs for the group is “Thoughts” which showcases the band’s knack for wild harmonies and odd time signatures, which they claim are simply from their love of Gentle Giant. Over the years, these vocal arrangements would appear either as parts of longer epics or future versions of the song such as “Thoughts part II” and “Thoughts Part 5”. Dave Meros, explains, “As far as difficulty, I think it sounds more difficult than it really is. Each individual part is no harder to play than any of the other Spock’s Beard material of the time, but the arrangement is so quirky that when it’s all put together it sounds really complex. We actually didn’t feel like we were establishing a sound, it felt more like we stumbled upon the Gentle Giant sound. That song is very obviously inspired by Gentle Giant. I think it’s funny now whenever I hear somebody hearing a quirky counterpoint vocal and they say it sounds like Spock’s Beard, when in reality we were just trying to sound like Gentle Giant.”

Other instrumentation was brought to the forefront on songs like “The Doorway” which is a long piano driven rocker, harkening back to songs like Genesis’ “Firth of Fifth”. “Waster Away”, rather, is a regular 5-minute acoustic rock song, allowing Neal to sing lines like, “Some people are like gravy, spilled on God’s Sunday shirt”. Meanwhile, the standout track is “Walking on the Wind” that has the spastic interplay with keyboards as the main opening section and closes with an epic guitar solo refrain, another Neal Morse calling card.

Beware of Darkness is in many ways just as important an album as The Light. While its predecessor opened the door, this album kicked it wide open, exposing all of what this band was capable of and setting them up for a long career.

The post Spock’s Beard’s 2nd album ‘Beware of Darkness’ turns 25 years old appeared first on The Prog Report.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0