Every now and then something comes along that makes me sit up and take notice. In recent years one such has been the band Big Big Train.
I first encountered them early in 2010, when many people were raving about their album 'The Underfall Yard', and on listening I could understand why there was so much interest in their music. Since then I have immersed myself in most of their back catalogue, which surprisingly stretches back to the mid-1990s, and have discovered the same standard of musical excellence throughout.
Later in 2010 saw the release of what was strangely called an EP (40 minutes of music used to be called a single album!) 'Far Skies Deep Time', and then came the promise of new material some time this year. That promise is now fulfilled, with more to come in 2013, with appearance of 'English Electric (Part1)'.
This is, again, a beautiful collection of songs, steeped in the Progressive rock tradition, but also suffused throughout with a celebration of England. Images of railway sidings, hedgerows, views of 'Winchester from the Hill', echoes of Betjeman in 'Summoned by Bells', and the eulogising of 'a charming old lovable rogue' of an art forger in the wondrously joyous 'Judas Unrepentant'.
Full of exquisite vocal harmonies, folky touches to the music, as well as hints of 'Selling England by the Pound'-era Genesis, this is music that your ears will love you for listening to. This band deserve to be more widely known and appreciated, and I hope this collection of songs will go some way to achieving this.
The album is available through Amazon, or you can listen and /or download from the band's Bandcamp site.