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Thread: Big Big Train - New album Grand Tour announced May 17th

  1. #101
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    Haven't seen much love for Mead Hall in Winter yet...I just love that one!

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by progfan915 View Post
    Haven't seen much love for Mead Hall in Winter yet...I just love that one!
    Likewise!

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    The funny thing is I actually did have a 'Big Big Train' set when I was a kid!
    Was that a brand name?

  4. #104
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Any news on Dave Gregory's band "The Fire Merchants"? I like 'em!

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    Was that a brand name?
    It was made by a company called Triang I think, the trains and rails were extra big!

  6. #106
    Spawton said in a recent interview that it was the name of a train set he possessed as a kid and he suggested it as the name for his elder brother's new wave band. That band finished and then some years later it got used for the band we know and love today!

  7. #107
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    Spawton said in a recent interview that it was the name of a train set he possessed as a kid and he suggested it as the name for his elder brother's new wave band. That band finished and then some years later it got used for the band we know and love today!
    It has always sounded like a goofy kid name for a band to me.

  8. #108
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    There is a huge nostalgic feeling in their lyrics. Nostalgia for childhood and the way things used to be, I find the music very emotional.

    Sent from my GT-I8200N using Tapatalk
    Yep!

  9. #109
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by progfan915 View Post
    Haven't seen much love for Mead Hall in Winter yet...I just love that one!
    I love that song! You bet!

  11. #111
    I've given the new album one spin in headphones. There is a lot to like on this release, but I do feel the one thing that really bothers me about it is the lack of any dynamic tempos. It seems like all the songs (with the exception of Alive) stay in second gear. Think of epic Genesis tracks like Driving the Last Spike or Domino...but only if the first sections were dragged out for the full length of the songs. BBT knocked everything else out of the ballpark (melodies, production, themes, etc)...but never kicking a song into overdrive (especially the epics) keeps this from attaining bona fide classic status. --Peter

  12. #112
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    I downloaded the Swan Hunter EP from Bandcamp and have ordered The Grand Tour cd

  13. #113
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    As I get older, I find it more important than ever to evaluate things by what they are, not by what they aren't. Because tastes calcify if you let them, and pretty soon, if you're not careful, you only like things that are just the same as what you already like.

    This is the well-known phenomenon that fuels most popular culture, of course, but it can happen to us, too.

  14. #114
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    As I get older, I find it more important than ever to evaluate things by what they are, not by what they aren't. Because tastes calcify if you let them, and pretty soon, if you're not careful, you only like things that are just the same as what you already like.

    This is the well-known phenomenon that fuels most popular culture, of course, but it can happen to us, too.
    Nice comment.

    I tend to speak to soon sometimes. I now absolute adore 'Roman Stone'. Among my very favorite BBT songs. Just beautiful.
    Last edited by bill g; 06-17-2019 at 02:23 PM.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    Nice comment.

    I tend to speak to soon sometimes. I now absolute adore 'London Stone'. Among my very favorite BBT songs. Just beautiful.
    Are you sure you don't mean London Plane or Roman Stone?
    As a 2 minute acoustic guitar instrumental, I find it hard to believe London Stone could be singled out as one of the best BBT tunes...
    Not just a Genesis fanboy.

  16. #116
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeFrog View Post
    Are you sure you don't mean London Plane or Roman Stone?
    As a 2 minute acoustic guitar instrumental, I find it hard to believe London Stone could be singled out as one of the best BBT tunes...
    Aargh, my bad. 'Roman Stone'. I will edit my foolishness.

  17. #117
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I'll take the title track to London Stone over either one of them.

  18. #118
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    Finally had my first spin of the new album, cased in it's beautiful hard booklet (similar to the Merchants of Light set I picked up from Ken in the same order)… a wonderful first outing. I know these guys are "trying to make hay while the sun shines" in terms of their rather prolific output...but thus far they haven't gone wrong by me!

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    I know these guys are "trying to make hay while the sun shines" in terms of their rather prolific output...
    Two years since their previous studio release seems like a rather studied pace to me, especially for a band with a very limited live performance schedule.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Finally had my first spin of the new album, cased in it's beautiful hard booklet (similar to the Merchants of Light set I picked up from Ken in the same order)… a wonderful first outing. I know these guys are "trying to make hay while the sun shines" in terms of their rather prolific output...but thus far they haven't gone wrong by me!
    I've been really getting into it over the last few days too. Voyager is my fave, have always been fascinated by the space probes so its right up my street. I love all the subject matter, the historical characters who have left a huge legacy to the world, Theodora and The Florentine are wonderful too. Of the epics I think Roman Stone is the least interesting musically, while Ariel is growing on me although I know nothing of Shakespeare so the lyrics have me baffled. I tend to skip Alive, it was bugging me as to what it sounded like, then I realised: Subdivisions by Rush crossed with The Old Man & The Angel by It Bites - anyone else spot the similarities? All in all though this is a great album, yes they do sound a little too like Genesis at times but they have their own thing going too.

  21. #121
    Quote Originally Posted by progfan915 View Post
    Haven't seen much love for Mead Hall in Winter yet...I just love that one!
    The first two times I heard it I thought it was going to be one of my favorite songs of theirs. But it rapidly got worse each listen after that. I can't say I dislike the song now, but I have zero desire to ever turn it on, and I usually skip it when it comes up when I'm listening to random music.

  22. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    I've given it a good number of spins. As of now, I feel it's their best since EEII. Their are some really good moments - opening track is solid, the second half of The Florentine is really good, Ariel is my favorite track - almost the entire song is great, and Voyager has some much desired proggy moments.

    The bad:
    -I feel like they always have a super cheesy upbeat track like Alive on each album. I have sort of learned to just expect and ignore them.
    -The Florentine - lyrically quite trite. It's very similar lyrically to Unitopia's Tesla but doesn't work as well. Each song is mostly random references to their respective work. I think they could have gotten really creative, but instead it's pretty blunt and over the head.
    -Theodora in Green an Gold - this is almost a really good, solid track - except they threw in that brief key change during the chorus. It makes zero sense why they did it and it's driving me nuts. I've replayed it on the piano and sung it without the key change, and it sounds wonderful. Not only does it do nothing to improve the track, but it makes it almost un-listenable.
    -Ariel - my favorite track, and the one that will probably stay on my playlists into the distant future. But it has some frustrating moments. The ra ra "Come, nimbus; come stratus..." segment is cheesy. And lyrically their are a few other hackneyed moments that take me out of the moment; e.g., "Prometheus's fire" (sung slowly over about ten seconds).


    I think the whole biographical shtick just wore thin long ago, but I'll always be a fan of the band and their musicianship. They still have more enjoyable moments than not, so I'm thankful for that.
    I've listened to the album again from start to finish a few times over the last week during some long drives. Most my thoughts still hold. I've grown to love The Florentine musically though. I've been listening to it a lot despite the lyrics. I will likely never listen to Theodora on purpose again. Alive is so god awful that I could barely make it through each time; I've removed it from my downloads. Ariel is still good despite those few segments. I've grown to appreciate Voyager and Homesong a lot more too. Overall the songs feel like they have a similar formulaic structure that the band has apparently resorted to, and I wish they would maybe experiment a little more in the future. There has been a dearth of new good music this year, and this might be the most enjoyable so far.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Master View Post
    There has been a dearth of new good music this year, and this might be the most enjoyable so far.
    Well, to me, there have been so many strong releases this year, that it is getting hard to keep up...Strata, Morglbl, Snarky Puppy, Beat Circus, The Mercury Tree, Ikarus, Panzarpappa, IZZ, Jordsjo, Kamencello, Dopapod, Thank You Scientist...I just can't keep up! Different strokes, as they say.

    I continue to try with Big Big Train. I should like their music, as I love the lyrical content, and the pastoral feel of many of their songs. I think the obstacle for me, is that a lot of it sounds too...melancholic, for me to enjoy it. Not sure how else to put it. Glad for those that find it easy to get in to. They are obviously, very talented.

    neil

  24. #124
    Old man of prog
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    OK now that the hype and the accolades have died down are there any other fanboys besides me ready to admit this album (and the last for that matter) are just "eh"? I've easily listened to it over 25 times and I often find myself in the middle of the record thinking "what's for dinner?"

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmeister View Post
    OK now that the hype and the accolades have died down are there any other fanboys besides me ready to admit this album (and the last for that matter) are just "eh"? I've easily listened to it over 25 times and I often find myself in the middle of the record thinking "what's for dinner?"
    It does lack some excitement at times. I think the only song with a real prog instrumental section is Voyager which is certainly the best track for me. I have just been enjoying it for the songs, lots of great melody and harmony.

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