Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Big Big Train - Ingenious Devices CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.11 | 72 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Given the importance of David Longdon to the history of Big Big Train it always seemed likely that the next release following his death was going to somewhat special. Yes, I know 'Welcome to the Planet' was released at the beginning of 2022, but that had already been long planned and David had performed on it and knew exactly what it was going to sound like. Here the BBT guys have partially re-recorded and rearranged three of their songs about technology, namely "East Coast Racer", "Brooklands" and Voyager" (which in total is more than 40 minutes of music), including a 17-piece string section recorded at Abbey Road, keeping David's vocals. There is a previously unreleased short orchestral piece, "The Book of Ingenious Devices", which links "East Coast Racer" and "Brooklands", and then a live version of "Atlantic Cable", which was recorded on the band's tour in September 2022 with ex-PFM singer Alberto Bravin.

One can see why Greg was keen to revisit the older numbers as here they have been lifted, and sympathetically dealt with to give them a new life. Any excuse to listen to Longdon's vocals is always to be welcomed of course, as he was one of the finest singers in the prog scene and here, he has been kept front and centre while the arrangements have been made more sumptuous and the addition of the strings lifts the songs to new heights. BBT are one of the largest prog bands around in terms of membership, and this allows them to take music in new direction without ever sounding muddied or confused. There is a delicacy and space within "Atlantic Cable", a poignancy perfectly captured by the introduction by piano and violin. It must have been incredibly difficult for Bravin to join the band in such trying circumstances, and he would be aware that every night the fans would be comparing him to Longdon, yet he is a fine choice as his voice is different enough to ensure he is not too close, yet similar enough to be able to pull it off and he is in total control throughout this.

This is yet another great release from BBT, and I look forward to the next album with great interest indeed.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BIG BIG TRAIN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.