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Big Big Train

Crossover Prog

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Big Big Train Ingenious Devices album cover
4.10 | 70 ratings | 6 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. East Coast Racer (15:46)
2. The Book of Ingenious Devices (1:20)
3. Brooklands (12:23)
4. Voyager (14:11)
5. Atlantic Cable (live) (15:23)

Total Time 59:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Alberto Bravin / lead vocals (5)
- David Longdon / lead & backing vocals (1,3,4), flute, acoustic guitar, mandolin, percussion
- Dave Gregory / electric & 12-string guitars
- Andy Poole / acoustic guitar, mandolin, keyboards, backing vocals
- Rikard Sj÷blom / keyboards, guitars, accordion, backing vocals
- Danny Manners / keyboards, double bass
- Rachel Hall / violin, viola, cello, backing vocals, string arrangements
- Greg Spawton / bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Nick D'Virgilio / drums & percussion, backing vocals

Releases information

Songs 1, 3 & 4 are completely re-arranged with a 17-piece string section: "East Coast Racer" is a completely new studio version recorded by the line-up of the band as it was in 2019. "Brooklands" features newly recorded drums, bass and bass pedals, while Voyager includes additional guitar and violin. All three songs have been re-mixed for this release.

Ingenious Devices also includes a previously unreleased orchestral piece called "The Book of Ingenious Devices", which links "East Coast Racer" and "Brooklands".

Finally, Ingenious Devices features a live performance of "Atlantic Cable", recorded at Friars, Aylesbury in September 2022.

Label: English Electric Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
June 30, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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BIG BIG TRAIN Ingenious Devices ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BIG BIG TRAIN Ingenious Devices reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a quite successful attempt at presenting previously released tracks in a slightly new and different way. Three long tracks about technology (common theme), one of them completely re-recorded (with the exception of the late David Longon's voice), the other two re-mixed and/or partially re-recorded. All three tracks feature a 17 piece string ensemble, and together with an entirely new short track that links the slightly older East Coast Racer to the two newer tracks, it all results in a really homogenous suite. Symphonic Prog Rock at its finest!


1. East Coast Racer (2023) (5 stars): The newly added string section really works well, as does the outro guitar solo by Dave Gregory.

3. Brooklands (2023) (4.5 stars): A really nice track, but on this album it is the least significant.

Originally published at

Review by kev rowland
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.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 1.East Coast Racer (2023) starts directly after a Genesisian intro on the Anglican bucolic space, on the FLOWER KINGS, on, well I'm not going to name everything, BIG BIG TRAIN is now one of the prog dinosaurs who secrete vintage prog well made and allows prog veterans to keep hope that prog still ex ... (read more)

Report this review (#2993113) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My first review about a Big Big Train album on Prog Archives was in 2005, I wrote: "With their fourth release entitled Gathering Speed the UK band BIG BIG TRAIN seemed to have taken a giant step into the prog rock zone. To be honest, I was stunned by their progressive progress because I knew thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2947327) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, August 25, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The addition of a 17 piece string section certainly works for two of the three pieces treated - Brooklands is indeed given new life and a new dynamic in this version. Voyager also sounds fresh and renewed with plenty for the Big Big Train aficionado to listen out for, be it Dave Gregory's small ... (read more)

Report this review (#2936874) | Posted by Graeme W | Saturday, July 1, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just a plug for the new version of Brooklands. This was, historicallym an OK track on Folklore and there was IIRC further works in progress on Second Brightest Star. This new version *utterly* transforms the track - turns it, frankly into an epic piece that at times sounds like something out of ... (read more)

Report this review (#2936678) | Posted by moulsham | Friday, June 30, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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