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Big Big Train - English Electric (Part Two) CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 796 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Big Big Train is an English ensemble formed around 1990 by Andy Poole and Greg Spawton. Nowadays the band has also David Longdon (vocals), Dave Gregory (guitars), Danny Manners (keyboards) and Nick D'Virgilio (drums ' ex Spock's Beard).

English Electric Part Two (2013) was released on March 4th and it's the second and final chapter of Big Big Train's English Electric history.

English Electric was a British industrial manufacturer and here the band tries to capture the history of the people's point of view. Last year they released the first part, and it's the best album of 2012 for me (you can read my review When they were about to release this new album I asked myself: 'is it possible for Big Big Train to top themselves?'

I can't say that English Electric Part Two (2013) is better than its predecessor, but what I can say for sure is that the second part is so close that I almost can't see the difference. In fact, since The Difference Machine (2007), passing through The Underfall Yard (2009), Far Skies Deep Time (2010) and the two parts of English Electric, Big Big Train just can't record a downhill record.

Big Big Train's music could be described by me with two words: evocative and emotional. Evocative because even for someone like me that has never been to England, you can be transported to someplace else, some place within these songs. And emotional because their music is like every good Prog should be, charged with deep feelings and full of heart.

English Electric Part Two (2013) starts with the long 'East Coast Racer' and it's almost 16 minutes. One thing I missed on the first part of the history was a long song, here it is. 'Swan Hunter' shows why David Longdon is the best vocalist on today's music, while 'Worked Out' transports us inside the song. The band's music is so alive and full of details. Harps, brass, violins, cellos, violas, flutes and many other countless instruments and sounds fill our musical world while listening the album.

'Leopards' is almost a solo effort by David Longdon that wrote and played almost everything here. The track has a different and interesting approach to their music. 'Keeper Of Abbeys' has a wonderful violin solo by Rachel Hall and 'The Permanent Way' keeps with the BBT's high standard quality. 'Curator Of Butterflies' closes the album on a high note, melancholic and beautiful.

Greg Spawton has to be mentioned cause he isn't just a fantastic bass player, but a great musician and an amazing writer. Andy Poole did a wonderful job when it comes to the producer role and David Longdon is one of the best voices around. To tie everything together the band uses more synthesizers, delivered by the new member Danny Manners and as usual Nick D'Virgilio drums are always on the spot and clever.

Do I sound like a fan? I have no problem to confess that. I am. And English Electric Part Two (2013) is one of the best albums of 2013 so far, believe me.

Oh and by the way, according to the booklet of the CD, Station Masters will be the next chapter. Can't wait!

(Originally posted on

ProgShine | 5/5 |


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