Progarchy.com has conveniently organized for you all the essential Big Big Train virtual liner notes:
And The Merch Desk adds some comments about Folklore:
Progressive rock band Big Big Train return with Folklore, their first full-length studio album since the award winning English Electric. Folklore contains nine new songs with a total running time of 68 minutes.
Despite the album title, Folklore is by no means a collection of traditional-sounding folk music pieces. On Folklore, Big Big Train are reimagining and breathing new life into traditional themes, and also creating a few new ones along the way. The crafts of songwriting and storytelling beat strongly at the heart of the Big Big Train and inform every track on the new album.
Folklore features the same line up (eight piece band and brass quintet) that performed three sell out shows at Kings Place in London last summer, with the addition of a string quartet. The experience of bringing this complex music to the concert stage has honed the band’s sound, making Folklore a focussed and exciting listening experience. All the hallmarks of the Big Big Train sound can be found here: powerful and emotional vocal delivery, and dramatic extended song arrangements which showcase the musical ability within the band.
Folklore – Ancient stories told by our ancestors around the campfire, being passed down from generation to generation. The passage of time sees the coming of written language and electronic communication, but still we tell our stories and pass them on.
London Plane – Once upon a time, a great tree took root on a river bank, and watched through the years as a city grew around it.
Along The Ridgeway – A journey along an ancient pathway, where legends are reborn.
Salisbury Giant – Big Big Train tell the true story of a medieval giant.
The Transit Of Venus – Across The Sun When the astronomer lost the love of his life, he set a course for the stars. Inspired by the much-loved British TV astronomer and educationalist, Patrick Moore.
Wassail – The old ways get a 21st century reboot in this paganinspired progressive-folk groove. The title track from Big Big Train’s Wassail EP, it was nominated in the “Anthem” category at the 2015 Progressive Music Awards.
Winkie – A ripping action adventure story about a true life war heroine, the fi rst to receive the Dickin medal in honour of her achievement. To the best of our knowledge, this is the fi rst prog epic about a pigeon…
Brooklands – John Cobb, racing driver, lived life at high speed on the racing line. Time passes, but the ageing driver yearns for one more adrenaline fi lled lap of the track… Cobb died in 1952 while attempting the world water speed record at Loch Ness.
Telling The Bees – Traditionally, bees were told of births, deaths and marriages within the bee-keeper’s family, as it was believed that otherwise they would leave the hive. When his father is killed in the First World War, a young boy takes on this responsibility, grows up to become a man, finds love and starts his own family. “The bees are told… and we carry on…”.
There are also some brief but great liner notes available for the Far Skies Deep Time EP:
The Far Skies Deep Time EP was released as a companion-piece to The Underfall Yard in December 2010.
1) Master of Time
Big Big Train heard the demo of Master of Time by original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips when it appeared as an extra track on the reissue of his The Geese and the Ghost CD. In this new version, BBT give it the full band treatment.
2) Fat Billy Shouts Mine
Legend has it that William ‘Fatty’ Foulke, the Sheffield United and England goalkeeper from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, died on Blackpool beach whilst earning pin money in a ‘beat the goalie’ booth. In this song BBT imagine larger-than-life Billy finding the afterlife less exciting than his life on earth.
Originally written as part of a suite intended for The Underfall Yard album, the band did not get a chance to finish recording it in time for inclusion on the album.
3) British Racing Green
Described as ‘Big Big Train’s Christmas break-up song’, British Racing Green showcases a different side to the band and tells the heart-breaking story of the end of a real-life love affair. Inside a busy restaurant a couple are coming to the end of the line, whilst outside, snow is gently toppling down on the bustling Christmas shoppers.
A rite of passage that is as old as the hills. First love awakens profound, stirring feelings in the young man only for it to tragically end in heartbreak for him when she tells him it’s over. It is this hurt that she inflicts that will help him grow.
5) The Wide Open Sea
This song chronicles the last voyage of Belgian singer Jacques Brel as he reflects on his life and fate. In 1973 he embarked on a yacht, planning to sail around the world. When he reached the Canary Islands, Brel was diagnosed with lung cancer. He returned to Paris for treatment and later continued his ocean voyage.
In 1975 he reached les Marquises islands, and decided to stay, remaining there until 1977 when he returned to Paris and recorded his well-received final album. He died in 1978 at the age of 49 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery only a few yards away from painter Gauguin.