Well, this is a pleasant surprise:
30th July 2021 sees the release of Common Ground, the self-produced new album from Big Big Train released on CD via their own label, English Electric Recordings, and on double LP in a gatefold sleeve via Plane Groovy. The album will also be available as a Bandcamp download and on all major streaming platforms.
Recorded during the worldwide pandemic in 2020, Common Ground sees the band continue their tradition of dramatic narratives but also tackles issues much closer to home, such as the Covid lockdowns, the separation of loved ones, the passage of time, deaths of people close to the band and the hope that springs from a new love.
Common Ground finds the band taking in wider musical and lyrical inspiration from artists such as Elbow, Pete Townshend, Tears For Fears, Elton John and XTC, as well as acknowledging their more progressive roots. As ever, Big Big Train will take listeners on a journey, be it waiting for the 5pm pandemic UK press conferences (The Strangest Times) to the library of Alexandria (Black With Ink) to the bottom of the ocean (Atlantic Cable).
Big Big Train has taken lyrical and musical inspiration from periods of history that are recognised as great leaps forward. Now with Common Ground, they are making such a surge themselves.
The title track is now available to stream at Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube:
Preorders for the Common Ground album and related swag are now available at:
- Burning Shed (CD, 2 LP, limited blue 2 LP, dark blue t-shirt, black t-shirt, three music/t-shirt bundles, lyric art print)
- The Bandwagon USA (CD, 2 LP, dark blue t-shirt, black t-shirt, three music/t-shirt bundles, lyric art print)
- Bandcamp (hi-resolution download)
And still there’ll be more in 2022:
The Common Ground tour will be Big Big Train’s most comprehensive set of shows to date and will conclude in the UK at the prestigious London Palladium.
For the UK tour Greg Spawton (bass, bass pedals), David Longdon (lead vocals, flute), Nick D’Virgilio (drums, vocals) and Rikard Sjöblom (guitars, keyboards, vocals) will be joined by Carly Bryant (keyboards, guitars, vocals), who contributes vocals to Common Ground, Dave Foster (guitars), who plays on two tracks on the new album, Clare Lindley (violin, vocals) and by a five piece brass ensemble led by Dave Desmond (trombone).
The band expects to announce North American tour dates shortly.
With all this in store after BBT was forced to cancel their 2020-21 touring, I could only think of the words of noted music critic, theologian and hobbit Sam Gamgee:
“Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”. . . “O great glory and splendor! And all my wishes have come true!”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
— Rick Krueger