By a curve of the river/at the end of the road/black waters rise again.–final lines of THE SECOND BRIGHTEST STAR
Tasteful. Elegant. These two words enter into my mind and soul, over and over again, at the beginning of every song on the new “companion” album by Big Big Train, THE SECOND BRIGHTEST STAR. And, not just at the beginning, but in the middle of each, and at the end of each.
As I look back over the history of Big Big Train (despite the rather mechanical image of the band’s title), the band seems to have a radically organic life to it. It’s not changed as much as it’s become.
It began as an oak sapling that struggled in intense competition for light and nourishment. After a burst of growth, it faltered a bit, and its Entherds, Gregory Aurelius Spawton and Andrew Epictetus Poole, decided to prune it considerably. In doing so, they allowed it to grow in ways known only to the creator of nature herself. As with all great things in this world, the band was not invented. It was discovered.
Spawton and Poole discovered the necessary talents of D’Virgilio, Gregory, and Longdon, then Manners, and then Hall and Sjöblom, realizing they could not become until they became one. These Endherds chose not to mix oaks, but rather to graft new chestnuts onto the oak. Somewhere in the mind of nature, the band had always existed—this profound mix of oak and chestnut—but it’s only come into its own over the past eight years.