BIG BIG TRAIN – English Electric Part One





Big Big Train return with Andy Poole and Greg Spawton joined by former Spock’s Beard drummer Nick D’Virgilio, Dave Gregory of XTC fame (he guested on their last album ‘The Underfall Yard’) and vocalist David Longdon, who had previously been singing with a Genesis tribute band. Guests include the Tangent’s Andy Tillison, Rachel Hall (Stackridge) and a brass section and string quartet.

The album has a loose concept of a journey through the English landscape and those that helped build it – a history lesson set to prog if you like. I can honestly say this is a real tour de force by the band, from the musical arrangements through to the lyrics and even the inlay sleeve featuring fascinating rust portraits by Matt Sefton.

‘The First Firebreather’ is a classic piece of English prog and could easily have come off the last album. There are two real classics on here, first up ‘Judas Unrepentant’ which features glorious vocal harmonies for a tale about an art forger. Then there is the quintessential tale of English wildlife on ‘Hedgerow’. A real XTC feel on this one, circa their two ‘Apple Venus’ albums. The harmony vocals again feature heavily along with some lovely violin and subtle brass arrangements.

Part two follows next March…just a nice enough gap to fully appreciate the delights on volume one.


Jason Ritchie


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)

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