July 30th, 2021 sees the release of Common Ground’, the self-produced new album from Big Big Train on their own label, English Electric Recordings. The new album, recorded during the worldwide pandemic, 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. Watch the new video for the title track, created by Christian Rios, here:
«This is unashamedly a love song. It is about finding things that we share and have in common with other people. When my partner and I first came together as a couple, we lived not far from Avebury in Wiltshire, a very Big Big Train kind of place. The chalk hills and standing stones were part of the imagery of our ‘Folklore’ album, and once again I was writing what was literally happening in the location in which we found ourselves. I remember seeing my white chalk dust footprints upon the black of the car mats after we’d been walking around Avebury. I’m pleased that we both get to have this time with each other and ‘Common Ground’ is about finding out the things that we have in common with each other and deciding what we want to do in life together». – David Longdon
1. The Strangest Times
2. All The Love We Can Give
3. Black With Ink
4. Dandelion Clock
7. Common Ground
8. Atlantic Cable
Common Ground sees 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 UK 5pm pandemic press conferences The Strangest Times) to the library of Alexandria (Black With Ink) to the bottom of the ocean (Atlantic Cable).
For the Common Ground tour, which will be their most extensive to date and which will culminate in the UK with a show at the prestigious London Palladium, Greg Spawton (bass), 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. The band expect to announce North American tour dates shortly.
Big Big Train has taken lyrical and musical inspiration from periods of history that are recognized as great leaps forward. Now with Common Ground, they are making such a surge themselves.
Nick D’Virgilio: drums and vocals
David Longdon: vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, synth
Rikard Sjöblom: electric guitar, vocals
Gregory Spawton: bass, bass pedals, vocals
Carly Bryant: vocals
Dave Foster: guitar
Aidan O’Rourke: violin
Big Big Train was initially founded in 1990 and went through several line-up changes, but in 2009 the band decided on a fresh start, and the core of the current version of the band was born.
Since then, they have gone on to win four Progressive Music Awards, played sold out shows and seen their last album, 2019’s ‘Grand Tour’, reach #1 in the Official UK rock charts and break into the top 40 in the Official UK album charts.
The band toured the UK for the first time in 2019, culminating in a sold out show at London’s Hackney Empire, subsequently released as the critically acclaimed Blu-ray Empire, and 2022 will see the band performing their largest UK tour to date along with their first ever dates in North America.
While many of Big Big Train’s songs have been rooted in the history of Great Britain and Europe, it seems fitting that they are now indeed an international band. Bassist Greg Spawton, who founded the band, grew up in a railway household and named them after a 1970s train set he owned, is based in the UK, as is singer David Longdon, who joined the band in 2009 for the breakthrough album The Underfall Yard’ The other two core band members, drummer Nick D’Virgilio and multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom, reside in Indiana, USA and Gåvle, Sweden, respectively.