Award-winning progressive rock band Big Big Train will release their 15th studio album “The Likes Of Us” on 1st March 2024. The album is the internationally-based group’s first full collection of songs since the unexpected passing of long-serving lead vocalist David Longdon in late 2021. Besides marking the debut of new frontman Alberto Bravin, a former member of the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi, “The Likes Of Us” also heralds the beginning of a new relationship with Inside Out Music, the group having self-released their music for almost two decades.
Today the band is pleased to reveal a second track taken from the forthcoming album. ‘Miramare’ is an edited version of a song that features in a longer format on “The Likes Of Us”. You can watch the video, created by Miles Skarin of Crystal Spotlight, below.
Gregory Spawton comments on the track: “BBT is known for its story songs, and I was keen to find a story which is set in Italy. Alberto lives in Trieste and mentioned the story of Maximilian and Carlotta, which was both a romantic (but doomed) love story and also a tale of the end of empires. Miramare was their castle home, a castle of dreams, set on the shore just outside Trieste. It turned out to be a grand folly and a place of madness and nightmares. Alberto had written a lovely piece of music and melody to set the words to and so it was simply a process of reading some books on the history and finding the way to tell the story.”
Alberto Bravin adds: “Having grown up in Trieste, and recently returned here after living for some years in London and Milan, the Miramare castle has been a backdrop for most of my life. Putting the story of Maximilian and Carlotta into music with Greg has been hugely satisfying for me. It was very fulfilling to co-write this song together and create what will hopefully be regarded as a Big Big Train future classic. With all its twists and turns as the story progresses, Miramare should be great to play live as well.”
The band previously commented about the album: “We are delighted to announce the release of “The Likes Of Us” After the events of the last few years, this is a particularly important album for us, both as a band and individually. We’re very proud of the new songs, which we recorded principally in a studio in Italy. Working together in one room brought additional inspiration, real energy, and a clear sense of purpose. We’re thrilled with the results.”
“The Likes Of Us” will be released on several different formats, including for the first time as Dolby Atmos mixed by The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord, while the stereo mixes were undertaken by the band’s regular engineer Rob Aubrey.
The Dolby Atmos mix will come as part of the Limited CD & Blu-ray Mediabook edition that also contains the album as 5.1 Surround Sound & 24-bit high-resolution stereo. The album will also be available as a Gatefold 180g 2LP (available in black, sky blue, olive green, and orange formats), Standard CD Jewelcase, and Digital Album. The stunning artwork was created by the band’s longstanding collaborator Sarah Louise Ewing, with layouts by Steve Vantsis.
The album’s full track listing is as follows:
- Light Left In The Day 6:10
- Oblivion 5:27
- Beneath The Masts 17:26
- Skates On 4:28
- Miramare 10:17
- Love Is The Light 6:11
- Bookmarks 6:23
- Last Eleven 7:55
Big Big Train recently announced four shows in the USA in March 2024. These shows are in addition to the band’s previously announced co-headlining appearances next year on board Cruise To The Edge in March and at the final Night Of The Prog in Germany in July as well as their debut at Cropredy Festival in the UK in August.
The band will perform for the first time ever in the United States as follows:
- Friday 1st March 2024 – Sweetwater Performance Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Saturday 2nd March 2024 – Rivoli Theater at The Williams Center, Rutherford, New Jersey
- Sunday 3rd March 2024 – Rivoli Theater at The Williams Center, Rutherford, New Jersey
- Tuesday 5th March 2024 – Regent Theatre, Arlington (Boston), Massachusetts
Ticket links for these shows can be found HERE. The band’s two performances at the Rivoli Theater will feature substantially different set lists. Tickets for all shows will go on sale at 10 AM Eastern US time on Friday 15th December.
In May 2023, six members of Big Big Train left their homes in England (bassist Gregory Spawton, guitarist Dave Foster, and violinist Clare Lindley), the United States (drummer Nick D’Virgilio), Sweden (guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom) and Norway (keyboardist Oskar Holldorff) to gather for a week in lead vocalist Alberto Bravin’s home town of Trieste in NorthEastern Italy. They convened at Urban Recording, a studio recommended by Alberto, to lay down the basic tracks for the band’s new studio album. Being face-to-face in a room, as opposed to emailing sound files, the intimacy of the process generated moments of inspiration that would otherwise have gone unheard.
The process would prove emotional. “There were some tears; I cried a few of my own,” recalls D’Virgilio. “There are many reasons to explain why we hadn’t worked that way in quite a while, but the process brought out the best in everybody.”
“These were stories from our lives and we have a deep, personal connection with them,” Spawton remembers. “If there was blood on the tracks, we did everything possible to let that sink into the music.”
On the group’s most recent tour, two selections from “The Likes Of Us” – first single ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Love Is The Light’ – were introduced to an ecstatic audience response. During a tidal wave of rebirth and celebration for Big Big Train, Alberto Bravin was accepted as one of the family. Indeed, the chemistry of the band’s latest line-up has delivered mouth-watering results.
“We’ve got a great mix of people that want to be here and go the extra mile to do something very special,” D’Virgilio concludes. “There’s a big world of talented musicians out there, and luckily some of them want to hang out with us.”