Tag Archives: Big Big Train

Belle Adair – Long Fade Out

Long Fade Out by Belle Adair is today’s Track of the Day.

One of the few Facebook groups I belong to is the Big Big Train group, the forum for “listeners of progressive band Big Big Train“. Whilst a lot of the discussions on the group revolve around prog, sprouts & chocolate,the main reason I enjoy this group so much is the amount and variety of new music I’m introduced to by fellow group members, or “passengers”.

Long Fade Out by Belle Adair is one such track. I had heard of Belle Adair prior to today. I’m a big fan of John Paul White (have I ever told you, I’ve seen him live?) and Belle Adair are one of the artists on his Single Lock Records label, so I’d come across them whilst browsing the Single Lock Records website, but hadn’t checked out their music. I am doing now!

The Facebook post that shared the link to the song suggested that fans of The Byrds, Jayhawks and Teenage Fanclub would enjoy the track. I’m big Teenage Fanclub  (have I ever told you…) fan, I like a lot of what The Jayhawks have released and who doesn’t like The Byrds? So I had to give this track a listen!

Long Fade Out is the second track on Belle Adair’s 2017 album, Tuscumbia and is a song that hooked me straight away on my first listen. I can definitely see the Teenage Fanclub reference and having listened to the whole album on Spotify I can see why the blurb on the Single Lock Records website mentions that Tuscumbia offers “hints at times of southern California country and even vintage Britpop”. Mind you, I’m not sure I’d class Teenage Fanclub as Britpop!

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscumbia was recorded at Muscle Shoals’ legendary FAME Studios. Now that is a place that is on my bucket list! Talking of Muscle Shoals, having read a bit more about Belle Adair, I found out that they recently backed fellow Single Lock Records artist and Muscle Shoal legend, Donnie Fritts, whose album, Oh My Goodness I bought last year. They also toured as John Paul White’s band. Frontman Matthew Green also went on tour with Dylan LeBlanc, another Single Lock Records artist. I bought Dylan LeBlanc’s album, Cautionary Tale, last year as well, and that album’s just brilliant!

Listening to the album, you can tell this is a band that are used to playing often with each other, which probably explains how they managed to record the album in just a week. I’ve given the album a couple of listens now on Spotify and it’s one I’m adding to my ever increasing list of albums to buy, but in the meantime..

I’m adding Long Fade Out by Belle Adair to my 2018 Track of the Day playlist

 

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Kscope, Vol.9

Kscope, Vol.9 has the honor of being my first download of the year and for the grand sum of $4.99 there’s a helluva lot of music, 12 tracks in total. Kscope describe themselves as Post-Progressive Sounds on their website. I’m not a huge fan of the current prog scene, so I don’t tend to find out about any new bands, apart from recommendations through the Big Big Train Facebook group, so the Kscope samplers are a good way of dipping into some of the latest releases.

Having listened to the album a few times now, there are, for me, a couple of stand out tracks.

Firstly Tear Down the Grey Skies by Tangerine Dream. I’ve always liked Tangerine Dream, I have two of their albums in my vinyl collection, Tangram and White Eagle, which I have to admit I haven’t played in a while, but hearing this track has made me want to give them an airing.

The second track to grab my attention was Things People Want by Paul Draper, who is someone I’ve never heard of before. Having checked out the blurb on the Kscope website apparently he used to be the lead singer of Mansun, who I’ve heard of, but can’t recall any of their stuff! This track is taken from his album Spooky Action, which I may be tempted to buy. This could be one of those occasions where I give it a listen on Spotify before making a final decision.

There is a live Pineapple Thief track on the album, Alone at Sea, which I quite liked, but I’m not a fan of hearing isolated extracts from live albums, much preferring to hear the full album, but Pineapple Thief is a band I do want to hear more from, I have got a sampler featuring some of their tracks and some from Bruce Soord, one of the group members.

It was through an earlier Kscope sampler that I came across Bruce Soord’s solo album, which was one of my favorite albums of 2016

Talking of Spotify, I’ve started a new playlist for 2018 Tracks of the Day and I’m kicking it off with Things People Want by Paul Draper

I’ve just been on the Paul Draper website and by signing on too his mailing list I’ve got a download of a track from his first EP, called The Silence is Deafening.

Sorry just got sidetracked there, here’s the link to my 2018 Tracks of the Day playlist

 

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Big Big Train – Wassail

Track of the Day – 01.24.16

Big Big Train – Wassail

Big Big Train - Wassail

 

 

 

 

 

Wassail by Big Big Train is today’s Track of the Day. “Why Wassail?” I hear you say. Well….

I listen to WNKU during my drive back home from work and every Thursday, they have a feature called Five o’clock Tails, when Molly Wellman talks to the host about various cocktails. It’s one of my favorite features, particularly when she talks about the history of the cocktail. This last Thursday, she talked about Wassail,a hot mulled punch, and the tradition of Wassailing. Being from England, I’m quite familiar with the Wassailing tradition and now I’m living here in Cincinnati, it was cool to hear about this whilst driving home through Ohio!

Although I love living in Cincinnati, every now and again I miss England, when I do I tend to listen to Big Big Train. I’ve heard their music described as “English Pastoral” which is a pretty accurate description.

Their Big Big Train EP was released last year and, in addition to Wassail, includes a couple of other fine studio tracks, Lost Rivers of London and Mudlarks, together with a live version of Master James of St George, from their 2009 album, The Underfall Yard.

Here’s their promo video for Wassail

And I have ever told you…

Well unfortunately, I haven’t seen Big Big Train live, I had tickets for one of their few live performances last year, but I was this side of the Atlantic and the gig was the other side!

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Karnataka – Secrets of Angels

Up until about a week ago I’d never heard of Karnataka, then their new album, Secrets of Angels, started getting mentioned a lot in the Big Big Train Facebook group I belong too. A lot of my purchases over the past year have been on the recommendation of fellow members of the group, or Passengers as they prefer to be called. To date each purchase has turned out to be a good buy, and Secrets of Angels by Karnataka is no exception.

Karnataka - Secrets of Angels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since receiving the download on Wednesday, I’ve been listening to this album constantly. It supposedly comes under the label of prog, but in my world, there are only two labels, “Music I like” and “Music I don’t like”. Secrets of Angels most definitely comes under the first category!

As mentioned, I knew nothing about this group whatsoever. Their website, Karnataka.org.uk, has a comprehensive history of the band, including a section on their new vocalist Hayley Griffiths, who is probably the main reason I like this album so much. She’s a classically trained soprano with years of experience gained from extensive touring with Michael Flatley’s Riverdance and Lord of the Dance productions. And it’s the classical vocals that make this such an outstanding album. That’s not to decry the rest of the band, who sound excellent and will certainly lead me to explore their back catalogue.

Another plus point for the album is that it was recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios, never a bad thing in my view!

The album has an orchestral and operatic feel to it as well, which adds to it’s appeal in my opinion.

Anyway enough of me waffling, there’s a superb review of Secrets of Angels by Karnakata on the Progradar website here, which describes this excellent album far better than I ever could!

And just to wet your appetite, check this out….

How good does that sound?

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