BIG BIG TRAIN – Ingenious Devices (2023)

BIG BIG TRAIN - Ingenious Devices (2023) - full

Impressive UK progsters BIG BIG TRAIN are releasing ”Ingenious Devices”, with 2023 re-recordings of some of their classic, most celebrated tracks. The labum features new versions of ‘East Coast Racer’, ‘Brooklands’ and ‘Voyager’, which prominently feature an elite 17 piece string section recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and have been re-mixed for this release.
Additionally, ”Ingenious Devices” includes a previously unreleased orchestral piece called ‘The Book of Ingenious Devices’, which links East Coast Racer and Brooklands, as well as a live version of ‘Atlantic Cable’, which was recorded on the band’s tour in September 2022.
This is simply a terrific progressive rock journey, dynamic, never boring, and you’ll find something new with each listen.

With the exception of the late David Longdon’s lead vocals which have been compiled from the original album sessions, ‘East Coast Racer’ is a completely new studio version recorded by the line-up of the band as it was in 2019. ‘Brooklands’ features newly recorded drums, bass and bass pedals, while ‘Voyager’ includes additional guitar and violin.
All three songs have been re-mixed for this release, and sound better than ever.

The re-arranging of ‘East Coast Racer’ to feature a full string section gave the song a further lift. The new recording also features Dave Gregory’s guitar solo on the closing section, a solo which has only previously featured on live performances. I am pleased we now have the definitive studio version on Ingenious Devices. The timing of this release also deliberately ties in with the 85th anniversary of the Mallard’s locomotive world speed record which inspired the lyric.

On ‘Brooklands’, The Abbey Road strings have significantly enhanced the song. The additional, new track ‘The Book Of Ingenious Devices’ was composed to act as a segue between East Coast Racer and Brooklands, and I like the way the tracks now flow into each other.
The changes to ‘Voyager’ are more subtle but still elevate the song beyond the version on the Grand Tour album.

Ingenious Devices also features a live performance of ‘Atlantic Cable’, recorded at Friars, Aylesbury in September 2022. New BBT vocalist Alberto Bravin comments: “Atlantic Cable was recorded at our second show of the tour last year. It’s not an easy song to play at all and we were both amazed and relieved that we pulled it off so well. I experienced a real baptism of fire playing that show in front of over 1,000 passionate BBT fans, but their response to the song and the rest of our live set that night was truly motivating.”

”Ingenious Devices” is a great way of uniting four of Big Big Train’s epic songs about technology. The album also celebrates the wonderful vocals of the late David Longdon on East Coast Racer, Brooklands and Voyager, and looks forward to the future with Alberto putting in such a great performance on Atlantic Cable.
Highly Recommended


1 – East Coast Racer (2023)
2 – The Book of Ingenious Devices
3 – Brooklands (2023)
4 – Voyager (2023)
5 – Atlantic Cable (live)

David Longdon . lead & backing vocals, flute, guitar
Dave Gregory – electric & 12-string guitars
Andy Poole – acoustic guitar, mandolin, keyboards, backing vocals
Rikard Sjöblom – keyboards, guitars, accordion, backing vocals
Danny Manners – keyboards, double bass
Rachel Hall – violin, viola, cello, backing vocals, string arrangements
Greg Spawton – bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Nick D’Virgilio – drums & percussion, backing vocals
Alberto Bravin – lead vocals



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.