We depart tonight for London to begin our Big Big Train-themed vacation. Big Big Train (BBT) is a progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth, England in 1990. BBT specializes in telling stories in song about the history, people and landscape of England, and their songs make you want to learn more about the stories behind their songs. Were it not for BBT, we never would have learned about Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, castle builder Master James of St. George, art restorer and forger Tom Keating, divers William Walker and Alexander Lambert, the record-setting steam locomotive The Mallard and on and on. Their music can be deeply moving, profoundly beautiful, highly complex, virtuosic. Our vacation will take us to various sites written about by BBT and will culminate back in London with three concerts by BBT.
Are we crazy to travel nearly 4,000 miles and spend eight hours on an airplane to see a rock concert? If so, then so are a lot of other people. Fans are coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand to attend these shows. The venue has a capacity of 950 and all three shows are sold out. BBT’s Facebook fan page has over 5,600 members from at least 33 different countries. BBT does not tour, though they may do some limited touring in the future. Touring is very expensive for a band consisting of eight official members (including one from the U.S. and one from Sweden) plus a 5-piece brass band. Prior to three shows in London in August of 2016, BBT had not played a live gig in 17 years and never with the current lineup.
For a taste of BBT live, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX5X19aHZ2M