And another adventure begins.
Tonight we depart for another one of our crazy trips to see our favorite band Big Big Train perform live. Not three nights in a row at the same venue in London, as in 2017. Not one night at a festival with many other bands, as in Germany in 2018. This time we’re in for a whirlwind tour of the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Following a couple of days in London we’ll travel by train to Glasgow (Scotland) where we will visit our friends Glenn and Maureen for five days, exploring the Sottish countryside on what will certainly be a grand adventure culminating in a barbecue at their house where our BBT friends will begin to converge. Then, we will attend all six gigs of the band’s first ever UK tour (well, first ever anywhere tour), beginning in Edinburgh then on to Newcastle (followed by a non-gig night in York), Halifax, Birmingham, Newport (south Wales) and ending in London, traveling roughly 600 miles in eight days.
It’s an exciting time for the band. They’ve released a new album this year, Grand Tour, which will be showcased on the setlist. The album won Progressive Rock Album of the year, and the band even charted on the mainstream British rock charts!
As with our travels prior to the 2017 shows in London and last year’s show in Germany, we’ll be visiting some places that we probably would never have visited were it not for BBT. This is a band that inspires an interest in learning about the places and people reflected in their music. If not for their song “The Underfall Yard” we would probably have never visited Bristol and seen the subject of that song and would never have walked across the engineering marvel called the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Winchester was always a must-do spot for us but would we have known about Oram’s Arbour or the view from St Giles’ Hill?
As important as this music is to us, equally as important or perhaps even more important is the chance to see the dear friends that we have made because of our mutual love of Big Big Train, and get acquainted with friends that we’ve made online but have never met face-to-face. And the friends who will be there in spirit (you know who you are). And we will no doubt make even more friends along the way. There is even a film crew coming all the way from Australia to document the tour, including interviews with fans. You never know – maybe coming soon to a theater near you!
As an example of the sort of relationships this band inspires, a group of seventeen Passengers (Big Big Train fans) are collaborating on a record album that will be released in 2020. The contributors are submitting their parts from England, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, the US and the Canary Islands. We can’t wait to hear it!
Needless to say we are looking very much forward to this trip which will take us to parts of the UK we have never been. We will share our adventures and the musical/culinary/historical/cultural discoveries we will no doubt make as we go.