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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Leading UK Prog Outfit Big Big Train Set To Release New Album + Announce UK & European Tour Dates

By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Massimo Goina.

Big Big Train have announced 15 further shows in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and the UK to take place in August and September 2023.

These additional dates form part of the band’s The Journey Continues tour and are in addition to the band’s previously announced headlining appearance at the 2 Days + 1 Festival in Italy on 2nd September 2023. At these performances the band will be promoting the forthcoming Ingenious Devices album, which will be released on 30th June 2023.

For these shows Big Big Train will consist of lead vocalist Alberto Bravin, drummer Nick D’Virgilio, guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom, bassist Gregory Spawton, violinist Clare Lindley, keyboardist Oskar Holldorff and guitarist Maria Barbieri. Barbieri is deputizing for Dave Foster, who has prior commitments in September with the Steve Rothery Band. The Big Big Train brass ensemble, led by trombonist Dave Desmond, will perform at all shows.

Alberto Bravin says: “After the shows we played in the UK and the Netherlands back in September, I cannot wait to get back on stage again with Big Big Train later this year. I remain truly grateful to the fans for welcoming me so warmly at last year’s shows and am excited about BBT touring more extensively.”

Rikard Sjöblom adds: “I have been campaigning for a long time for Big Big Train to come to Sweden, so I am really pleased that we’re bringing the band for the first time not only to my home country for two shows but also to play two other dates in Denmark and Norway. I hope the Scandinavian prog fans will come out in force to see us live!”

Nick D’Virgilio says: “As we’re doing two nights at the beautiful Cadogan Hall in London, these will be very special shows with about 45 minutes of material being played at one show which will not be performed at the other.”

Gregory Spawton concludes: “As 2023 begins, I’m very confident about Big Train’s future. Apart from playing live this year, we will also be recording a new studio album for release in 2024 and are looking forward to taking BBT across the Atlantic for Cruise To The Edge in March next year.”

Big Big Train was founded by songwriter Gregory Spawton in 1990 and went through several line-up changes during the course of five albums. In 2009, with the recruitment of a new lead vocalist, David Longdon, and drummer, Nick D’Virgilio, the band embarked on a fresh start. Since then, Big Big Train have earned significant critical acclaim in both the mainstream and music press, won numerous Progressive Music Awards, played sold out shows and seen their albums reach number 1 in the Official UK rock charts and break into the top 40 in the Official UK album charts.

After a lengthy period as a studio band, Big Big Train returned to live performances in 2015. Following successful mini-residencies in London in 2015 and 2017, the band headlined the Night Of The Prog festival in Germany in summer 2018. They toured the UK for the first time in 2019, culminating in a sold out show at London’s Hackney Empire, subsequently released as the critically acclaimed Blu-ray Empire. The band also released two studio albums in 2021 and 2022, Common Ground and Welcome To The Planet.

Tragedy struck Big Big Train in November 2021 with the death of David Longdon. After careful consideration, and with the full support of David’s partner, in spring 2022 the band decided to continue and brought Italian vocalist Alberto Bravin on board.

Big Big Train played their first live shows in almost three years in September 2022 in the UK and the Netherlands. Joining Spawton, longstanding American drummer Nick D’Virgilio (Genesis, Spock’s Beard, Tears For Fears), Swedish guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom (Beardfish, Gungfly) and the Big Big Train brass ensemble, these shows marked the live debuts of Alberto Bravin (PFM), Norwegian keyboardist Oskar Holldorff (Dim Gray) and British violinist Clare Lindley (Stackridge) and guitarist Dave Foster (The Steve Rothery Band, Mr So & So).

For their shows in August & September 2023, Italian guitarist Maria Barbieri is deputising for Dave Foster, who has prior commitments with the Steve Rothery Band.

The band’s most recent album is Ingenious Devices, released in June 2023. They are currently preparing a new studio album for release in spring 2024 and will be performing on board Cruise To The Edge in March 2024.


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