Band History – From ‘The Underfall Yard’ to the ‘Far Skies’ (2009-2010)

In February 2009, Sean Filkins and Steve Hughes left Big Big Train and were replaced by Nick D’Virgilio and David Longdon.

David Longdon was signed to Rondor Music and recorded for Epic records in the 1990’s with his band The Gifthorse. In the final days of The Gifthorse, Longdon was invited to audition as a potential replacement for Phil Collins as lead singer in Genesis. He worked with Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and producer Nick Davis from May to November 1996 on recordings that would become the Calling All Stations album. Genesis also worked with Stiltskin vocalist Ray Wilson at the same time and eventually he was preferred over Longdon. Nick D’Virgilio, also played drums on Calling All Stations.

Big Big Train 2011

Longdon’s first solo CD Wild River (2004) featured many musicians collectively known as The Magic Club. In 2008 Martin Orford (IQ) invited Longdon to sing on his swan-song album The Old Road which was also recorded by Rob Aubrey and once again featured Nick D’Virgilio. Shortly afterwards, Longdon joined Big Big Train in time to commence work on The Underfall Yard which was released on December 15th 2009. Guest appearances on The Underfall Yard include Dave Gregory (XTC), Francis Dunnery (It Bites) and Jem Godfrey (Frost*). Big Big Train were also joined on the album by a brass band led by Dave Desmond of the Coldstream Guards band.

A 41 minute EP (Far Skies Deep Time) was released in October 2010 as a companion CD to The Underfall Yard. The EP included a cover version of Anthony Phillips’ “Master of Time”, an unreleased song from The Underfall Yard sessions (Fat Billy Shouts Mine) and three new songs including the 17 minute epic “The Wide Open Sea”.

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