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Door One

Door One

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Door One, borrowing the nickname for a recreation ground in Nottingham near where David grew up, has a musical personality that is distinct from his work within Big Big Train even though Gregory Spawton plays acoustic guitar on two songs. I will say that this tends to make the album feel quite raw, which isn’t a word I would ever have used for David’s music in the past. Thankfully, Big Big Train have chosen to continue, albeit in a different configuration and one that pays tribute to their deeply missed colleague.

I was excited to discover a band I hadn’t heard of before who had an unique perspective on rock music, merging elements of prog and folk together and bound together by David’s Gabrielesque vocals. A reflection on his craft, The Singer And The Song must be at the very least partially autobiographical. It opens with Into The Icehouse, an instrumental, ambient piece of birdsong and minimal piano tones playing almost a lament.The Big Big Train gig I attended in Edinburgh in 2019 will always be etched in my mind as one of the stand out concerts and performances I’ve ever been to, irrespective of how things ended up turning out – and it’s that, plus my love of the music he was a major part of creating with BBT, and the kinship that the music invokes in fans, that makes his passing a painful one. In doing so David achieved two things: getting the album across the line but sadly posthumously, aided by friends and colleagues keen to ensure the world heard what David wanted to say. Je peux conseiller Common Ground aux amateurs de rock progressif symphonique, de préférence à ceux qui ont un goût pour les sonorités seventies (mais pas que).

It doesn’t ruin this album, as I think it does add a layer of emotion that isn’t always present with BBT, but it can be distracting and certain moments do not sound very good at all. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The cathartic lyrical arc here draws on some liberating hypnotherapy sessions Longdon had to treat his fear of flying, set to a strident, proggy, beautifully paced musical backdrop.

David released his first solo album, Wild River, back in 2004 but on joining Big Big Train, the band became his primary focus. Sangfroid follows and is another song about relationships and their transient nature, this track has great lyrics that are really heartfelt and poignant. Right from the opener “Into the Icehouse” with its cinematic music, you can tell that David was trying to do something new. His legacy thankfully remains with this album that was 90% complete at that time having now been completed by his friends as a tribute to a good man, a Brave Captain, to coin one of his songs. He had been recording since April 2021, following the completion of Big Big Train’s Common Ground album.

In that same perfect world Big, Big Train - the group for which he provided vocals, lyrics and the odd snatch of flute - would have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame years ago. Nicely crafted tracks but a couple do seem to be that they are missing the final touches to the album. Big, Big Train, while massively successful in the prog-sphere, mean little to anyone outside their own niche. Overall, listening to Door One reminds of how I felt when I listened to by first BBT opus - The Underfall Yard. Sure, initially it does sound very much like BBT in their pomp, but on closer inspection the songs feel looser, more dynamic and rockier.Travis really goes for it again here, with squalls of soprano, tenor and baritone sax as the song drives to a momentous close. The mandolin and melody line give a folky lilt, the guitar solo and Wurlitzer organ are bluesy, and Theo Travis’ smokey sax outro is pure class (as a steer Longdon’s pointed Travis to Dick Parry’s work on one of his favourite albums, The Dark Side Of The Moon). I think that is reflected in Door One, as well, since it is something of a departure from David’s normal style.

It’s a high bar, but that album is the closest relative of Door One, his second solo release after 2004’s Wild River. Watch It Burn’s low piano line, new wave guitar riff and great Stacey/Vantsis groove power along as Longdon revisits a toxic relationship with an alcohol-dependent ex-lover. The decks are cleared after that emotional trip with the orchestral intro to “Sangfroid” (which means “composure under trying circumstances”).Given the circumstances, this wasn’t created as a “last will and testament” and I’m not going to look at it through that lens.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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