|The Underfall Yard|
|Studio album by|
|Released||15 December 2009|
|Genre||Progressive rock, new prog|
|Big Big Train chronology|
The Underfall Yard is the sixth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train, and their first to feature vocalist and multi-instrumentalist David Longdon. It was released on 15 December 2009, by English Electric Recordings.
The Underfall Yard consists of an opening instrumental track and 5 songs. The album has an elegiac atmosphere, with a number of the songs exploring historical themes in an almost nostalgic manner.
The opening instrumental track, "Evening Star", sets out some of the instrumental motifs which recur in the title track.
Two of the songs, "Master James of St. George" and "Victorian Brickwork", are about Spawton's father, who died shortly before the album was released.
"Last Train" is a song about a Mr Delia who was the last station master at Hurn station, which was an isolated station on a rural branch line on the border of Dorset and Hampshire. The station closed in 1935. The song tells the story of Mr Delia's final day as the last train departs.
"Winchester Diver" is about diver William Walker who, in the early 1900s, worked under the flooded foundations of Winchester Cathedral to save it from collapse. Diving in 20 feet of water and in appalling conditions, Walker shored up the foundations. The song explores the contrast between the dreadful working conditions he endured and life in the cathedral above him, which carried on as normal.
The 23 minute title track, "The Underfall Yard", is a song about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the great Victorian engineers. The Underfall Yard itself is located in Bristol and is an engineering solution, partly developed by Brunel, to maintain water and silt levels in the city's harbour. The song explores Enlightenment themes, contrasting the rationalism of the Victorian era to a coming 'age of unreason'. The Underfall Yard was initially inspired by Richard Fortey's The Hidden Landscape. In the book, Fortey describes a journey along Brunel's Great Western line, where, as the author travelled west, the rocks are found to be older.
All tracks are written by Greg Spawton.
|2.||"Master James of St. George"||6:19|
|6.||"The Underfall Yard"||22:54|
Nicholas D'Virgilio often referred to as NDV, is an American drummer and multi-instrumentalist musician, best known as a member of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard. He was also one of two drummers chosen to replace Phil Collins in Genesis on the Calling All Stations album. He has also done session work with many artists including Tears for Fears and Mystery, and is an official member of Big Big Train.
Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, a project consisting of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More and Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, is a series of albums by Frank Zappa. Released as separate albums in May 1981 on Barking Pumpkin Records, it was subsequently reissued as a triple album box set in 1982.
Spectral Mornings is the third studio album by English guitarist and songwriter Steve Hackett, released in May 1979 on Charisma Records. It is his first to feature members of his touring band, which many Hackett fans consider as the "classic line-up". The musicians are his brother John Hackett, Nick Magnus, Dik Cadbury, John Shearer, and Pete Hicks.
Big Big Train are an English progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth in 1990. The current line-up consists of band founder Greg Spawton, along with Nick D'Virgilio and Rikard Sjöblom. Robin Armstrong joined the group for live performances in 2019. Until 2009, the band were active as a predominantly-studio project led by Spawton and co-founder Andy Poole, who departed the band in 2018, with changing line-ups and guest musicians. They have released twelve studio albums and three EPs.
The Difference Machine is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 30 August 2007, by English Electric Recordings. TDM is a concept album exploring chaos theory, communication, failure, death, loss, and bereavement. The story is of the death of an individual, which was linked to an exploding star in a distant galaxy. There are more influences of Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis, Mew, Sigur Rós and King Crimson throughout the album.
The Underfall Yard is a historic boatyard on Spike Island serving Bristol Harbour in England.
Goodbye To The Age of Steam is the debut studio album by the English progressive rock band, Big Big Train. It was released in 1994, by Giant Electric Pea. On the official BBT website, Spawton has revealed that "much of the album was about how people lose their way in their lives; about the tightrope we all walk every day. The album title wasn't linked to this, but it conveyed a feeling of pathos which fitted the mood of the songs."
English Boy Wonders is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band, Big Big Train. It was released in 1997 by Giant Electric Pea.
English Electric Part One is the seventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 3 September 2012, by English Electric Recordings and GEP.
English Electric Part Two is the eighth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 4 March 2013, by English Electric Recordings and GEP.
Wassail is the third official studio EP by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 1 June 2015 by English Electric Recordings and Burning Shed. It contains three new songs and a live bonus track that originally appeared on The Underfall Yard. The title track also appears on the band's next full-length studio album, Folklore, released the following year, while the other two new songs are included only on the double-LP vinyl release of that album.
Far Skies Deep Time is the first official studio EP by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released in 2010 by English Electric Recordings, and re-released in 2011 with "Kingmaker" replacing "Master of Time" as the first track. It contains five tracks, including a 17-minute epic about the last voyage of Belgian singer Jacques Brel.
Make Some Noise is the second official studio EP by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 23 September 2013 by English Electric Recordings and Burning Shed. It contains four new tracks from the compilation album English Electric: Full Power, plus a selection of tracks from English Electric Part One and English Electric Part Two, two of which are edited versions.
Folklore is the ninth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. Released on 27 May 2016, it was recorded at English Electric Studios, produced by Big Big Train, and mixed and mastered at Aubitt Studios by Rob Aubrey. It is the first studio album to feature Rachel Hall and then-Beardfish lead vocalist Rikard Sjöblom as official members.
David Longdon was a British multi-instrumentalist and singer, who was best known as the lead vocalist and co-songwriter of the progressive rock band Big Big Train. Besides singing, Longdon played flute, keyboards, acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitars, bass, mandolin, lute, banjo, accordion, percussion, dulcimer, psaltry, vibraphone, theremin and glockenspiel.
English Electric: Full Power is a compilation album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It presents tracks from their seventh and eighth studio albums, English Electric Part One and English Electric Part Two, along with four new pieces as a self-contained double CD album. The album was issued in a book-style digipack, including a 96-page booklet.
Grimspound is the tenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. Released on 28 April 2017, it was recorded at English Electric Studios, produced by Big Big Train, and mixed and mastered at Aubitt Studios by Rob Aubrey.
The Second Brightest Star is the eleventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It contains a mix of new songs along with re-worked material from the band's previous two albums, Folklore and Grimspound.
Merchants of Light is the second live offering by Big Big Train and is based on the autumn 2017 Concerts at Cadogan Hall, London. It was recorded across three dates 29, 30 September and 1 October 2017, then first released on 27 July 2018.
Grand Tour is the twelfth studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It contains all new songs unlike the previous, The Second Brightest Star. Thematically it broadens the lyrical landscape for the group into the European world, previously having a largely domestic British focus. It moves from English folklore and landscape, to the 17th and 18th century habit of well-to-do Europeans going on the 'Grand Tour' to experience a wider circle of art and science. It is the last studio album to feature band members Dave Gregory, Rachel Hall, and Danny Manners who left in 2020.