Big Big Train share live performance of “The Florentine” in advance of ‘The Journey Continues’ Tour

Photo Credit: Michael Heller

To celebrate and promote the forthcoming ‘The Journey Continues’ Tour this August & September, Big Big Train will be sharing videos of a couple of songs filmed on tour last year. The first of these is “The Florentine” which was recorded in September 2022 at The Boerderij in The Netherlands.
You can see the video here: 

Alberto Bravin says: “I was very pleased when we agreed last year that “The Florentine” should be on the set list for our shows last September. After all, what could be better for an Italian than singing about Leonardo da Vinci?! “The Florentine” is a wonderful song to sing and a perfect example of David Longdon’s songwriting genius. We’re very fortunate to have the song as part of the Big Big Train catalogue. 
“Duetting at the start and end of “The Florentine,” with Nick D’Virgilio coming out from behind the drum kit, was fun. It has some great opportunities for ensemble playing as well as some showcasing some terrific solos – I really enjoyed being on stage watching Oskar Holldorff playing that keyboard solo and Rikard rocking out on the guitar solo every night. For the gig at the Boerderij we thought it would be interesting to have a camera on Rikard’s guitar too. I hope we will be playing “The Florentine” live many more times in the future.”
Nick D’Virgilio adds: “I loved singing with Alberto. Seeing the live film of us playing “The Florentine” at the legendary Boerderij venue in the Netherlands is so cool. It still amazes me that this was only our third show playing together with Alberto, Oskar, Clare Lindley and Dave Foster. Our performance may not be 100% perfect but we really rocked and it was very memorable – particularly for a Monday night!”
“Our Boerderij show was also the first time that we had played a standing venue since our Night Of The Prog gig back in 2018. The night had a different vibe to the shows we’ve done in seated theatres on previous tours and I’m really looking forward to us playing a mix of venues when we’re back out on the road in August and September this year.”

You can see a short, recent message from Gregory Spawton about the tour and the next BBT studio album here And a message from Alberto Bravin here

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 DATESSaturday 26th August – Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Sunday 27th August – Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Monday 28th August – Stora Teatern, Gothenburg, Sweden
Tuesday 29th August – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway
Wednesday 30th August – Fryshuset Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden
Thursday 31st August – Viften, Copenhagen, DenmarkSaturday 2nd September – 2 Days + 1 Festival, Revislate, Italy
Sunday 3rd September – Z7, Pratteln (Basel), Switzerland
Tuesday 5th September – Neuberinhaus, Reichenbach, Germany
Wednesday 6th September – Carlswerk Victoria, Cologne, Germany
Thursday 7th September – Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Friday 8th September – Mozart-Saal, Stuttgart, GermanySunday 10th September – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, UK
Monday 11th September – Town Hall, Birmingham, UK
Tuesday 12th September – Cadogan Hall, London, UK
Wednesday 13th September – Cadogan Hall, London, UKSupport at all shows except Wednesday 13th September comes from rising Norwegian stars Dim Gray, who feature BBT’s Oskar Holldorff. There will be no support at the Wednesday 13th September show.Please see ticket links to all venue box offices.

Big Big Train will release the album titled ‘Ingenious Devices’ on 30th June 2023 on CD, double vinyl (black and sky blue vinyl) and hi-resolution (24/96) Bandcamp download. ‘Ingenious Devices’ will be available on all major streaming platforms from 28th July 2023.

‘Ingenious Devices’ features 59 minutes of music, including new versions of “East Coast Racer”, “Brooklands” and “Voyager,” which prominently feature an elite 17 piece string section recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and have been re-mixed for this release.

Additionally, ‘Ingenious Devices’ includes a previously unreleased orchestral piece called “The Book of Ingenious Devices”, which links “East Coast Racer” and “Brooklands”, as well as a live version of “Atlantic Cable”, which was recorded on the band’s tour in September 2022.

Ingenious Devices is available to pre-order here:


Big Big Train share video for “The Florentine” from new live release ‘Empire’

Big Big Train recently announced the release on November 27th, 2020 of Empire, a live Blu-ray film/2 CD set recorded on November 2nd, 2019 at the Hackney Empire in London. The 12 song set runs to just under 2 hours and includes material from the English ElectricFolkloreGrimspound and Grand Tour studio albums. It was directed and edited by Tim Sidwell of Toward Infinity (who has previously worked with Marillion, Status Quo, Thunder, Magnum, Lisa Stansfield and Steps), with audio mixed by BBT’s sound engineer Rob Aubrey.

Today, the band are pleased to share the video for “The Florentine” taken from the live set, which you can see here:

“When I wrote The Florentine, it was written as a song that would enable Nick to step out from behind his drum kit and join me, singing together in close harmony at the front of the stage,” David Longdon says. “BBT has several singers within the ranks and I was keen to write layered harmony vocal sections too. Here we are performing The Florentine live at the final concert of our first UK tour.”

“The Florentine is yet another reason why I just love being in Big Big Train!” Nick D’Virgilio adds. “Not only did David write a beautiful vocal that allowed me to come forwards and sing alongside him, but he also wrote a cracking second half of the song that is a total blast to play drums on  – the best of both worlds in my humble opinion. We all had so much fun at the gig at the Hackney Empire and everyone in the band was on fire that night.”

Watch the previously released video for “Winkie” from Empire here:

Empire is available as a Blu-ray/2CD set and is available for pre-order here:


1) Novum Organum
2) Alive
3) Hedgerow
4) Theodora in Green and Gold
5) Winkie
6) The Florentine
7) Brave Captain
8) Voyager
9) Homesong
10) Wassail
11) Engines and Men
12) East Coast Racer
CD 1
1) Novum Organum 
2) Alive
3) Hedgerow
4) Theodora in Green and Gold 
5) Winkie
6) The Florentine
7) Brave Captain
CD 2
1) Voyager
2) Homesong
3) Wassail 
4) Engines and Men
5) East Coast Racer

Unknown to the band at the time, Empire also memorialises the last Big Big Train concert to feature guitarist Dave Gregory, violinist Rachel Hall and keyboardist Danny Manners. While Dave Gregory’s departure from Big Big Train was announced in March this year, Rachel Hall and Danny Manners have also recently decided the leave the band.
“Every night of our first ever UK tour was special, but playing the Hackney Empire was particularly memorable. It is now additionally poignant as our last full show with Dave, Danny and Rachel,” BBT bassist Gregory Spawton comments. “We’re thrilled by the work that Tim Sidwell and his team and Rob Aubrey have done. We remain proud of our two previous concert films, but visually and sonically Empire represents another step forward and is a great way to mark the end of a particular era for BBT.”

“Over the three decades of the band’s existence, Big Big Train’s line-up has seen plenty of comings and goings,” Gregory Spawton continues. “We fully respect the decisions that Danny and Rachel have reached. While we will miss them personally, equally we are intrigued about how BBT will evolve further as we enter a new phase in our career. David, our drummer Nick D’Virgilio, our guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom and I have already written a new BBT studio album and will be going into the studio later in the autumn with as a core quartet to record it. We’re aiming to release it before next summer in time for our next live shows.”
For those 2021 live shows, Big Big Train are delighted to announce that keyboardist Carly Bryant and guitarist Dave Foster will join the BBT live band, with the identity of a new violinist to be announced soon.

Following the cancellation of Big Big Train’s July 2020 UK/European tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, the following dates have been re-arranged for 2021:

Saturday 17 July – Ramblin’ Man Festival, Kent, UK
Sunday 18 July – Friars, Aylesbury, UK

Further dates will be announced in due course.