The Underfall Yard
|The Underfall Yard|
|Studio album by Big Big Train|
|Released||15 December 2009|
|Genre||Progressive rock, post-prog|
|Big Big Train chronology|
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 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 songs written by Gregory Spawton.
- "Evening Star" – 4:53
- "Master James Of St. George" – 6:19
- "Victorian Brickwork" – 12:33
- "Last Train" – 6:28
- "Winchester Diver" – 7:31
- "The Underfall Yard" – 22:45
- Nick D'Virgilio – drums
- David Longdon – vocals
- Andy Poole – bass, keyboards
- Gregory Spawton – guitars, keyboards
- Guest musicians
- Dave Gregory – guitars, electric sitar
- Francis Dunnery – guitar
- Jem Godfrey – synthesizer solos
- Rich Evans – cornet
- Dave Desmond – trombone
- Jon Foyle – cello
- Nick Stones – french horn
- Jon Truscott – tuba
- BIG BIG TRAIN The Underfall Yard music reviews and MP3 @ progarchives.com
- "Big Big Train - The Underfall Yard (CD, Album) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
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