For those who are following the “modern” Progressive Rock scene, the name of Big Big Train should sound very familiar. It is one of those bands that have seen their reputation grow with each passing year. Despite the band has been active since the early 90’s, truth is that they have become extremely popular among the Prog Rock followers during the last decade; mostly, with the release of the albums English Electric Part 1 & Part 2, and Folklore.
Big Big Train is a band that doesn't play live very often.
So, the 3 live gigs that they did last year at Cadogan Hall, London, were sold-out immediately!
And. those gigs were followed by this live album, that has been recorded during these 3 concerts.
"Merchants of Light" can be found in a double CD format, including 16 tracks and a very detailed and “rich” booklet.
You also have the option of a 3-Vinyl box set, or simply the digital version.
The 16-track set is pulled from the band’s last 5 albums, "Grimspound", "Folklore", "The Underfall Yard" and "English Electric I & II". (But 9 out of the 16 songs are from Folklore and Grimspound; I was also surprised to see that they didn’t include any song from their latest album The Second Brighter Star, which came out just a few months after Grimspound).
The album opens with a string overture, before kicking off into a rocking version of Folklore.
Right after that, it’s time for the wonderful 12-minute-long epic Brave Captain, which is one of my favourites.
Song after song the band becomes better and better, until we reach to Swan Hunter, which is one of the best songs this band ever recorded and one of the album’s highlights.
David Longdon’s voice is excellent while the whole band gives a flawless performance.
And, when I say “the whole band”, I mean 10 people on stage including a horn section.
And, despite difficulties, the mix and the production are simply excellent and the album sounds perfect!
Merchants of Light is not just a live album, it is a listening experience.
It captures one of the world’s best modern Progressive Rock bands at their very best.
For more info: http://www.bigbigtrain.com/