Following on from David's recent post about 2013, here is a brief look ahead to our plans in 2014.
As we've mentioned before, we are now gearing up for some live activity. This is a major undertaking for us as Big Big Train hasn't played any gigs since earlier incarnations of the band and, when the current BBT started working together in 2009, we did not expect to be in a position to be playing live again. This meant that the songs on our studio albums became multi-layered recordings (with brass and strings and all sorts of things) and these are not easy to perform live.
We did have the option of stripping the tracks back to more basic arrangements for live performances, but we like the sound of the music we make these days and want to perform the songs in as full a fashion as possible. So, we've decided that we'll be aiming for performances with brass and strings and have been working hard on preparing a number of songs to test out in our August rehearsals at Real World studios. Once we're happy that everything is sounding strong, we'll be looking to make some announcements about a live show or two (not sure where yet but certainly in England to start with.) As we've previously mentioned, we'll also be filming the Real World performances for a Blu-Ray and DVD release at a later stage.
In working through the songs, we've identified a need for a strong additional keyboard player, guitarist and vocalist. I am very pleased to announce that we will be joined at Real World and for live shows by the wonderful Rikard Sjöblom from one of our favourite bands, Beardfish. Rikard is a fine keyboard player, guitarist and singer and so is able to fill all of our requirements in one person. He is a also a top chap which is very important to us.
Alongside our Real World preparation we are well into recording a new studio album, and work continues on Station Masters where we are revisiting some of our earlier songs with the new line-up. So, we are extremely busy and, if you see a little less of us in the BBT forum from time-to-time it's simply because we're working hard on new music, old music, or both.
Finally, the subscription copies of Prog magazine have started to arrive today ahead of going on sale in the shops on the 8th January. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank-you to everybody who took the trouble to vote for us in the readers' polls in the magazine. The results Big Big Train achieved in the Prog polls (in band, album, vocalist and drummer categories) have given us a wonderful start to 2014.