Big Big Train release video for “The Florentine” from new live Blu-ray/2CD set

The new live album, Empire, will be released on Nov. 27th.

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 Electric, Folklore, Grimspound 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.

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