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Big Big Train release live video for The Florentine

Big Big Train on stage
(Image credit: Bo Hansen)

UK prog rockers Big Big Train have released a live video of The Florentine. Originally from the band's 2019 album Grand Tour, the eight-minute track, which features David Longdon and drummer Nick D'Virgilio on vocals, is taken from the band's upcoming live Blu-ray/2CD set Empire, which will be released through English Electric on November 27.

The 12-song Empire, which clocks in at just under two hours, was recorded at Londons Hackney Empire on November 2 on last year's UK tour. You can watch the new video in full below.

"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,” says vocalist David Longdon. “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!” adds D’Virgilio. “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.”

Big Big Train recently announced that keyboard player Danny Manners and violin player Rachel Hall have both left the band. This follows the departure of guitar player Dave Gregory who announced he was leaving earlier this year. It leaves the band as a core quartet of vocalist David Longdon, bass player Greg Spawton, drummer Nick D'Virgilio and guitarist and keyboard player Rikard Sjöblom.

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:

July 17: Ramblin' Man Fair, Maidstone
July 18: Friars, Ayslebury

For these shows guitarist Dave Foster (Dave Foster Band, Steve Rothery Band) and keyboard player Carly Bryant (Os Mutantes, Freakpower) will join the Big Big Train live band. The identity of a new violinist to be announced soon. 

Pre-order Empire.

Jerry Ewing
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.