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Lonely Robot - The Big Dream album review

The spaceman who fell to Earth

Cover art for Lonely Robot - The Big Dream album

The second in a trilogy of albums from Lonely Robot, the solo project that John Mitchell revives whenever any of his other bands – It Bites, Arena, Frost*, Gandalf’s Fist – pause for breath, The Big Dream is of course a concept album. It’s a sci-fi concept too although the spaceman who starred in 2015’s Please Come Home has unexpectedly arrived back on Earth making it theoretically possible to start here. But then why would you want to simplify your life?

The plot matches Mitchell’s musical ambitions and his melodic inclinations mean he doesn’t have to resort to any over-blown prog trickery. In fact it has more in common with bands like Pineapple Thief, Sound Of Contact and even Porcupine Tree’s recent albums.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.