Posted 20 hours ago

Door One

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Facing a blank page (or in my case, screen) to put down some thoughts about the late David Longdon’s final album, Door One, is a daunting task. Overall, listening to Door One reminds of how I felt when I listened to by first BBT opus - The Underfall Yard.

Approaching his debut solo record, Door One, I firmly decided to be as honest and sincere as I could, something I know David would have appreciated and especially due to the care this album has received by his friends.David, sadly, died - depriving BBT of an incredible voice and the wider rock world of a genuine genre-straddling vocalist. Thankfully, Big Big Train have chosen to continue, albeit in a different configuration and one that pays tribute to their deeply missed colleague. Big, Big Train, while massively successful in the prog-sphere, mean little to anyone outside their own niche. It won’t change the face of music or knock the world off its axis, but Hell, Fire And Damnation is yet another damned fine addition. Rock doesn’t need saving in 2024, but it’s nice to be reminded just how thrilling and relatable three chords and the truth can still be.

Catchier still is There’s No Ghost Like An Old Ghost, a consideration of past regrets, secrets and lies (‘ The loose ends you’d left unaddressed’) and their nasty habit of resurfacing later in life, ‘ with bones to pick and an axe to grind’. This is a very personal song and its lyrics reveal much about who David was, so it’s good that he found peace with Sarah, even though that was ended abruptly. This album took a little while to grow on me but by the time I saw it live I was in love with its humongous, over-egged pomposity! Gregory Spawton supplies some gorgeous 12-string guitar parts, but he’s very much a guest on a David Longdon record.

Forgive (But Not Forget)” is another great one; it is something of a ballad with lots of space for David to emote and hurt. Starting with the sounds of nature, which lead to some quite dark and ominous music and the sound of footsteps – it conjures in my mind a Twin Peaks soundtrack type atmosphere. Sure, initially it does sound very much like BBT in their pomp, but on closer inspection the songs feel looser, more dynamic and rockier. This is a must download for every prog rock fan and thank you for releasing this album in 24/96, it sounds magnificent! The atmospheres and use of ambience were a huge source of inspiration and a big factor in the making of Door One.

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