The news of the death of David Longdon is shocking. He was an incredibly talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. For the last twelve years he has been a vital part of the band Big Big Train. This incredible band has produced some of the finest progressive rock of the 21st century. Their wonderfully unique mix of progressive rock, classic rock, pop, folk, world music, classical and jazz is a pleasure to experience. Longdon’s warm and passionate vocals are at the center of their music. Although Big Big Train is far from a household name, the loss of Longdon is a big one. At the age of 56 he seemingly had many more years to live and many albums to create. I was hopefully to one day hear a solo album from him.
Back in the mid 1990’s Longdon auditioned for Genesis, after the departure of Phil Collins. He almost got the job, but the band opted to go with Ray Wilson. The rest, as they say, is history. In hindsight I would say that Londgon did quite well for himself with Big Big Train. Over the course of eight studio albums he established himself as one of the finest vocalists in the progressive rock scene. Additionally he contributed as a songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist, adding an array of conventional and exotic instruments to the mix. I am sure that the music that he helped to create with Big Big Train will stand the test of time. The band recently went through a major shakeup in their lineup. Like all great bands Big Big Train regrouped, reassessed and moved forward. The music on their latest album, Common Ground, sees the band moving in a different direction, yet still remaining true to their core sound. The future looked nothing but bright for Longdon and Big Big Train. Unfortunately a tragic traffic accident has taken this bright, shining star from the world.
As music fans we should never take anything for granted. Arguing over setlists, band lineups, changes in musical directions, etc. can become petty and pointless. Just be happy that you favorite singers and musicians are still healthy, whole and willing to perform. Life is precious and fleeting. Count each day as a blessing, because none of us is promised tomorrow. Prior to COVID-19, Big Big Train had scheduled a series of concerts, including one show in my area. I was extremely hopefully to obtain tickets for that show. Unfortunately the pandemic caused the cancellation of the tour. I was hopeful that I would be able to see Big Big Train play live in the future. Unfortunately I will never have the opportunity to hear Longdon’s wonderful voice live. I pray comfort and hope to the family, friends and band members of this highly talented man. David Longdon brought a great deal of joy to my life through his music, he will be missed.