Music Review: Big Big Train ‘Telling the Bees’ is big big reminder of Phil Collins era

In short, Big Big Train’s latest release ‘Telling the bees’ is a progressive rock version of Phil Collins era. Vocalist David Longdon sounds a lot like the legendary Englishman singer, songwriter, actor and producer. The song has depth, pleasant lyrics, tells a meaningful story, has a great guitar solo (around 3:30-4:40) and changes tempo multiple times. Hence I summarized it as a prog rock version of Phil Collins.


Frankly today was the first time I heard about this band. Big Big Train are an English prog rock band since 1990. However its only since 2013 (winners of the Breakthrough Award at the Progressive Music Awards) that they have leaped into the big stage. Literally. Having their first live show in 17 years at London, 2015. Big Big Train’s tenth and latest album Folklore has got good reviews across the internet. This band could be growing bigger soon.

Watch Big Big Train’s latest release music video ‘Telling the bees’

The song is a tale narrated by a mother to her son, about the bees under their family care, how their dad (who is gone now) used to take care of the beehive,  how he fell in love with her, married and gone now. It takes your thoughts back to English county style landscapes and street music playing. The more you hear this song, it grows on you. On first listen it may seem a bit too Pop-ish, hence I strongly reccomend multiple hearings.

The song ends with “The joy is in the telling, The sorrow in the soul, Tears of happiness and sadness” indicating the mother’s feel at loss of her husband but at the same time appreciate what all he gave to the family. The theme is brilliant, song too – specially for lovers of matured pop music listeners and slow rock fans. Am more of a progressive rock to metal fan so my hearing of this song will be limited, but that should not take away anything from this brilliant song.



My mother said ‘Listen, son…
Your father’s gone
Now the time has come
You must tell the bees he gave his life
Drape black cloth over the hives.’

Now I am the keeper
And the years passed by
Until the day that Jenny caught my eye
I walked over and I asked her for a kiss
Sweet taste of honey on her lips

Telling the bees, telling the bees

As old as these hills and old as the stones
I feel it down to my soul

And the bees were told
On the day we wed

Wild flower garlands

Draped our marriage bed
Now two years on, we have our son
The bees were told and we carry on

Telling the bees, telling the bees

As old as these hills and old as the stones
I feel it down to my soul

The joy is in the telling
The sorrow in the soul
Tears of happiness and sadness
Let them flow…

Telling the bees, telling the bees

Ps: My album of the year at this point is still The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness. 

3 thoughts on “Music Review: Big Big Train ‘Telling the Bees’ is big big reminder of Phil Collins era

  1. Great band! Especially from 2009 onwards. I can see why you made the Phil Collins comparison but remember Phil was a drummer and later vocalist in the first two great lineups of Genesis (71 to 74 and 75 to 76) where the band played progressive rock in a very English style… certainly a major influence on BBT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly said. Am happy you liked my review as although am a hardcore music fan for 2.5 decades I barely started writing on music couple of months ago n have little knowledge on technicalities.

      Ps: do give hear to The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness .. it’s my album of the year


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