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Big Big Train: "We're proud to be defined as a prog rock band"

Quintessential Englishness, astrology and crows: less than a year since their last album, Big Big Train are already back with album number 10, Grimspound

In the grounds of Nottingham Castle stands the statue of an airman with an angel at his shoulder. Erected in 1921, the statue has resisted the decades of wind and rain, even if the bronze detail of biplanes on its plinth is beginning to lose its battle with the elements.

The man the statue is based on is Captain Albert Ball VC, a World War I fighter pilot from Nottingham. At a time when military men were heroes, Ball was the equivalent of a rock star. He was a hyper-efficient killing machine – during his brief 14-month career, he shot down 44 enemy planes. But he was a man of letters too, a quiet, reserved thinker who questioned the morality of war.


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From the archive

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