The name "The Big I Am", according to Colin Heaney on a recent radio interview is from an old Liverpool saying, mothers used to chastise their kids when they where being a bit lippy "Don't come the Big I Am with me son", and I remember this myself. The one thing these boys are NOT however, is lippy, they are a very friendly bunch who play music for the right reasons, the sheer love of it.
Normal isn't normal for The Big I Am, most bands use guitars of the 6 string variety to create their sound, the thing that hits me as soon as I started listening to this album is the fact that the stringed instruments are a Cuatro and a Ukulele.
On "Collecting Skies" you sail from song to song with ease, the feeling is relaxing, Colin Heaney and Peter McPartland share the workload on the vocals and stringed instruments with ease, they swap with each other, but, most people wouldn't notice, that's how good these guys are.
Quite simply the sound from these guys is LUSH.
These songs are so good you could be forgiven for thinking this was a "Greatest Hits", but it isn't, it's an album full of top class songs, not a single one takes a step back from the great feeling you get when you first hit the play button.
When you get to the Title Track "Collecting Skies" you've been through 9 songs of The Big I Am, you just think it can't get better but this track take's them to another level, the orchestrations are to a very high standard. the music is powerful but not overwhelming, the lyrics drive evocative imagery at you but are not depressing, and you dream of clouds and sunny days. The message though it is very pertinant at the moment, "I could live a million years and never understand whats here".
The final track though, is my favourite song on this album, "Board Games" is a wonderful idea for a song, the music sounds almost Russian in feel, I guess that's a design due to the song title.
I can't compare this bands music to anything else, it's outstanding from start to finish, a superb addition to your collection, and whats more, NO DRUMS!!!! :)
Everything you ever wanted to know about The Big I Am is here http://rashrecords.co.uk/
Collecting Skies is out now, go and buy it and they are playing gigs through the UK in 2011.