The Big I Am

Collecting Skies – The Big I Am – £8.99 + P&P

  1. Hole
  2. Better Days
  3. Banging on the Wall
  4. Opposite
  5. Clothes
  6. Water
  7. A Hedge and Heaven and Hell
  8. Right About Now
  9. Dancing
  10. Collecting Skies
  11. Board Games


“The Big I Am have been knocking around the Liverpool acoustic scene creating a ripple of fuss for some years now, but never would I have expected such a debut album of poise, strength and the most vociferous magnificence.

At the heart of the band is a trio of ukulele, quatro and keyboards but what elevates this project above what is already undeniably good is its rich orchestrations courtesy of co-producer, Wim Oudjik.  Band and producer have found a symbolic collaboration that every musician dreams of.  Suddenly everything is inspired, like electricity crackling with charge.  The Big I Am sound absolutely confident and joyful in their creativity.

Collecting Skies could be the soundtrack to snows melting and spring emerging.  Songs open like a new dawn breaking and hang like blossoms from fragile branches of beauty; then they grow and grow until they are bursting at the seams with catharsis.  If you listen to this album, be prepared to have your heartstrings plucked and stroked until you ache with joy and any cyisism you harbour is utterly defeated.  Be prepared to be lifted.” *****
– Eddy Cooney, R2 / Rock’n’Reel Magazine, March-April 2011

“Individually they are Colin Heaney, Peter McPartland and Steve O’Toole but when put in a room together and given a piano, cuatro and ukulele you have Liverpool trio the Big I Am. And what a stonking three piece band they are after hearing this eleven track debut record.

There is no denying the band their already unparalleled success which has been aided by a favourable quote by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson. Two songs in, Better Days is bound for radio glory as it is a wonderful track which is the best of the record. Even the arrangement does extremely well here and is an ideal example of a song which could have been several minutes longer as you want to savour in the wonderful ambience that is created

Aided through the string arrangements/orchestrations of Dutch composer Wim Oudijk, this is heard pretty much throughout and the combined sound they create is the audio equivalent of giving your earlobes a bowl of sponge pudding and custard; totally thrilling and a taste sensation which lasts long after you have gorged on the item itself.” ****
– Russell Hill, Maverick Magazine

“…subtle, melodic and mysterious…I love it…sounds like Peter Gabriel and Steve Reich having an acoustic jam.”
– Tom Robinson, BBC Radio

“Collecting Skies is a complete album, at odds perhaps with the modern digital age focusing on singles, but oddities are good in my book. There is a coherent musical sound, with songs flowing into each other. I also get the sense of a band having fun, enjoying themselves, creating music that is passionate, real, romantic and true. I recommend Collecting Skies to you.”
– Decoding Static

“…beautiful, haunting music. Simple, understated lyrics…”
– Slave to Music

“…the songs are so well written that you believe in every word. When you have lyrics and music as good as this performed by three outstanding musicians…you know you are in the company of something special.”
– Band in a Box

“The Big I Am is quite a name for a band to live up to. “Collecting Skies” implies garnering something mere mortals can only inspire to, something that pushes the envelope almost beyond breaking point. It’s a big album, loud, brash, beautifully arranged and orchestrated. This is an album that comes with a wealth of riches. If it was just an instrumental album, that would be enough for many, but only until you hear the narrative, which is of the quality that it could be delivered in a flat monotone and still hold your interest. An album of many parts, bolted together to perfection.”
– Neil King, FATEA

“… lovely…fair warms the cockles of the heart.”
– Russell’s Reviews

About The Big I Am:

Liverpool trio The Big I Am are:

  • Colin Heaney
  • Peter McPartland
  • Steve O’Toole

These fine musicians have created a glorious blend of acoustic folk-pop. At its core the tenor ukulele, quatro, and piano.

Their debut album Collecting Skies, has been given an added dimension in the shape of the inspired string arrangements of Dutch composer/arranger Wim Oudijk.


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