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Review: North Sea Radio Orchestra – The British Road


London’s chamber ensemble, NSRO, return with a beautifully crafted slice of high-Victorian folk music, taken from their recently released forth full-length record ‘Dronne’.

Swooping in with magnificent orchestral strings and delicate, glistening percussion, North Sea Radio Orchestra provides a vibrant melodic array on their cover of Robert Wyatt’s ‘The British Road’. Craig and Sharron Fortnam’s warm vocals drift elegantly above the musical myriad that incorporates captivating synths, charming string arrangements, and twinkling metallophone notes, with woodwind instruments providing lively bass undertones. Each subsequent listen of ‘The British Road’ unfurls a greater depth to each of the sonic layers carefully composed by band-leader Craig Fortnam, and the eclectic arrangement of melodies bears a resemblance to the likes of experimental folk troubadours Tunng.

Included on their fourth studio album ‘Dronne’, released earlier this month, this version of ‘The British Road’ was first arranged for NSRO’s performance of Wyatt’s music at the Nuit de Fourviere festival in 2014 and the band’s self-professed brand of “alternative chamber music” without doubt adds a fitting orchestral grandeur to Wyatt’s original track.

NSRO will be promoting ‘Dronne’ with shows around the UK this autumn.

Words by Kezia Cochrane.


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