North Sea Radio Orchestra – Dronne (The Household Mark)

Another sublime set of tunes from Craig Fortnam and company which combines folk, kosmische and avant garde classical strands, taking the legacy of former band Cardiacs into fascinating new territory.

Woodwind and strings are strong and strident against a hushed motorik rhythm on centrepiece song ‘The British road’, a wonderfully sharp state of the nation analysis of Brexit era Britain – “when will they learn to fight like our men”, “how can I rise if you don’t fall.”

These poised swooping strings, along with the cooing woodwind, the signature guitar style of Craig Fortnam – courtly, playful, lithe – buzzing synths and the great pure singing of Craig’s wife Sharon against Craig’s reedier tones provide the core elements throughout.

The swoon of ‘Queen of all the day and night’, the cosmic twinkle of the title track, the plain straightforward beauty of ‘Alsace Lorraine’.

An inspiring and uplifting set that stirs the heart and brain from one of England’s most consistently rewarding groups.


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