Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Orchestra not the pits


AS THEIR name would suggest, in this live recording made at the Royal Albert Hall the Cinematic Orchestra create soundscapes as much as they do play songs.
The British group, a six-strong trip hop and jazz outfit, are so laid back here they're almost upside-down. Think a contented version of Portishead and you're not far off.
However that's not to say this recording is soporiphic - in fact the engaging Live At The Royal Albert Hall is as warm and rich as a contented Bill Gates wearing a woolly jumper eating chocolate cake by the fireside, thanks to the 24-piece orchestra backing the band.
At times the group erupts into skittering drum and bass-influenced acid jazz, at others such as on Familiar Ground and All That You Give, led by female vocalist Heidi Vogel the set just concentrates on atmosphere.
I spoke previously, in my review of Shine A Light by the Rolling Stones, of a sense of occasion coming through on live records - and you can clearly tell here that the Cinematic Orchestra, a band very much on the periphery of the mainstream, clearly relished every moment they had in the Royal Albert Hall's limelight.

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