Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
As I've recounted in other earlier reviews, I am very fond of brass bands, whether outfits such as Grimethorpe, Black Dyke and Brighouse & Rastrick, or any of the many highly competent bands that form the greater part of the musical heritage of the Salvation Army. The two ensembles featured here, the Upper Norwood Band from London and the Bristol Easton Band, get their collective teeth into some traditional and popular hymns - "What A Friend", "The Old Rugged Cross", "When I Survey", "O Happy Day" and (inevitably) "Onward Christian Soldiers" - but I was surprised, given the billing on the CD sleeve, to find a Songster Brigade performing "To God Be The Glory". I was also disappointed that the hymns were played 'straight', as they would be for community singing, rather than being arranged to enable the bands to demonstrate their obvious musical virtuosity. Well played and well produced, but as it stands, this is merely brass band karaoke hymnody.
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