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The Guardian logo Treacherous Orchestra: Origins (Navigator) – review ****

Robin Denselow
guardian.co.uk Thursday 16 February 2012 22.15 GMT

An album of rousing fusion work from the vibrant Scottish folk scene, where every musician seems to play in a variety of very different bands. Treacherous Orchestra are a brave and, at times, very loud 11-piece folk big band, with members who also work with the likes of Salsa Celtica. It’s a largely acoustic lineup that includes two pipers, two fiddlers, two percussionists (drum kit and bodhrán), along with accordion, banjo, acoustic and sometimes electric guitar. They are influenced by rock as well as traditional Celtic styles, and the opening March of the Troutsmen sounds like an acoustic heavy mental anthem that segues into a fiddle and pipe tune. Elsewhere in this all-instrumental set they switch from riffs to a reggae stomp, or to the grand and lyrical Celtic melody of Easter Island, driven on by pipes and whistles. I suspect they sound even better live.