Old chestnuts and stirring modernities

The Band Of The Coldstream Guards deliver 15 military and/or frightfully English melodies designed to cheer the nation.

Title: Pride of the Nation
A collection
Repertoire:  Band favourites and new arrangements
Artists: The Band Of The Coldstream Guards
Rating:  3/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: DECCA 2765916

The Music: Handel’s Zadok The Priest heads the charge, with chestnuts such as Land Of Hope And Glory and God Save The Queen swelling the ranks, and stirring modernities such as The Archers and Blackadder themes bringing up the rear.  You have to smile at Decca’s chutzpah.

The Performance: As one of the oldest military bands in the world, you’d expect precision playing and indomitable spirit from the bearskin hat-wearers, and that’s exactly what you get here. Under the spry baton of Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones MBE the band shows off the chops it undoubtedly showed at Waterloo, and there are typically lyrical and lovely supporting roles for the Fron Male Voice Choir and Alfie Boe. Jolly smart everyone looks in the bonus DVD, too.

The Verdict: Purchase only if you are willing to finance future releases of increasingly zany repertoire – the fact that three of these tracks also featured on their 2009 debut suggests the Coldstreams are running low on material.

Want More? That album, Heroes (Decca 2712310), boasts the peerless Colonel Bogey, The Great Escape and The Dam Busters.