Orlando was living and working as an actor in LA when his girlfriend at the time lent him Elliot Smith’s old guitar. Then she left him. He made his way home to London and was struck by the rapidly changing city. Thanks to a special collaboration with the Southbank Sinfonia Orlando met viola players Becky Hopkin and Patricia Ramirez. Along with Bassist Micky Turkington and others they created the Swell, an attempt to capture the epic sweep of the ‘unreal city’.
Then the sky fell down.
Life lurched left and steadily became ‘more like wrestling than dancing’.
So armed with new drummer, Andrew Gallop, the band holed up in a condemned rehearsal space behind Denmark Street and began to carve out a harsher, less lyrical sound that reflected the turbulent times. In December 2015 they released their latest single ‘Wrestling’.
Happily critics and fans embraced the new direction and The Swell have since been playing sold out shows around the country, performing at some of the UK’s leading festivals. New releases are on their way…
“Like Arcade Fire with better lyrics” – Serena Davies, Daily Telegraph
“A ballsy, bohemian behemoth coming on like Jarvis Cocker fronting Arcade Fire with a petite orchestra of drum-beating and string-serenading beauties” – Will Rees, Wilderness Festival
“Like a male Florence and The Machine” – Noel Fielding