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Majority Little Shelford review: 'I have a new little friend to keep me going'
- Deborah Chu
- 8 March 2021
In a time when radio has never felt more vital to our lives, the Little Shelford is a beautifully designed companion for any kitchen or outdoor picnic
Here's a little peek behind the curtains: back in the day at The List offices, we used to be devoted BBC Radio 6 listeners. Of course, we've all been working from home for nearly a year now, and besides my colleagues, our eclectic 'snack stool' and the kitchen bants, the thing I miss the most about being back in the office was the constant hum of the radio – I missed the chatty broadcasters who started to feel like friends (or foes), I missed being able to set my watch to the news bulletins that punctuated the workday; I missed having someone else curate my musical playlists, and discovering new favourites; I even missed Mary Anne Hobbs' inexplicable decision to play hard EDM at 10 o'clock in the morning.
So when the chance to review Majority's Little Shelford radio came up, I jumped at the opportunity to recreate a bit of that collegial warmth in my tiny home kitchen. Because yes, you can tune in on your BBC Sounds app, but where's the magic in that? My Little Shelford arrived two days later, and since then I've truly felt as though I have a new little friend to keep me going during this interminable global pandemic.
The Little Shelford may look great in pictures, but the real thing truly exceeds the mark. Its overall design hits every high note: the radio's sleekly vintage aesthetic harkens back to analogue's genteel sensibilities, but now with the added benefit of DAB and Bluetooth. The body's high-quality leather effect and the gold finish detailing means it takes pride of place in my kitchen, but its compact size also allows it to be discreetly slotted into even the most cluttered of workspaces (which mine usually is). This essential portability, plus its lovely leather strap, means I can easily imagine popping in a few AA batteries into the back and bringing it along on a picnic one day – weather and lockdown restrictions permitting, of course.
The interface keeps things simple: toggling between radio and Bluetooth connectivity requires only the press of a button, and a generous dial allows you to adjust the volume in an easy twist. The LCD screen displays not only the day and time (an admirable recall ability during lockdown) but also the title of the song being played, negating the need to whip out your Shazam app. Its mono speakers, despite the relatively small size of the grille, produces a decent quality of sound – good enough for any impromptu boogie or kitchen disco you may wish to throw for yourself. There's a handy preset function as well, so you can access all your favourite stations with ease, and a retractable antenna for those tricky-to-reach FM signals.
Of all the various catastrophes we had to face during this pandemic, the isolation of lockdown has been perhaps the most enduring, the most draining and the most boring of them all. In this regard, radio has been a strange salvation. Listening to music in a collective way, or even just hearing people's voices live, has kept us on the same wavelength during an unprecedented time when we've had to stay apart, in a way that even the best Spotify playlist cannot do. Getting up to face another day in pandemic Britain has never felt easier, knowing that my radio will be piping the world to me as I groggily make my morning coffee. I love my Little Shelford dearly, and I always will, even when we can be together once more.