All posts by coloursandsounds

Winter and Spring 2017 – what we got up to

How’s your year gone so far? Go anywhere nice this summer? Right, we’ve got some catching up to do.

Our 2017 gigs started with ‘Love In Outer Space’ on 18 February at All Hallows Hall, Easton. We debuted some new arrangements of tunes by Sun Ra, the Velvet Underground and the Andrews Sisters. To prove that it happened, there’s a handy montage on YouTube:

Then, among a few smaller gigs, we sent our crack Morricone Squad to the Salt Café on 8 April to play an evening of lovely soundtrack music; and our Wedding Corps was dispatched to Glastonbury on 26 May to gild a knuptial knees-up with psuitable psychedelic psounds. Oh, and we helped someone special propose to another someone special in a flashmob sort of a thing at Café Kino.

If you were at the Folk House on 9 April, you’ll know that we played a show there, too, and ditto 27 May in the Bear Pit:

That gets us up to the end of May – and we’d only just got started…

 

Ursula Le Guin Appreciation Day, 6 Aug 2016, Café Kino, Bristol

Fantasy Orchestra leader and guiding light, Jesse D Vernon, writes:

As committed-for-life fans of Ursula Le Guin, my wife Kate and I decided to start running appreciation days when we discovered some amazing music, composed by Todd Barton, to accompany one of her  books, Always Coming Home. Published in 1985, about a cultural group of humans—the Kesh—who “might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California.” (p. i) Part novel, part textbook, part anthropologist’s record, Always Coming Home describes the life and culture of the Kesh people.

Todd Barton wrote a selection of folk songs and music which the Kesh might have been going to sing and they make wonderful listening and a great subject for a singing workshop and performance.

You can find the original compositions here:
http://toddbarton.com/music/music-of-the-kesh/

Our Event took place at Café Kino in Bristol, UK and we started off with the singing workshop.

Here are some recordings we made on the day:

http://soundcloud.com/the-fantasy-orchestra/sets/songs-of-the-kesh

We started with the singing workshop 2-4pm

5pm we watched the film “The Lathe Of Heaven” followed by a discussion lead by Sheryl Robinson and the Bristol Utopian Book Collective.

7pm We were treated to a talk by Helena Hoyle-King about maps featured in the novels of Ursula Le Guin. This was followed by a map making workshop  lead by . Helena.

Here are some of the maps made:

8pm “Mothers Of The Terrible Glow” performed some of their sci-fi inspired instrumentals with excellent introductions, explanations and insights from Daniel Potter.

 

A seasonal threefer

We heralded the approach of the holiday season with a reprise of our Navidad Nuestra set at two shows on Saturday 17 December.

And earlier in the day we also managed to fit in a quick flashmob at the Bearpit for BBC Radio Bristol:

Christmas Flashmob!

What a lovely way to spread a bit of Christmas joy!! The Fantasy Orchestra – Bristol performed this brilliant flashmob of this top David Bowie track! Well done The Bristol Music Show for organising!

Posted by BBC Radio Bristol on Saturday, 17 December 2016

Then it was off to Filton Church in the afternoon, and Windmill Hill in the evening:

And then it was Christmas.

 

Mists and mellow tunefulness, Part One

Autumn was a busy one.

We played our annual fixture at Priston on 17 September…

 

…followed by a workshop and show on 22 October at the Creative Arts School in Plymouth…

…and two supporting slots with This Is The Kit at Bristol’s Trinity Centre and the legendary Union Chapel in London, featuring Rachael Dadd (below left), Rozi Plain and TITK’s Kate Stables on vocals with us.

 

(Some more Trinity pics on Flickr)

Then we did some more…

Our World Tour of Kent

Kent was our oyster in late August 2016, as we bicycled merrily from Graveney to Deal, with stops (and gigs) in Canterbury, Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

 

We rendezvoused with the Orchestra’s newly hatched Kent chapter…

 

and pedalled on to the Smugglers Festival in Little Mongeham near Deal. If we get a good pic of the show, we’ll chuck it here!

 

 

Summer roundup

We played two big shows over the summer:

We threw our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Kings Weston House on Saturday 4 June…

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…and headlined at Keynsham Festival on Saturday 2 July…

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…for which our set included a Dr John number, thoughtfully youtubed by the audience.

And then we got on our bikes and headed to Kent. More of which soon.

 

 

Spring doings

It was a busy spring…

We celebrated the World’s Most Famous Unknown People at the Cube on 2 April, with a set including music by Connie Converse, Judee Sill and – in person – Andy Skellam and (below) Rita Lynch:

we popped along the M4 for a set at the Ivy House in Nunhead on 23 April;

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we donned appropriate cossies for an Apes Alliance benefit at the University of Bristol on 28 April;

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and we played two sets at the Big Love Festival in Hay-on-Wye on 30 April/1 May.

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We then split ourselves in two on the weekend of 7 May: while most of our number played at the Park Row Sustrans Festival in Bristol, several of us hopped on Eurostar to join our friends in the Paris Fantasy Orchestra’s for their Bowie Party.

And then we did more… of which more soon…

 

Celebrating Bowie

How was your winter?

We beguiled the long dark evenings with a few gigs and polished up some new material, which we unveiled at Bristol I Beseech You, our contribution to the Fringe events supported by the BBC6 Music Festival in Bristol.

Having besought Bristol, we celebrated Bowie on 5 March at a show hosted by Backwell Festival — a fond and full-throated tribute delivered with support from The Ambling Band and Invisible Circus. Joining us were old FO friends and guest singers Chris Apthomas (also keyboards) and Jimmy Goodrich:

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There’s a Flickr album, of course.

 

Bristol, I Beseech You! #6musicfestival fringe event 13 feb 16

FO__ BBC6 fringe poster 2016 take2

Whilst the national spotlight is once again shine Bristolwards with the BBC 6Music Festival taking place here, The Fantasy Orchestra have decided to join in and celebrate the magnificence that is Bristol’s homegrown music. We present a set of original tunes by Bristol-based artists such as Rachael Dadd, Andy Skellam, The Precious Mings, Paul Bradley, Rira Lynch, Rozi Plain, Jamie Harrison, This Is The Kit and more!

Expect the exotic; psychedelic loveliness; rousing choral noise; some choice costumes – and possibly a musical saw

Be sure not to miss that gorgeousness that is our opening act…
Yama Warashi; a Fishponds based supergroup led by Yoshino Shagihara who blend a fusion of traditional Japanese melody and harmony, new age and old age sounds, mixed with a rotating smorgasbord of local talent.

£7 in advance from bristol ticket shop (£10 on the door)

Kuumba Centre 20 Hepburn Road, Stokes Croft, Saturday 13th Feb, 2-6pm