Category Archives: Events

when we’re out and about

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

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.

by Jesse D Vernon

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

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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

The Great Bowie Night – Montreuil, Paris

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Soiree David Bowie – 16 janvier 2016 à l’Espace Albatros, 52 rue du Sergent Bobillot, Montreuil.

En raison de la capacité limitée de la salle de concert (150 places ) Nous allons donner 2 representations le samedi 16/02. L’une à 16h et l’autre à 20h. Pensez à prendre vos reservations:

16h

http://yurplan.com/event/The-Fantasy-Orchstra-David-Bowie-Night-16h/6979?from=facebook

20h

http://yurplan.com/event/The-Fantasy-Orchstra-David-Bowie-Night-20h/6978?from=facebook

L’inénarrable Fantasy Orchestra–au complet, avec chorale et section cordes–vous invite à une fabuleuse soirée David Bowie en Technicolor –attention les yeux les amis ! (et les oreilles… 😉 )

Une scène ouverte précèdera le concert, venez chanter votre Bowie song préférée !

Come and check out the Fantasy Orchestra doing their bowie set with a full set of strings, horns, and singers. Doin’ it like David never did it before, all the lushest arrangements in full effect with some wonderful talents on guest vocals

Navidad Nuestra: seasonal shows coming up!

 

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Fresh from our Bowie extravaganza (of which more soon), we’re playing three dates in Bristol over the festive period, reprising the Navidad Nuestra suite from last year plus sundry FO faves.

Sat 19 December: St Peter’s Church, Filton, 2-4pm
Sun 20 December: All Hallows Hall, Easton, 3-5pm
Mon 21 December: St Michael’s Church, Windmill Hill, 7:30-10pm

Poster designed by Melanie Wickham (baritone sax).

Tickets: please email thefantasyorchestra@gmail.com.

 

Halloween: Zombies, ghouls and… er, a druid

Autumn’s been a busy season for the Fantasy Orchestra. First there was our set at the Priston Festival near Bath, then for Halloween we took over the Kuumba Centre in St Paul’s, Bristol for a night of macabre revels.

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The mostly new repertoire included songs by Dr John and the Specials, and Jeffrey Lewis’ If You Shoot the Head You Kill the Ghoul, which is fast becoming an orchestra favourite.

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Lots more ghastly photos on our Flickr pages.

Coming up on 5 December at the Trinity Centre: our second Bowie Night!

Ghost Town

 

What we did on our holidays

A quick summer roundup before the new term…

18 July: The day after we opened the Harbour Festival, we played at a wedding in Boiling Wells, St Werburghs:

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Then, after the Fantasy Orchestra summer picnic…

11-15 August: The Devon and Cornwall Tour, largely bicycle-based, taking in gigs in South Zeal and Yelverton:

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…and finishing at the Good Earth Festival, Keveral Farm:

Coming up: A set at the Priston Festival, 19 September!