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…
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.
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;
we donned appropriate cossies for an Apes Alliance benefit at the University of Bristol on 28 April;
and we played two sets at the Big Love Festival in Hay-on-Wye on 30 April/1 May.
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.
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:
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)
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