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look at the fantasy orchestra and listen

Paris, 25-26 April: Two orchestras, three shows

The Bristol and Paris chapters of the Fantasy Orchestra came together in Paris at the end of April for three shows over one weekend.

Show #1: Jardin Villemin

On the bandstand, with a dozen or so Bristol players arriving hotfoot from the airport to join the orchestra for a lunchtime set.



Show #2: L’Albatros, Montreuil

An evening show, to a capacity audience, in the auditorium of an arts complex housed in the old Pathé movie studios.

alb 1 alb 2

Some clips from youtube:

Show #3: Aux Petits Joueurs

A final show the following evening, in a café near the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, sharing a bill with Paris horn ensemble La Band’Originale .

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See the whole collection of photos from the trip on Flickr.


Colston Hall Foyer, 27 February 2015

The foyer of the Colston Hall resounded to the strains of the Fantasy Orchestra at full tilt, during a free one-hour set on Friday 27 February (before the Bournemouth Symphony played in the main hall).


The playlist featured film music by the likes of Nino Rota, John Barry, Ennio Morricone and RD Burman, and, as news broke of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the FO offered its own tribute:

There’s also a multi-angle edit of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from the same set:

Photos from the gig are on the Fantasy Orchestra’s Flickr page.

Navidad Nuestra 6 jan 15 – El Rincon, Bristol

a lite FO team performed the Navidad, still ringing in our ears from the 21st december performance at the Trinity, in the tiny bedminster bar El Rincon. Stan was MC and trumpet, George leader and lead vox. Other soloists were tony, marcos and john. Ole, on bass recorded and filmed the whole thing.

here are the links:

1. La Anunciacion – –
2. La Peregrincion –
3.  El Nacimiento –
4. Los Pastores –
5. Los Reyes Magos –
6. La Huida –
7. encore, Los Reyes Magos

21st dec 14 – Navidad Nuestra (with This Is The Kit)

We celebrate the longest night this winter with a rare opportunity to witness Bristols best loved psychedelic folk act and Bristols biggest community orchestra 

// This Is The Kit will feature members of The Fantasy Orchestra and the Fantasy Orchestra will be presenting Navidad Nuestra, a seasonal work from Argentina by Ariel Ramirez. Other festive and seasonal stuff will be occurring.


FB event:

The Fantasy Orch have prepared a special festive and joyous set and This IsThe Kit will be in full metal jacket mode bolstered by some ofthe orchestras most sublime talents.
spectral psychedelic spiritual, shiny-eyed, soul stirring: it will be like the wicker man but instead of edward woodward burning it will be your hearts on fire
hey, its worth coming just for the poster alone
TITKflyer3_trinityhere are a couple of videos
La Annunciacion –
La Huida –
Cold and Got Colder (this is the kit) :
review by Tony Benjamin:
Here was an early Christmas present, a gig of three halves as it turned out, with ostensible headliners This Is The Kit performing their set between two bashes from the Fantasy Orchestra. It was a generous move by TITK’s Kate Stables that made for a satisfying and entertaining evening and in no way diminished the impact of her set of crystalline folk-rock. It was a band of familiar faces around her, too, with Rozi Plain on bass, Neil Smith and Jesse ‘Morningstar’ Vernon on guitars and Jamie Whitby-Coles drumming. Kate was the presiding folk-rock goddess here though, the thoughtful optimism of her personality imprinted in the elliptical poetry of the songs and the judicious clarity of the music. The faux-mystical Bright Showers gained a resonance from the solstice night, Kate’s beautiful vocal harmonies with Rozi on Greasy Goose was just one spine-chilling moment and an old-time gospel acappella opening made Earthquake an even bigger crowd-pleaser. As composed as ever, Kate whistled her way out of Two Wooden Spoons and left the crowded Trinity room aglow. She was followed by the second Fantasy Orchestra set – ‘Our fun stuff’ as Jesse Vernon described it. The stage was crowded to capacity with random glam and poncho chic for Morricone, Hendrix, Bowie and more, all delivered in sumptuous arrangements for choir and orchestra. The texture of the music was formidable thanks to great work at the sound desk and the discipline of the 50-plus musicians, yet the mood was never less than playful and audience participation plentiful. An extraordinary rendition of the Star Trek theme was a particularly happy affair. But the real peak of the evening had happened right back at the beginning: the Fantasy Orchestra’s first set being a performance of Navidad Nuestra, a six-song Christmas suite by Argentinian composer Ramirez. This was powerful music, folk-rooted yet classically constructed, a three way mix of orchestra, choir and solo vocalists that swept Jesse’s flippancy (and those ponchos) aside with its sheer beauty. Space Oddity might be their singalong calling card but Navidad Nuestra gave the game away: for all the fun-filled antics the Bristol Fantasy Orchestra is actually a seriously brilliant musical experience.

First Rays Of The New Rising Sun – Hendrix and Soul at the Cube 17th october 2014


The Fantasy Orchestra present “First Rays Of The New Rising Sun” fri 17th october £10. doors 7:30pm. Bristols highly acclaimed community orchestra will be performing, for the first time ever, the music of Jimi Hendrix (carefully transcribed for full orchestra). The event is scheduled to coincide with the recently released Hendrix biopic ” All is By My Side”  currently showing at the watershed. with film and soul music

here are some vids from the night filmed by Owain and Sue Jones:
the Bristol Guitar and Mandolin Ensemble started us off:

then The Fantasy Orchestra took to the stage

Colston Hall, 5th July 14

A_Night_At_The_Movies_A5 Flyer p1Gurt Lush Choir presents A Night at the Movies: Morricone & Friends, a celebration of film music over half a century, featuring music from Frozen, The Mission, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Doctor Who, The Passion of the Christ and many more.

Created by the Greatness of the Magnificence Fantasy Orchestra, St Mary Redcliffe All-Star Symphonia and, of course, the 250 strong chorus of Bristol’s Gurt Lush Choir, the concert will be performed in full cinematic dress… What’s not to like?

All profits from this evening’s concert will go to St Peter’s Hospice.

Be part of it!

Tweet and Instagram your photos and reviews of this show and they’ll show up on this page. Just use the hashtags: #colstonhall and #show56417

some vids from the night

Bowie Night at Bristol Museum 19june14

Tickets: £10/£7 conc. 
Bowie Night Poster

Celebrate David Bowie’s music and the links to Jeremy Deller’s work in English Magic with an evening of performances by The (Greatness Of The Magnificence) Fantasy Orchestra, plus talks, art and more.

Places must be booked in advance. Call the Museum Shop on 0117 922 3650.

The evening will commence with a Bowie Open-Mic. this is open to all but must be booked in advance. So far there’s two choirs and a mandolin group booked in already.

During he second part of the evening The full orchestra and choir will be performing a special all-Bowie set with guest singers including, John Parish, Tammy Payne, Vincent Mougel, Patrick Duff  and Jimmy Goodrich

videos from the night

Moonage Daydream

Life On Mars

Space Oddity

It’s No Game (part 2)

Oh! You Pretty Things