People say things about the Fantasy Orchestra! Here are some of them.
‘Unbridled joy & happiness… I can’t actually do it myself, but like to watch others do it, and the Fantasy Orchestra this evening were very, very good at it… Music played for all the right reasons, bringing smiles to both themselves & their audience.’
Simon Wells, member of the audience, cycling tour 2022
‘Listening to your band was one of the most memorable gigs I have ever experienced. I never ever expected to hear “Magical Mystery Tour”, “I Am the Walrus” or “Good Vibrations” played so accurately live, let alone at a pub gig… The music is safe in your hands.’
Phil Jackson, member of the audience, cycling tour, August 2022.
‘The Orchestra is a messy, disorganised beast that will complicate your life, ask big favours with no warning and put big dents in your instrument, but I’ve never loved being in a group as much as this and the opportunities it gives us to play in weird and wonderful places with people as awesome as [they] all are.’
Ole Rudd, bass player, Fantasy Orchestra Bristol, August 2016
‘Amazing stuff! Brilliantly orchestrated and conducted. At first it just seemed like good hippie festival fun, a fancy dress have-a-go orchestra, and THEN something started to happen between the band and the audience… Strawberry Fields, White Rabbit, Move On Up… everyone was drawn into a kind of audience-band unity that’s very rarely achieved in Western culture. When you launched into Bohemian Rhapsody I had a moment of cognitive dissonance, like “Oh no, you can’t play *that*…”, but I quickly got swept into the brilliance of it, singing along with everyone else. It felt genuinely revolutionary, what you were doing, like REAL folk music (rather than the beardy real-ale ghetto variety), reclaiming the songs for the people, or something. The intensity of the audience’s energy by the end of that — totally off the scale. I have no idea how you managed to keep something that complicated on track.
‘Very exciting that there’s now an East Kent Fantasy Orchestra fully established — looking forward to more. You deserve major respect for what you’re doing with music and the inclusive spirit in which you’re doing it…’
Professor Appleblossom, member of the audience, Smugglers Festival 2016
‘Oh my goodness, what a revelation Bristol Fantasy Orchestra was! I can’t remember having such an entertaining, fabulous evening in ages! Bristol Fantasy Orchestra and choir are completely bonkers, amazingly talented musicians that had the most eclectic repertoire I’ve ever heard! It included Dr John (the Night Tripper)’s Gris Gris, the theme tune from Star Trek (which we all had to sing along to!), John Lennon’s Imagine, two songs from the movie The Wicker Man, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and an Indian song from a Bollywood movie! They involved the audience in everything. Incredible! They must be included in every future Keynsham Music Festival until the end of time!’
Christina, member of the public, Keynsham Music Festival, July 2016
‘Fun to see how magnetic Fantasy is, when starts to play the attention is captured there, people converge, changes mood, start listen and the atmosphere shift from one minut before, it’s a little magic to see.’
Ilaria, choir member, Fantasy Orchestra Paris, September 2016