The Really Terrible Orchestra

By • Apr 27th, 2008 • Category: Chill, Music, Uncategorized

The Really Terrible Orchestra
Way back in the past there was this wonderful (but weird) group called “The Portsmouth Sinfonia. It was a real orchestra founded by a group of students at Portsmouth School of Art in the Seventies. But there was a catch, to get in you had to be either a non-musician, or if you could play then you had to play an instrument you had never played before. The orchestra started as a one-off, tongue-in-cheek performance art ensemble but became a cultural phenomenon over the following ten years, with concerts, record albums, a film and a hit single. The impact of the Portsmouth Sinfonia was is till felt today and that brings us to the really terrible orchestra

“The Really Terrible orchestra has rapidly become one of the highlights of the Edinburgh Fringe. Why this group of [very] modestly talented musicians should presume to perform in public is beyond anybody.”
(Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme 2001)

So this proves that what goes around comes around. It’s just moved North to Scotland this time.

Have a listen to “Yellow Submarine“, it’s terrible right?

Well actually it’s not. There are a bunch of people here who care about playing, they just dont care to sound like the Berlin Philharmonic (and nor should they… there is already one of them). They play to entertain themselves, the fact that other people find it entertaining and are willing to pay to hear them is probably neither here nor there, actually there concerts are sold out well in advance and they always get a standing ovation and thunderous applause. They must be doing something right. Bill Bryson would love this band.

As I pointed out at the start, there have been others who have had a similar idea, in the past and I am willing to bet “The Really Terrible Orchestra” will inspire others.

Michael White of The New York Times wrote a great piece on them in August 2007.

You can find the bands website at

is fascinated by guitars, music, guitars, production, silly noises, guitars and used to be a musician. Did I mention the thing about the guitars?
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