Share your thoughts!
A brilliant site - and long overdue!
I may be able to update some of the gig information in due course, although I didn't see the band 'live' until the Shoreditch gig with Shamelady and Genesis. I can't remeber exactly how many gigs I attended, but I was at the final Barbarell as show in Birmingham. Steve Parker sent me a letter a few days later to let me know the band had folded. I continued supporting Jill through Brandy and later Shakatak. I met Dave Bell a few times during the latter years, but lost touch with everybody else.
Dear FO webmob,
So good to see that there is at last some recognition of one of the most original, entertaining, highly musical bands to have existed. Sadley I only got to see the band about half a dozen times.
I did track down Jills website and e-mailed her regarding FO, but she didn't reply.
SKeleton In Armour remains an all time favourite album.
Hope that you manage to find some bootleg/live material and that it can be shared. I've done many a search for any such material, but to no avail.
I'm in eager anticipation of the Fusion Orchestra2 project, but wondered if there was any potention release of any other material/demos etc from the original band?
I'll be keeping a regular eye on the Website for updates.
Having looked through the gig list, I can recall attending around 40 of these. My first gig was at Shoreditch Town Hall on 29/6/72, where the band supported Genesis. None of the three acts on stage was given time to do a full set. I managed to get to virtually all of the gigs at The Marquee from that time onwards. I was the joint promoter of the two Church House gigs in Newport Pagnell on 20/1/73 and 25/8/73, which Steve Parker agreed to do as a bit of a favour. I was fortunate enough to have been at Barbarella's in Birmingham for the very final gig.
Sorry - it's me again!
I can confirm that the Marquee gig in October 1972 was on the 12th if you want to update the gig list. Also Stan's last gig with the band was at the Marquee on 21st June 1974 - this was announced beforehand in FO Newsletter No 3. I have copies of the early newsletters, which appear to have been produced on Steve P's duplicating machine!
Amazing things can happen can't they? I bumped into a very old mate at football before Xmas completely by chance. We met up last week to discuss old times and gigs etc and I mentioned that the first gig I ever attended in my life was by a "long-lost" band called Fusion Orchestra at Carshalton Public Hall. And, just for curiosity's sake, I googled you today and hit loads of stuff!! I didn't even realise that you had recorded an album and that a new line up is emerging now either. You played that venue three times in 1970 - so I'm not sure which one I attended, but it was quite warm so maybe it was in June. I seem to remember that some skinheads turned up and caused some trouble, if that rings any bells at all.
Good luck with the album and I'll definitely be along to see you (with several mates) as soon as you start gigging again.
I have just discovered your website and going through the pictures etc. takes me back to the good old bad old days, in particular a very fine gig at Weymouth pavilion back in October of 71, brilliant!
Chris & Anne
Hi there. Great site!I've been featuring the band's music on various prog rock shows I've hosted on radio here in South Africa since the early 80's!"Skeleton In Armour" is one of my alltime favourite albums. I was fortunate enough to meet Jill Saward when she visited South Africa with Shakatak around ten or so years ago - I even managed to get her to autograph my Japanese CD copy of "Skeleton In Armour"! What a talent she was, and still is!
Is there any video footage of the band available, and if so, any idea where I can source it from? I've also been looking for any unreleased audio material.
It's great that Fusion Orchestra 2 is recording an album - looking forward to that!
Thanks for recording, for me, one of the finest albums to ever emerge from the UK!
Am blown away, have been hoping for years that a proper FO website would happen THANK YOU SO MUCH. Saw you at Beale Grammar School Ilford in march 72 when aged 15. Truly amazing gig. Bought Skeleton In Armour and single following year. I love FO more than you will ever know. So excited about FO 2. I'm gobsmacked - this means a lot to me - I' so happy to discover all this. Am sending you some rare pics. I'd be so happy to hear back from you.. pete
Dear Colin and friends, I saw you at:
Mr Badger Club, Southgate on Fri 8 June 1973
This had previously been the Sirius Club and was a 1960s built youth club, so only soft drinks with the dressing rooms upstairs on a balcony that overlooked the tiny stage. My mate Mick and I were at Southgate Tech at the time which was just across the road, so not far to travel. This was the band's first show after you had been in the studios recording the album so the audience and the band seemed destined for a great show, and it was- just stunning. Entrance Fee 35p
Nightingale Pub, Wood Green on Tue 9 Jan 1973
There were a lot of people at this show with usual two or three rows of seats at the front to prevent a crush in front of the stage. I remember the band had a short interval during the show but it was not possible to get to the bar for a drink because of the crowd. There were about five of us there that night with more mates from Southgate Tech. and other friends.
I always felt that he main thing about Fusion gigs was that you were hearing something different to most other bands. Great musicality which produced some great atmospheric high points in the shows. On a personal level, I had previously played bass guitar and found Dave Cowell's bass lines totally brilliant.
Before you started this website I had already constructed a gig list for the band. I have another 28 shows for 1971 and 1972 and various bits of printed matter. Shall I list the shows here or on another page.
We have spoken about this stuff before but you told me to hold fire until the site was up and running.
Love to all,
Graham Reed, Wood Green, London
From 1969 to late 1973 I ran the Amethyst Club in Preston.
Fusion orchestra appeared at the venue on 14th Sept 1972 for a fee of £35.00. The band put on a great performance. All excellent musicians and Jill had quite a few of the guys in the audience pretty 'Hot under the collar'.
Still have my copy of Skeleton in Armour.
Best Regards - Phil Eaves.
On a schooltrip I heard a song and since now i don't know who played it. I heard it in the Riverboat in Berlin in 1971.
What i tried i'll never heard the song again.
I am convinced that i heard the fusion orchestra. The song i heard was in the style from carlos santana. Can you give me a playlist from that time.
Or better the name of te lp/ CD? from that times.
thanks very much,
I stumbled on your site by accident - wow, what memories!!
That November night will always stay in my memory as one of the best gigs ever.
The band were very kind to me backstage afterwards, answering my exacting questions on equipment etc and signing the gig poster (that I still have rolled & mint).
I remember my embarrasment at trying not to look at Jill's cleavage during conversation - she was shorter than she looked on stage and my line of sight was hard to steer - certainly a formative moment for a sixteen year old!!
The album remains one of my prized possesions - I played it once at the time to transfer to cassette ( I believed that the sound deteriorated to the point of no return after a few plays), and again last year to put to CD. It is still 'as new' and probably worth a bit now, but I will never sell as it is up there with my great musical influences. It was Fusion Orchestra who led me to buying a fuzz box!
Unfortunately I have no photos, just the memories - but I'll try and find the signed poster over the next few weeks and forward a scan if you'd like it.
Just wanted to say thanks for gig.
PS.As an afterthought, I also walked in on the support act's bass player, who was having a rather detailed examination of the girl who worked in the local record shop - in the dressing room toilets! Another revelation!!
PPS. Another insight - Polygram were going to sign me as a solo artist but I got bumped for Shakatak! - John Pearson if I remember correctly.
PPPS. Stevenage College is no more - the site is now an Asda!
The Heb in Letchworth has also gone - so many memories!
Hope to catch Fusion 2 at some point.
Thankyou for bringing me joy!
scan of advert for this gig
HOLA COMO ESTAN, SALUDOS DE MEXICO, SOY BATERISTA, Y PUES LA BANDA Y YO ESTAMOS DE ACUERDO EN HACER UN COVER DEL CD SKELETON... PERO NO HEMOS ENCONTRADO TABLATURAS O PARTITURAS EN INTERNET.
ES DEMACIADO PEDIR SI NOS PUDIERAN AYUDAR CON LA DIRECCION ELECTRONICA PARA PODER ENCONTRARLAS.
NO TIENE MUCHO QUE YO ESCUCHE EL DISCO TENDRA COMO 3 MESES
Y EN LO PERSONAL ES LO MEJOR QUE HE ESCUCHADO; USTEDES ME DIERON PAUTA A CONOCER MAS SOBRE EL ROCK PROGRESIVO EL JAZZ Y CONOCER MAS RITMOS PARA SU MEZCLA.
ESO ES TODO SALUDOS DESDE MEXICO, ESPERO ALGUN DIA PUDIERAN AVIZAR SI ES QUE VIENEN A DAR CONCIERTOS EN MEXICO
GRACIAS HASTA LUEGO! BYE!
I've attended a live performance in Berlin 2 or 3 june 1971 in the Riverboat.
I've heard a number that evening that was played, but never found it after that again. Do you still have the playlist from that time.
I really would like to find the played number.
Dirk Tak Holland
I saw the classic FO lineup in 1973 at Sunderland Locarno and was bowled over. I subsequently saw the band with Paul Jennings and Martin Slavinec (Reading Uni)and Alan Murphy (Marquee), where I recorded some of the songs on a basic portable cassette player and am looking for the tape now!
I have quite a few publicity photos, one signed, a few flyers, stickers and newsletters from the management. Also an unplayed copy of the single! I was quite a fan. Will keep an eye on the site and send you a copy of the Marquee tape if it's good enough to convert to MP3. Dave Gallagher.