Listed here are books that also deal with the Portsmouth Music Scene over many years.
20 missed beats
Past a joke
Nigel Grundy's 'My Back Pages' 1962 - 1972
And now a DVD film documentary on the history of 1960's popular music in Portsmouth
If you want a copy Contact Nigel at,... email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Portsmouth Sinfonia Orchestra
The Portsmouth Sinfonia started in 1970 at the Portsmouth College of Art – now incorporated in the University. One of the principals was a newly appointed lecturer, the composer Gavin Bryars, who initially regarded the enterprise as a serious examination of the nature of music.
The rules were that members should either have no musical training or, if they did, should attempt an instrument they were not so familiar with. They should also always attend rehearsals and do their best to play as competently as possible. So a trained pianist might play the violin or an accomplished cellist, the trumpet. The Sinfonia's most recognised member, Brian Eno, famous for his synthesiser work with Roxy Music, played the clarinet and produced the orchestra's first two albums.
The comedic nature of the Sinfonia's butchering of classical standards such as the William Tell Overture, Also sprach Zarathustra and the 1812 Overture was immediately apparent and they captured the public imagination. As well as recording albums, they toured regularly in the UK and abroad, with the high point being a sold-out concert in 1974 at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Sinfonia had a high turnover of musicians, both because students moved on and also because there was a danger that, if players became too competent, it would evolve into just a mediocre orchestra.
Although never officially disbanding, the Portsmouth Sinfonia ceased performing in the late 70s. But a Jive Bunny-style compilation of their 'greatest' hits called Classical Muddly made it into the top 40 in 1981.
The Portsmouth Sinfonia lives on through its website, and a book entitled 'The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia’ was published.