Thursday, 7 July 2016

Port Eliot 2015

Last summer at the Port Eliot festival we were playing by the river on the Sunday evening. Around 7.00pm the tide rose....and rose...and rose. We realised that there was no need to move as we are a purely mechanical outfit so stayed put. Here's Mike playing on.








Wednesday, 6 July 2016

On The Rocks


The Arcadia 78rpm Orchestra mascot on the rocks at Prussia Cove after a wedding.










Monday, 4 July 2016

Prussia Cove Wedding

Mike selects another 78 record whilst wedding guests pose for a picture.



A Wet One !

This weekend we played a wedding at Prussia Cove in Cornwall. The weather was lovely apart from a 5 minute downpour. As we don't need electricity we were able to carry on through the rain !


Friday, 27 May 2016

Bing !

With a wedding to be played very soon it was great to find this Bing Crosby 78 from the film Waikiki Wedding. Recorded in 1937 with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. If the sun shines this will be perfect.



Monday, 9 May 2016

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Back From Port Eliot

Sigh, sigh, sigh. It was that good. Here are a couple of pictures showing the official start of the Orchestra. Placing steel on shellac is the patron saint of the Arcadia 78 RPM Orchestra Mr John Andrews of Arcadia. Also myself with John, The Magpie and Mike Brett before we rock the banks of the River Lynher at the Port Eliot Festival. Pictures courtesy of Neil Thompson. 










Friday, 18 July 2014

Vital Supplies

A delivery of 600 needles have arrived from Mr John Sleep Gramophone Engineer supreme based in West Pentire, Cornwall.   

We are using 3 grades of gramophone needles to please the crowds over the 4 days alongside the  Caught By The River site.

Soft Tone, the quietest. This causes least damage to the record.
Medium Tone,  For your standard listening experience.
Loud Tone, That speaks for itself.

Mr Sleep suggests that ideally you would replace the steel needle after playing each side but that up to 3 records can be played with little damage

Also pictured is a packet of fibre needles. These need sharpening after every play. Trainee needle sharpeners may apply on the day.




Thursday, 17 July 2014

Winifred, Pinetop, Elvis, Buddy & Gene



As the sun goes down at the Port Eliot Festival, giants who strode the musical landscape in the 1950s-from Winifred Atwell to Elvis-will burst forth from our dual gramophones. This will occur on the banks of the River Lynher close to the Caught By The River stage. Prepare for high-grade rock & roll, boogie-woogie and lots of winding-volunteers are welcome to take a turn of the winding handle and, if it gets hectic, to change the needle from medium to hard.








Thursday, 10 July 2014

Carmen's Bathtime

Local character Bernie - believed to be Father Christmas by the local children - has supplied the Orchestra with a lovely haul of new/very old records. Among forgotten bands such as Jack Payne and His Hotel Cecil Orchestra, The Savoy Havana Band and the International Novelty Orchestra, I found Carmen Miranda's exotic  I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi (I like you very much). All of these records were covered in years of dust and grime and needed a good wash. As I'm sure in real life, Carmen Miranda looked great after a bath. 






Monday, 7 July 2014

Matt Sewell's Audible Twitch

The Arcadia 78 RPM Orchestra are pleased to announce the world's very first 78 RPM audible twitch* hosted by Matt Sewell, ornithologist and artist extraordinaire by the estuary during the Port Eliot Festival. Birds recorded onto shellac between the wars – probably by men smoking briar pipes – will be played to those assembled with ears trained to identify the most birds. Matt has offered a beautiful print of the estuary-loving peewit as a prize. Most suitable for the setting.

One of the records to be aired can be viewed below. For security reasons, all important information has been obscured. Skullduggery is acceptable on the day, but only if instigated in a gentlemanly/womanly way. 






* This is a bold claim but for the sake of excitement and controversy we are sticking to it.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Lark Rotating

Rumours of a cut-out Terrier were confirmed at the weekend when Orchestra colleague Mike Brett appeared outside my Cornish shed clutching a piece of painted hardboard. That hound is for another day. 
It did however prompt me to reveal a few of the delights that can be heard at the Port Eliot Festival this summer when the Orchestra will be haphazardly appearing as guests of Caught By The River 







Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mr John Sleep Gramophone Engineer

The Arcadia 78 RPM Orchestra has just received back two gramophones serviced and repaired by esteemed gramophone engineer Mr John Sleep. Perched high above Crantock Bay on the north coast of Cornwall, his workshop is a wonder to behold. Mr Sleep also buys and sells vintage gramophones and has a tantalisingly large amount of 78 recordings sitting on his sturdy shelves. If you have a vintage gramophone in need of treatment or indeed wish to purchase one, please contact him below.


Mr John Sleep









Monday, 23 June 2014

Pass ! Shoot !! Goal !!!

With World Cup fever gripping the garden shed we thought it a fine idea to place Albert Whelan on the wheel of steel. Albert was considered one of the few Australians able to make an impression on the English music hall stage. Here he monologues away creating possibly the worlds first football record. Released in 1931 on 10" shellac this recording was a favourite of John Peel and can be found on a Trikont CD entitled John Peel & Sheila The Pig's Big 78s. YouTube link below.








                                                                       Albert on YouTube





Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Hard, Medium, Soft

For Port Eliot we will mainly be using, what is known in the trade as, the "hard needle" Three grades of needle can be used for increasing or decreasing the volume. A few years ago at the Holifair Festival in Cornwall is was deemed necessary to whip out the hard needles in order to take on the gabba/rave/techno outfit that appeared alongside us. We called it a draw but they probably hadn't even noticed us.

Generally we prefer to relax with the medium but as the beer takes hold by the river we have to be prepared.














Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Death of Bing

It happens. It happens all the time actually. Fragile shellac, possibly not heard for 80 years, can mysteriously crack, seemingly of it's own volition. Best not to get attached to any one particular record. Poor Bing Crosby here suffered a slip between sheds. Never liked his version of Danny Boy anyway.











Monday, 9 June 2014





 The Orchestra makes an appearance at the Port Eliot Festival this summer. Living members of the Orchestra are Mike Brett, Andrew Marston and Stephen Parker. Those not living are too many to mention, but we honour these lost artists and their souls by placing shellac on steel by the River Lynher on the Caught By The River estuary site.