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Here’s a bit of bloggage in honour of the coming out of my DVD, Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra (Live at the Royal Albert Hall).

The Heritage Orchestra is surely the coolest symphony orchestra on the planet (hard to verify, but very likely indeed), and I had an unbelievably incredibly excellent time touring with them.

Below are some ramblings from Chris Wheeler, the Heritage’s idiotic and sexually ambiguous producer. Below that are things that Pete and Brad and I wrote in an earlier blog, wot I’ve gone and reposted.

The DVD comes out in the UK on Monday (14th) and in Australia the following Wednesday (23rd). If everyone in those two countries buys a copy, then I’ll buy a castle in Italy and a monkey.


Tim in big hair and tails at the piano whilst behind him Jules Buckley leads the Heritage Orchestra with flourishes of his 'wand' and sometimes dancing...

Chris Wheeler – Artistic Director of Heritage Orchestra:
“Having been tipped off about Tim’s need for an orchestra by our sax player (who happened to have drugged him backstage at a Jamie Cullum gig) we decided to follow Tim for two weeks and plant sublimal messages about Heritage Orchestra to secure our booking. After one week the tuba player just about blew his cover in the mens lavatory right next to the target, not to mention our unstable Bassoonist who, unbeknownst to higher management, had a genuine fascination with Minchin and just about spilled her beans during one of many staged ‘within ear-shot’ conversations based on the greatness of Heritage Orchestra. Suffice to say, our relabelling of Tim’s favourite consumables with the words ‘book the Heritage Orchestra Mr Minchin or we’ll chop your bollocks off’ at his local Costcutter, must have swayed him, and we were soon to receive the call from the medieval weaponry department of Phil McIntyre Entertainment and be catapulted into the world of arena comedy. We no longer follow Tim, except the Bassoonist who does follow him a lot.

On a less serious note, our time on tour with Tim, Pete, and Brad was incredible. My passionate moment with Tim was a personal highlight. But it’s not often you get invited to tour around the country in a double-decker with 55 people who ‘know each other’ (I refrained from saying friends as some are lovers and others are sworn enemies), and rock-out on stage in front of thousands of people with a proper funny man – good times. Brad and Pete were sort of ok to be with too, I think that Tim felt sorry for them because they were outnumbered when we played nicky-nacky-noo in the hotel steam room with the wind section and three french horns, but Brad and I grew close after that. I think Brad and I will be friends forever. I love Brad.

Anyway, I find it hard to write a serious blog about a tour that was full of laughs and general tomfoolery. But of course we are the most professional orchestra in the goddamn world, and had the most advanced orchestral production setup we could have hoped for thanks to Tim’s uncompromising vision for this orchestral spectacular. Alleluia…… Alleluia.

Heritage Orchestra loves Tim, and we thank him and all those involved who made the tour and forthcoming DVD possible, what a pleasure.”


Entertaining Epistles & Effigies from Tim’s ‘Employees’ – Pete and Brad speak out!

Tim rocking out at the keyboard during his orchestra show, with Pete Clements on bass and Brad Webb on drums.

Tim: “Not only are Pete and Brad reasonably good-looking and quite competent on their respective musical instruments, but they have garnered the basic skills required to read and write words. So we thought we’d celebrate the final shows of our epic and wondrous orchestral spectacular by encouraging them to express themselves in prose on this here blog. Exciting.”


“Hi there I’m Pete. I’m a Musician and Music Producer based in south London. I first started working with Tim as a sound engineer about four years ago, when he was planning his first uk tour. Luckily I was able to fool him into believing that I had some kind of talent and he has kept me involved in various different projects over the last few years. He first mentioned his idea to include an orchestra in his show about a year ago; first I obviously thought it was a totally mad idea but as with most things Tim, it has turned out to be a stroke of genius.

Tim (knowing my background and training in the world of classical music) also offered me the opportunity to orchestrate two of his songs which was a great honour. I have written several pieces for orchestra but never thought I would hear them played somewhere as grand as the Royal Albert Hall or the Sydney Opera House. As those of you who have seen the shows will know, the sound of a symphony orchestra blasting out ‘Rock n Roll Nerd’ is really an incredible experience, so you can only imagine how it feels to hear it for the first time having spent a couple of months hoping that what you have written would turn out to sound as massive in real life as it does in your head!!

It’s been a real blast playing these shows and such a shame that it is coming to an end. The Heritage Orchestra are an amazing bunch who really put their all into the shows and Brad is actually quite good at hitting things too. My only regret is not being able to persuade Tim that his accordion accompaniment to the waltz section of cheese should be included in the show; there really is nothing more stupid than seeing Mr Minchin prancing around a rehearsal studio speaking faux French with an accordion in his hand, pure genius!!”


“Hello, my name is Brad. I am a professional drummer based in London. I’ve been playing with Tim since about September last year. I was a fan of Tim’s long before I played with him as I saw him perform in Edinburgh one of the first years he played there. Our paths crossed when we both played on the Jonathan Ross Show. I was playing with Jamie Cullum (as was Tom Richards, sax player in The Heritage Orchestra and orchestral arranger of ‘You Grew On Me’ and ‘Cont’) and we bumped into each other in the green room. I still remember the look of shock on Tim’s face when he first saw me, thinking how similar we looked**. Oddly, Jonathan Ross came bounding up to me when I arrived at BBC TV Centre and started effusively welcoming me. I was a bit shocked and flattered but hadn’t had the time to get off the phone whilst he was speaking to me. Shortly afterwards I realised he had thought I was Tim and later told the audience what a “rude little fucker” Jamie Cullum’s drummer was for not getting off the phone.

Playing with Tim has been a real treat and there have been some hilarious moments so far. One which springs to mind was during one of the arena warm-up gigs in a small venue in Cambridge. Tim decided that we would play a song that I had never played before. He ‘taught’ me the song in front of the audience and gave me some hand signals for cues which he then proceeded not to use. He was also trying to teach me backing vocal parts during the chorus and at one point shouted, “FUCKING SING, EMPLOYEE!”. Luckily, we’ve been a bit better rehearsed for the actual tour so I haven’t been on the spot again, though Minchin still loves to single me and Pete out for a bit of piss-taking. Rightly so, as his employees.

This has been one of the most fun, absurd and musically satisfying tours I’ve done and I hope I’ll be sharing the stage with Minchin and Pete (and The Heritage Orchestra) again soon.

**Quite frankly, if both of us shaved our heads, me and Tim wouldn’t look very similar. For this reason, I am actually considering it……”

Backstage... other captions are available...


Further information on the Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) DVD with a tantalizing trailer and full tracklist can be found here.

Pretty lights and a pretty orchestra at the O2 Arena...

All the lovely photos are by Rich Hardcastle.

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What I see in the mirror: Tim Minchin on 3rd of December 2011

[…] Tim Minchin And The Heritage Orchestra is out on DVD, Blu-ray and iTunes. « Pumpkin Smoothie…anti aging! Beauty: Christmas […]

Junior on 11th of November 2011

Please please can we get a US release? I really want to be able to pay to see it!

Shell on 10th of November 2011

Oops! Thanks Elle, duly edited.
Shell x

Darren Martin on 10th of November 2011

We were lucky enough to be at the Junction at Cambridge and saw the dress rehersal for Orchestra. The evening was truly brilliant and watching Tim, Brad and Pete working out how the show would go was a joy (by the way we did think we had had half of our monies worth at the interval and really glad that you left Beauty in for the arena tour). To then go and see the finished article at Nottingham was awe inspiring. To hear old favourites done with a new twist was incredible, the new songs were amazing and nothing could ever compare to an entire orchestra joining in with The Pope Song. Keep up the good work Mr Minchin, but your going to have to go some to top Orchestra and Matilda, really looking forward to seeing you try though.

Rachel on 10th of November 2011

that was a fantastic show really. seen all your sydney shows in March, all your stuff & the inter-connectiveness of his lyrics killed, u brought me “back to basis”, i could not see one more show otherwise, love to hv this as souvenirs really. the Matilda stuff was speechless love to see more non-comic stuff from now. getting sick of telling you u r genius: D

Elle on 10th of November 2011

Fairies may wish to edit – the 23rd is a Wednesday :) x

Tilly on 9th of November 2011

I took a 12 hour round-trip by bus(es) to see the show in Glasgow and it was worth every minute. I’ll be waiting outside the store for the DVD on Monday. Not that I’m obsessed or anything….

Lorraine on 9th of November 2011

Those of us in Lancaster PA (USA) who love Tim are really starting to feel like red-headed step-children! (Do you Brits use that term?) We want the DVD too!!!

A Real Amerikun on 9th of November 2011

As this DVD is “NOT” available in Texas in these United States of the Americas, nor is it in evidence in Walmart, where honest, godfearing US Americans can see it in swollen, glistening splendor on at least 72 throbbing inches of hyper-colorized, backlit, High-Definition flat-screen TV manufacturered from the blood, sweat and tears of underage Chinese labor (they don’t call them “sweatshops” for nothing, Pharisee), this whole thing is clearly a heathen hoax.

Tim Michin and this so-called “Heritage” Orchestra are no doubt entirely invented by foreigners out of unholy cloth seewhatididthere.

“Heritage” does “NOT” include godless works by European Socialists dressed in sissy clothes wearing sissy wigs and unpronounceable and probably illegal alien names like “Bach”. WHERE IS GENE AUTRY AND THE “GREAT” STYLING OF LAWRENCE WELKS I ASK IN THE NAME OF ALL THIS IS BIBLICAL AND TRUE!?

You sure you ain’t the “Hermitage” Orchestra?

You expect me to believe real music can come from a land where people stand upside down eating kangaroo testicles AND the pagan flesh of crocodiles – PROBABLY *AT* *THE* *SAME* *TIME*??

If The Good Lord had wanted people to eat reptilians and shit, He wouldn’t have made us dinosaurs to ride on when the world was young a whole ten thousand years ago!

Bullpuckey. Horsefeathers. This “Minchin” clown is all hat and no koala.


A “REAL” US American what knows his “Heritage”.
God Bless, and God Bless these United States of the Americas except the Illegals and the Hippies and the Liberals and that Bono guy, I don’t like him and what’s up with that sissy name anyway?

P.S. (Please, sir, may I have a US release?)

Abigail Kemp on 9th of November 2011

i cant wait to get this dvd but i have to wait for a phew weeks to get it for my birthday, mum and dad went to see you and the heritage orchestra last year, two of my favourite things mixed together an orchestra and tim minchin, but tim minchin definitely comes first, and i sore you on derron brown and started screaming lol, derron browns good i love a good magic man.

Helena G on 9th of November 2011

You could also buy another castle in England and another one in Spain and a whole family of monkeys if you release it in the US!!!!

cazz on 9th of November 2011

awesome being an understatement, loved it enough to see it at Newcastle, Manchester & Sheffield & now i’ on ‘hot coals’ waiting for the DVD!!!!!

Julie W on 9th of November 2011

Howcome the O2 had big screens whereas Sheffield Motorpoint didn’t :-(
Otherwise – Tim, the band and the orchestra were fantastic – can’t wait to get to another show.

Jo-Anne on 9th of November 2011

I cannot wait for this DVD to come out!
I saw this live in Manchester last Christmas (Tickets were a surprise prezzie from my parents) it was absolutely amazing!
If you didn’t see it live, in fact, even if you did, you have got to get this DVD! (Mainly so Tim can get a castle and a monkey, but also ’cause it’s awesome! ;-)
:D x

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