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The Occasional Orchestra

An established, experienced Indie Originals band

Difficult to categorise and hard to ignore, these champions of the English story song have a shining back catalogue, described in one review as a ‘jewel undiscovered’. This band can certainly dunk their biscuits. 

In a live scene dominated by tribute bands, The Occasional Orchestra like to wear their influences a little more lightly. Though they are most typically listed under the label of indie/folk, they’re leaning more heavily on the indie these days. You may pick up traces of varied  heroes such as the Kinks, Squeeze, Stephen Fretwell, Stornoway, Elvis Costello Talking Heads and many more. They were once described as ‘The Mumford and Sons you don’t want to punch’ by R&R magazine. Not that they’d condone punching anyone.

This band was built to last. They’ve recorded with top producers, shared stages with their heroes, been championed on the radio, crowdfunded a biscuit themed campaign to pay for their Urban Foxes album and toured the rural areas of the UK through Rural Touring. And they’re still BFFs. 

There’s a new album written and ready to record in spring 2024 and they’re bursting to bring their engaging and intense live show on the road. The band is championed by venues and festivals that value and appreciate great original songs, and energetic performances. Followed by a mug of strong tea and a cream crunch of course.

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Our Story

The Occasional Orchestra has a rich history, largely based around the enduring musical partnership of Darrell and Kenny. From 80s post punk band Home and Abroad to quirky 90s Britpop four piece Edna, then re-uniting in The Occasional Orchestra. Joined by Kev, Tim and most recently David, the band's sound and the quality of their material has gone from strength to strength through their most recent album Urban Foxes as they begin recording their new album Speak Up.

The Orchestra

Darrell Mitchell
Lead Vocals & Guitar

Raised in rural Oxfordshire, Darrell is the voice of the band on lead vocals and guitar and through his commentary on the world as he sees it, writing unusual, sometimes poetic and always observant lyrics. He has written nine studio albums during five record deals and has stood on hundreds of stages big and small. His favourite bun when touring is generally an iced Chelsea.

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Kevin Tynan
Bass & Vocals

Kevin is the ultimate professional on bass and backing vocals. Known for sharp dressing and his love for his home town of Burnley, he will probably engage you in conversation about jazz, northern soul and Burnley FC. He has played everywhere from cruise ships to festivals and possesses an unnatural fondness for Bourbon Creams.

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Kenny Stone
Drums, Percussion & Vocals

Kenny is the beating heart of the band on drums and backing vocals. Raised in Reading he has added his imaginative grooves to many great bands including Jo Jo Namoza and a well known Led Zep tribute. His musical partnership with Darrell has endured long enough for them to become only slightly sick of each other due to the frankly tedious jokes about his BA Hons in drumming. The only band member to eschew cake and biscuits, his culinary weakness is a cooked brekkie.

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Tim Chalklen

Tim, or Timothy as he's affectionately known within the band provides a layer of keys and backing vocals, along with the best studio curry known to humanity. In his spare time he is a busy actor. If he was a supermarket, he'd be Waitrose. Suave, classy, measured and popular, though he thinks soda bread is overrated. The rest of us don't know what that is.

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The Occasional Orchestra

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David Powell
Guitar & Vocals

The newest and most Welsh band member is David, adding unfeasibly high-pitched backing vocals and guitar. David's playing adds that rare combination of being technically brilliant and tasteful and he manages to shake sugary sprinkles over the songs. He has quickly absorbed the band's stranger rituals and enjoys Welsh cakes. But only on a nice clean plate.

Always trying to look cool

Sometimes getting away with it.


The Occasional Orchestra have played venues large and small all across the UK over the past couple of decades. From organising our own "Village Hall Tour" in 2017 and 2018, through large festivals to small, intimate venues such as the Ale House in Stratford-upon-Avon, we're happiest when bringing original live music to the masses. 

Current Gigs - more to come!

The Wote Club, Basingstoke - 1st March 2024

The Acoustic Couch - 31st May 2024

Woodsfest - 22nd June 2024

Kew Market - 7th July 2024

Musical Instruments

Urban Foxes

While they hail from all the way across the pond in the United Kingdom, London-based act “The Occasional Orchestra” continues to astound as they have found a way to not just replicate, but build on the classic American Country sound with the release of their homespun single “Loneliest Day of the Year.” 

The piece begins with a snare drum rapturously banging in time as the full band comes in a few seconds later playing in a slow tempo that one would expect to hear during any night of line dancing. In spontaneous fashion, a train whistle blows to set the tone and the song takes flight.

From the first vocals, we can tell this will be a song written from years of experience. The opening lyrics “I’ve watched the leaves fall and I’ve heard the wind howl” set the narrative up similar to a grand tale being told to eager ears.

He tells a story of love lost as he sings the chorus “Didn’t cry when you left me, I held it all in. Just took out the bottle and drank it all in.” His pain can be felt through his voice as embodies the loss he feels through every ounce of his aural register. He pulls deep to describe how often he is reminded of this, from being reminded of her absence every time he hears the train whistle blow, to feeling an apathy to leave the house. A powerful yet sensible tune, this single is sure to invoke sympathy from any listener with any semblance of sympathy.

Nick Gumas, Rising Artists


A huge "Thanks" to Bryan Sutton for stunning photography!

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