You can also purchase The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's music on Amazon and iTunes or check out our YouTube channel for videos.
December 29, 2015The Ukes of GB will be appearing tomorrow on BBC Radio 4 Midweek. Libby Purves will be chatting with George and the panel of guests which includes Si King and Dave Myers (The Hairy Bikers), the illustrator Michael Foreman and Lady Alexandra Shackleton.(2 Comments)
December 7, 2015In the 1990s The Ukulele Orchestra recorded these classic punk and new-wave songs from the 1970s, now re-mastered and released in 2015. These all acoustic recordings perhaps trace a line from skiffle through rock and roll, to punk and the current ukulele resurgence.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the Ukulele.
A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar” and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery. Only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling). Audiences have a good time with the Ukulele Orchestra. Going from Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra takes us on “a world tour with only hand luggage” and gives the listener “One Plucking Thing After Another”.
Using instruments small and large, in high and low registers, whether playing intricate melodies, simple tunes, or complex chords, and sitting in chamber group format dressed in formal evening wear, the Orchestra uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights. Both the beauty and vacuity of popular and highbrow music are highlighted, the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing. Sometimes a foolish song can touch an audience more than high art; sometimes music which takes itself too seriously is revealed to be hilarious. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes’ depraved musicology.
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