'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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News

  • May 22, 2015
    George and some of the Ukes meet Liz Kenny and some Lutes playing Elvis, some of The Wolfenbuettel Lute Book, ZZ Top, Shakespeare songs, Queen, two different Robert Johnsons, and Howling Wolf.
  • May 12, 2015
    The Ukes are playing only one gig in Austria this year, so make sure you won’t miss it…! Saturday, 31 October 2015, at the Arena in Kufstein
  • May 5, 2015
    Due to the high demand for tickets for our concert at The Cheese and Grain, Frome this Saturday 9th May 2015, the venue has released a limited number of standing tickets.
  • March 24, 2015
    The Ukulele Orchestra continue their '30 Plucking Years' World Tour, with a date at the dr.dk Konserthuset in Copenhagen. The Ukes will be in town on Sunday 17th May 2015, and take to the stage at 8pm.

The Ukes

 


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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