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

  • July 5, 2016
    Expect an eclectic repertoire on Saturday 9 July at Cheltenham Music Festival when we perform a double-bill with the wonderful 'Will Gregory's Moog Ensemble'. The concert will showcase the synth-pop of Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory. Followed by the rabble-rousing, all-singing, all-plucking Ukulele Orchestra of GB performing a shopping trolley dash through all genres of music, from pompous to classical to trial pop.
  • July 1, 2016
    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be releasing a CD of their show 'When This Lousy War is Over'. The CD 'Lousy War' will be available to purchase at their performance of the show at Lichfield Cathedral on Wednesday 6 July 2016 and will then be released for sale on their website, Amazon and iTunes.
  • July 1, 2016
    Lichfield Festival has asked the Orchestra to perform the show originally commissioned by Birmingham Symphony Hall And Town Hall, that commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of The Great War. It is a funny, musically rewarding, touching, irreverent and thought provoking concert for all ages, giving us songs, history and a window on the world through some unusual selections from the music of the time.
  • June 20, 2016
    We were the not so mystery mystery guests on the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast show this morning. George, Peter and Leisa chatted with Chris about the right term for a ukulele player, playing a nano uke, the rise of the instrument and the correct song to play on ukulele in a music store! You can now listen again on the BBC iplayer for the next 29 days.

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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