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

  • July 4, 2017
    The Orchestra have been busy in the studio working on a new album. The Ukes have listened to their fans and created an album featuring the songs they keep getting asked to record. They have also added lots of new material and some seldom heard gems! The album is due for release by the end of 2017 and they are sure they will Get Lucky and make their fans very Happy with the selection. Certainly an album worth walking 500 Miles for... So watch this space!
  • July 4, 2017
    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be returning to the USA to play 12 dates in April 2018. The tour will feature new material from their upcoming studio album along with some foot-stomping classics! We will be visiting old friends and hoping to make new ones as we return to some of our favourite venues and also make our debut in a number of new ones.
  • May 3, 2017
    Today the crowd funding campaign for Art on a Ukulele was launched on phundee.com! We have combined forces with Art on a Postcard, Mick Rooney RA and Pete Howlett Ukuleles to help raise funds for the Hepatitus C Trust.
  • April 14, 2017
    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are excited to announce a fundraising project they are working on with Mick Rooney RA and arts charity Art on a Postcard who have transformed themselves into Art on a Ukulele. The project brings together some of the best known names in contemporary art and music.

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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