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

  • November 7, 2019
    Due to popular demand we have added an extra date in Bourges next January. It is always a pleasure to perform in France and we delighted that we will be performing on the 10th & 11th January at the Maison de la Culture de Bourges. Tickets are available now!
  • November 6, 2019
    This Christmas the Ukes will be performing a number of special shows where they invite the audience to get in on the frivolity by joining them on a couple of seasonal songs. So if you are coming to see the Orchestra in the run up to Christmas be sure to watch the tutorials, download the music and bring your ukulele along to the gig!
  • November 5, 2019
    The Ukulele Orchestra went into the BBC Radio 3 studios at Broadcasting House on Monday to play a few tunes for Sean Rafferty on 'In Tune'. Performing our usual eclectic mix of songs live in the studio, we covered everything from Prokofiev to Willie Nelson via a Tang Dynasty Chinese melody!
  • October 6, 2019
    Next year The Ukes will be strumming their way around Sweden. All tickets are now on sale and we are visiting some cities for the first time so be sure to book your seats now!

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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