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

  • September 11, 2020
    In 2020, unable to meet each other owing to the Covid-19, Coronavirus restrictions, the performers of the Ukulele Orchestra contributed individual clips to group videos. These were posted online every Sunday. Fans demanded that they be made available on DVD. Here they are.
  • June 19, 2020
    We are delighted to announce the release of our newest album. The follow up album to 'The Only Album by the Ukulele Orchestra That You’ll Ever Need Volume 3', 'Volume 9' brings you even more newly recorded but classic tracks by the orchestra recorded in the studio.
  • May 1, 2020
    It is May Day. There are lots of songs pertinent to this. One is The Padstow May Song, Unite and Unite. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain recorded a version of it. Find out more about the history of the song and listen to the UOGB version.
  • April 30, 2020
    There are four types of instrument commonly used. They are the soprano, the concert, the tenor and the baritone ukulele. I would recommend you begin with a soprano, as it is the most common and seems to have the most available associated literature.

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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