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

  • January 11, 2021
    It is with regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the 2021 North American tour. We are devastated that for the second year COVID-19 has prevented us from seeing our fans across the pond. For information about refunds please check with the individual venues.
  • December 22, 2020
    UOGB TV presents the Ukulele World Service Episode 2, our second pay-per-view show, available to stream now from our website. This show includes a festive Ukulele Lockdown surprise!
  • December 11, 2020
    A lot of people are struggling at this time of year and it looks as if the normal Christmas cheer might be in short supply. And so… Here is a Christmas gift from the Orchestra to you. The full music scores of our seasonal album “Never Mind the Reindeer”.
  • November 29, 2020
    Our first pay-per-view show is now available on our website. Invite the orchestra into your living room for a programme of solid music, professionalism (ahem), humour and shambolic eclectic rock-n-roll; a unique shopping-trolley-dash through the aisles of musical genres.

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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