'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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  • UK Spring Tour

    Straight off the back of the US tour, the orchestra will be primed and ready for a run of dates across the UK. With a spring in their step and ukulele in hand, the independent rock-stars of the “bonsai guitar” will be bringing fun, strum and artistry to venues from Exeter to Dumfries.

    Sat Apr 27.  St George’s Hall, Bradford

    Sun Apr 28.  The Lowry, Salford

    Sat May 25.  The Ukulele Festival of Scotland, Dumfries

    Thu Jun 06.  The Alban Arena,  St Albans

    Fri Jun 07.  The Hexagon, Reading

    Sun Jun 16.  Exeter Corn Exchange, Exeter

  • We’re Coming to America!

    The Ukes are leaving for their longest ever tour of the USA in a couple of weeks! The tour will cover 17 cities in 9 States over a month and includes our debut performance at Chicago Symphony Hall.

    Sun Mar 17 Cullen Theater, Houston, TX

    Tue Mar 19 Wharton Center for Performing Arts, East Lansing, MI

    Wed Mar 20 Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago, IL 

    Thu Mar 21 Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN

    Sat Mar 23 Carlsen Center, Overland Park, KS

    Sun Mar 24 The Lensic, Santa Fe, NM

    Tue Mar 26 Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School, Boerne, TX

    Fri Mar 29 Balboa Theater, San Diego, CA

    Sun Mar 31 McCallum Theater, Palm Desert, CA

    Tue Apr 02 Mondavi Center, Davis, CA

    Thu Apr 04 Campbell Hall, Isla Visa, CA

    Fri Apr 05 Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos, CA

    Sun Apr 07 Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto, CA

    Tue Apr 09 BCPA Concert Hall, Laramie, WY

    Thu Apr 11 Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls, IA

    Fri Apr 12 Center for Faith & Life, Decorah, IA

    Sun Apr 14  Lied Center for Performing Arts, Lincoln NE

  • Ireland Dates Announced

    The Ukes will be crossing the Irish Sea in September to play 2 dates. We will be returning to the National Concert Hall in Dublin on September 28th before heading North to Belfast for a date at Ulster Hall on the 29th. They will be our only dates in Ireland this year so be sure to get your tickets now!

    Sat Sept 28  National Concert Hall Dublin

    Sun Sep 29 Ulster Hall, Belfast 

  • When This Lousy War is Over

    The “Ukes” tour of “Lousy War” takes place over the next few weeks. Marking the centenary of the end of WW1. A show which astonishes with its humour, insight and suprising historical research. The customary joy and humour of the ukulele entertainment juggernaut is there, but also moving and serious music, a feminist anthem, songs from other countries involved, France, Germany, even Africa and China, a WW1 George Formby Senior song, a Cabaret Voltaire piece and scurrilous soldier’s parody lyrics.

    The UOGB CD “Lousy War” featuring music from the show, will be on sale at all of the concerts in this tour. 

    Wed 24 Oct 2018 - Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.   SOLD OUT. Box Office: 01225 860 100

    Fri 26 Oct 2018 - Kings Hall, Ilkley.  TICKETS. Box Office: 01943 602319

    Sat 27 Oct 2018 - Cast, Doncaster.  TICKETS  Box Office: 01302 303 959

    Sun 28 Oct 2018 - Gala Theatre, Durham. TICKETS. Box Office: 03000 266 600

    Mon 05 Nov 2018 - The Stables, Milton Keynes. TICKETS. Box Office: 01908 280800

    Sun 11 Nov 2018 - Birmingham Town Hall. 2 Shows 3pm & 7.30pm: TICKETS  Box Office: 0121 780 3333

    The world famous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is, as usual, a joyful and humourous entertainment juggernaut. Yet here, marking the centenary of WW1, it astonishes, with unexpectedly moving, intriguing, musical history in a show with a difference. 

    Honour, resilience and humour are celebrated, respecting those who fell. 

    Pride, sorrow and grim irony are found in music, loved, written and sung at the time.

    Unusually, there is music from many countries, including not only Britain, France, Germany, Italy, America and New Zealand but also reflecting the involvement of Africa and China. 

    The inspirational show ranges from patriotic marches to songs pacifist and feminist; from gypsy tune to music hall, soldiers’ scurrilous lyrics to early jazz, with poignant ballads and even an item from the anarchist, anti-war, radical avante-garde Caberet Voltaire in neutral Switzerland.

    What more unusual items will we find in the show?

    A song recorded by George Formby Senior, father of the famous ukulele player, and himself a best selling wax cylinder star from the years prior to WW1. 

    Songs which were sung by soldiers including scurrilous parody lyrics to famous tunes. 

    Unique ukulele orchestra arrangements of significant or intriguing pieces of music, such as: 

    Colonel Bogey. You’re thinking of the River Kwai or the lost property office at the Albert Hall. But no. This dates from the First World War and was written by Lieutenant F J Ricketts (as Kenneth Alford). 

    Snoopy and the Red Baron. A song referencing the Peanuts cartoon. No. It’s not simply anachronistic; that dog was named after the Canadian flyer who, it was thought, brought down Baron Richthoven. 

    Wild Geese. A poignant German song with lyrics by Walter Flex (died in battle in 1917, a German equivalent of British WW1 poet Wilfred Owen). 

    Music of the period which was played in London at the time but is not normally associated with the war, such as “From Marble Arch to Leicester Square”. 

    Bilingual versions of songs known through war diaries of the orchestra’s relatives to be sung at the famous unofficial “Christmas Truce” and football match in no-man’s land.

    The touching and celebrated Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth, who died at the Somme in 1916. Often played as a memorial and to celebrate “Englishness”. 

    Come to one of the “never to be repeated” concerts on the tour. You’ll hear material not found in other WW1 concerts, along with the UOGB’s humour and reverence. 

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