'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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  • Live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Twelve years after the Ukes first walked on stage in front of a sold out audience at the Royal Albert Hall, they are releasing the full concert in digital format.

    In 1985, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain dreamed of filling the Royal Albert Hall in London with the sound of its ukuleles, voices, jokes, and whistling. On Tuesday 18th August 2009, at the BBC Proms, the Ukes attracted a sold-out audience.

    There were more than six thousand people, over a thousand of whom signed up to say they would bring along their ukuleles and join in. It is estimated that there were at least a further thousand who didn’t register but brought their instruments anyway.

    The show features Dave Suich, Peter Brooke Turner, Hester Goodman, George Hinchliffe, Richie Williams, Kitty Lux, Will Grove-White and Jonty Bankes performing a concoction of UOGB classics including Sympathy for the Devil, Wuthering Heights, Teenage Dirtbag, the sea-shanty version of Pinball Wizard, Ride of the Valkyries and that “last night of the proms” classic: Jerusalem.

    Watch Prom Night : Live at the Royal Albert Hall Here

  • Q&A with George Hinchliffe

    Watch our latest Youtube video where George Hinchliffe, founder of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, responds to questions sent in by fans, he tells stories that answer the questions and illustrates his answers with musical excerpts played on the ukulele.

    Click here to watch the Q&A

    The songs that are referred to or demonstrated in the video:

    "Out of my brain on the train: 5:15"
    The "Why should I care" section:
    Both from "Quadrophrenia",
    The Who's Quadrophenia uses in part the following chord sequence in the "Why should I care" section:

    F major 7, G9, Em7, Am7, Dm7, G7, C major 7

    which is very similar to the chord sequence used in the old Nat King Cole song as featured in the film, Groundhog Day:
    What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in
    It's almost like being in love.

    "Mr Sandman".

    (Campanile section)
    C maj7 /// C6 /// Dm7 /// G7 /// C maj7 /// C6 /// Dm7 /// G7 ///

    C maj7 / C6 / C6 /// B7 /// B7 /// E+7 /// E+7 /// A+7 /// A+7 ///
    D13 /// D13 /// G13 /// G13 /// C2 /// C2 /// Ab7 /// D9 / G7 /
    C maj7 / C6 / C6 /// B7 /// B7 /// E+7 /// E+7 /// A+7 /// A+7 ///
    Dm /// Dm /// Dm6 /// Dm6 /// C /A7/ D9 /G13 / C /// C ///

    (On screen it says that the chords and music are available but for copyright reasons, we're not including them here.)

    "Ain't She Sweet".

    Am / C#m6 / G7 /// Am / C#m6 / G7 ///
    C / E7 / A7 /// D7 / G7 / C ///
    Am / C#m6 / G7 /// Am / C#m6 / G7 ///
    C / E7 / A7 /// D7 / G7 / C ///
    F7 /// F7 /// C/// C ////
    F7 /// F7 /// C/// D7 / G7 /
    Am / C#m6 / G7 /// Am / C#m6 / G7 ///
    C / E7 / A7 /// D7 / G7 / C ///

    George also refers to the campanile style of playing the ukulele and mentions Ronald Binge's "Cornet Carillon" but doesn't play it.

    This ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNOmgeGDvXE ) is a version of that piece (played by the Black Dyke Mills Band) which gives a clear indication of the effect, that of cascading notes brought about by using three cornets splitting the melody between then and holding each note on to give the effect of bells ringing. This is the effect which campanile playing on the ukulele is intended to convey. The introduction section of "Mr Sandman" is a simple example of campanile playing.

  • Ukulele World Service Episode 4

    The Ukes are back with a brand new pay-per-view show. Join the all plucking superstars for a new show, exemplifying the virtues of skiffle, punk, and international counter-cultural popular music.

    Watch the latest show via their website on an on demand pay per view basis. The Ukulele World Service is made under socially distanced conditions. This episode is taken from the second session the orchestra has filmed since being unable to tour. It brings you even more new material never before performed by The Ukes, as well as a couple of fan favourites!

    Click here to watch The Ukulele World Service Episode 4

    We have been busy releasing new videos over on our YouTube channel every Sunday. There is a library of brand new content and archived footage. Watch live performances, playalongs and tutorials for free on our channel.

    Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Nevermind The Valentine Songbook

    At Christmas, we gave away a songbook of carols. A lot of people seemed to like it, or if they didn't, they didn't tell us. So we're doing another one for Valentine's day.

    We all need a bit of love. And if you're a ukulele player, some unusual but rewarding chords and melodies might be just the thing to keep you busy.

    It's free, however, there is an option to make a donation. But you don't have to. Given that we ain't gigging, any help with keeping the orchestra producing more content would help. But if you wanna give to the Yemen, do that. I think they need it more than us.

    Happy St. Valentine's Day xxx

    Click here to get your download of the Nevermind the Valentine Songbook.

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