'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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Live in London #2

These tracks were recorded at the live London concerts on the ongoing UOGB world tour. Audiences
enjoy the live act, coming back many times, giving noisy standing ovations and making repeated
calls for encores. Perhaps the Ukes have stumbled into, or cunningly woven, a crossover appeal
which combines the melodic catchiness of light music, the quirkiness of doo-wop and disco, the
toe-tapping momentum of old jazz and the no-nonsense “serious hedonism” of a stadium rock gig.
Is it all about cover versions? Think about it, most orchestras play “cover versions”: Beethoven,
Mozart, Elgar and so on, and there’s nothing wrong with a reworking of a classic tune. Knowing the
tune makes it easy to appreciate the warped re-imagining which the Ukes can bring to bear on the
material. The pieces on this CD are time-honoured compositions, mainly from the popular repertoire,
all given the inimitable Ukes twist, with inventive, energetic and witty new perspectives.

In 1985 the idea of a musical group made up wholly of ukuleles in various registers may have
seemed rather peculiar, but as time has gone on, not only has the instrument become
more widely used, but ensembles of ukuleles are much more commonplace. The roaring
receptions which greet the Ukes shows, running the gamut as they do from tender poignancy
to stomping grooves, are evidence for a resonance between the zeitgeist of recent culture,
and the UOGB imagination.


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Live in London #2
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