The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

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The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

7/8 piece brilliant Comedy Orchestra – this is not George Formby – this is Anarchy in the Ukelele!

…WORLD TOUR 2012 / 2013 NEWS! After roof-raising, foot-stomping shows at the Sydney Opera House in March, the Royal Albert Hall in September, and Carnegie Hall in October, their world tour continues apace, with shows in Britain, USA, Germany and New Zealand…

The Ukulele Orchestra is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, who use instruments bought with loose change, and who believe that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the Ukulele.

North America Tour 2023 – All Dates Announced
All 18 dates have now been announced for our 2023 spring visit to North America.  They will be visiting 11 different states, and 17 venues – revisiting some old favourites and making their debut at several new ones. It will be their first time returning to Canada in 10 years!

 

This is amazing entertainment from musicians and singers who love their art and take the audience from comedy to serious music with songs such as ‘Life on Mars’ (sung by a guy who looks just like the lead from the TV series!), an amazing version of Streisand’s ‘Flowers’, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ and ‘Teen Spirit’ like you have never heard it!

Highly, highly recommended!

A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a Funny, Virtuosic, Twanging, Singing, Awesome, Foot-Stomping Obituary of Rock-n-Roll and Melodious Light Entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar” and a menagerie of voices; no drums, no pianos, no backing tracks, and no banjos.

 

A collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. See the universe in the grain of a Ukulele. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes’ depraved musicology.

The Orchestra use the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom with Ukuleles (little ones, big ones, high ones, low ones) revealing unsuspected insights into popular music. From Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Reading the Orchestra takes you on a world tour with only hand luggage and gives the listener “One Plucking Thing after Another”.

The Ukulele Orchestra started as a bit of fun in 1985. The first gig, intended as a one-off, was a sell out, and after one more gig the Orchestra had been on national radio. Since then there have been hundreds of appearances on radio and TV worldwide including BBC’s ‘Jools Holland Hootenanny’, ‘Blue Peter’, “Resonance fm”, “The Today Programme”, “Richard and Judy”, XFM, and Radio 4’s “Loose Ends”.

There have been sell out concerts in America, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Japan, in venues as diverse as Ronnie Scott’s world famous London jazz club, The Royal Festival Hall, Glastonbury Festival, Chicago Chamber Music Festival, The Big Chill, Cropredy and The Edinburgh Festival.

The Orchestra has rhythm, bass, baritone, tenor, soprano and lead Ukulele players, creating a rich palate of orchestration possibilities and registers. Sitting shoulder to shoulder in a semi-circle, they dress in black tuxedos like a Symphony Orchestra, reworking classics of rock ‘n’ roll, punk, jazz and classical music.

In highlighting both the beauty and vacuity of the material, the Orchestra revel in the triviality and the self-reverence of popular and highbrow music, while being both serious and light-hearted. Sometimes a foolish song can move an audience more than high art.

Audiences like to have a good time with the Ukulele Orchestra, which shows that musical intelligence and levity are not incompatible with acoustic versions of heavy metal, performance art techniques and the homage of a live karaoke.

Selected TV / Radio appearances:

Channel 4, Skins, 2010
BBC Radio 4, Loose Ends, 2005, 2010
RADIO BREMEN – 3 nach 9, May 09
BBC1 Culture Show, Jan 09
BBC Radio 1, Colin Murray, An Audience with the Ukulele Orchestra of GB, Dec 08
SAT1 WOW, hosted by Hugo Egon Balder, Nov 08
BBC Radio 4 Documentary ‘The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’ presented by Phil Jupitus, July 08
Sky Arts, Hay on Sky, June 08
BBC Radio 4, Broadcasting House 2008
GMTV 2007
3SAT Bannmeile, Live concert on leading German cultural channel, Dec 07
BBC C-Beebies, Space Pirates, Dec 2007
BBC2 Electric Proms with the Kaiser Chiefs, Oct 07
ITV This Morning 2007, 2005
BBC The Slammer, Nov 2006
BBC Radio 6, Gideon Coe, 2007
Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Dec 06
BBC1 The Slammer, 2006
BBC2 The Story of Light Entertainment, 2006
BBC Radio 3, In Tune, 2005
BBC1 Blue Peter, February 2005
BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends with Ned Sherrin, 2005, 2003
BBC2 Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, 2004

Recent Festivals include:

WOMADelaide, Australia, 2012
WOMAD, UK 2010
Cambridge Folk Festival 2010
BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London 2009
Mosel Musikfest, Germany 2009
Arosa Humor-Festival, Switzerland 2009
Saitensprünge Festival, Germany 2009
Glatt Und Verkehrt Festival, Austria 2009
Boomtown Jazz Festival, Germany 2009
Innocent Festival, UK 2008
Humorolgie, Belgium 2008
Beverly Folk Festival, UK 2008
The Hay Festival, UK 2004, 2008
Cambridge Folk Festival, UK 2007
Detroit Festival of the Arts, USA 2007
The Big Chill, UK 2007, 2005
Glastonbury Festival, UK 2005
Greenbelt Festival, UK 2006
Edinburgh Festival, UK 2005, 2006
Cropredy Festival, UK 2005

Selected Venues:

Sydney Opera House, 2012
Luxemburg Philharmonie, Luxemburg 2011
Carnegie Hall, New York 2010, 2012
Royal Albert Hall, London 2009
Hugenottenhalle, Frankfurt 2009
Karstadt Kunst und Kultur, Nuremberg 2009
The Sage, Gateshead UK 2008, 2010
Liverpool Philharmonic 2008, 2009
Lichfield Cathedral 2008
Salisbury Cathedral 2008
Chichester Arts Theatre 2008
Birmingham Town Hall 2006, 2007, 2008
TIPI Zelt am Kanzleramt, Berlin 2006, 2007, 2008
Fliegende Bauten, Hamburg 2007
The Barbican, London 2005
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club 1988, 2005
The Royal Festival Hall 2005
Beuchauberg (Brussels)

Performers:

The performers in The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are: Dave Suich, Peter Brooke Turner, Hester Goodman, George Hinchliffe, Richie Williams, Kitty Lux, Will Grove-White and Jonty Bankes.

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