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.
New dates have been arranged for the commissioned UOGB show “Lousy War” later in 2018. This explores the music of the period of WW1 including George Formby senior, African and Chinese music, a suffragette song, Dada cabaret, both patriotic and anti-war songs, and a British song about a German band. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month will be commemorated by the commissioners at Birmingham Town Hall / City Hall.
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The Orchestra is thrilled to be playing at festivals this year, including the Austrian Ukulele Festival in Graz, Underneath the Stars, Barnsley and the Sidmouth Folk Week. We will be bringing our unique combination of the well-known and the unknown; off-the-wall music and re-imagined overworked classic songs. In the early days of the UOGB sometimes the comments included views that the repertoire was too challenging or far-out. Currently we are more likely to hear that attendees allegedly yearning for a musical art designed to elicit beard-stroking brain-ache opine that the Orchestra is far too populist and the act constitutes mere entertainment. Comments included: “Too lowbrow for Geoffrey”, and “Dumbing down of the worst kind”. In this time of unease and uncertainty we think it might be considered a pleasant thing to be criticised for being popular and entertaining. What do you think, is it best to be credible or loved, widely appreciated or under-rated yet critically acclaimed? Or can we have it all and be off-the-wall and on-the-ball simultaneously? We hope so. We’ve always been “on the back foot forward”. Why stop now.
The DVD of the “Concert for Kitty”, recorded at The Barbican in London to celebrate the life of Kitty Lux, singer, composer and UOGB founder, is being edited and is scheduled for release later in 2018. The programme includes the full orchestra, and a recreation of the very first UOGB gig with the original performers. The programme includes Prokofiev, Clean Bandit, Highway to Hell, Willie Nelson, Holiday for Strings and Kitty’s compositions including one sung alone by George, as well as her “Death I laugh in your face” and her Sheeny and the Goys classic “Ever Such Pretty Girls”, ending up with a stage invasion on “Bondage up Yours”. Includes footage of the orchestra playing live at the Ukulele Society of Great Britain in 1987.
‘By Request: Songs From the Set List’ is an album created in direct response to our fans wishlist of music. An album conceived to deliver some of the list of requests received from fans all around the planet, from Tasmania to Svalbard, Lerwick to Adelaide, Paris to Toronto, or from Beijing to New York, in short wherever the Ukes have performed and thrilled audiences with their renowned stomping, laughter inducing, thought provoking live shows.
The album was recorded at Urchin studio in London. It has the lustre, depth and sonic clarity which only a fully equipped modern studio with a great acoustic can bring to bear. Plus the time for the orchestra to stretch out in space and recording time. This recording promises to be the one which sets the standard for any other ukulele orchestra recordings. There are old and new popular songs, obscure but choice oldies, twisted covers and mash ups, and the inimitable jollity, joy and exuberance of the orchestra's celebrated style; from hard rocking classics to moody ballads via a confluence of Woodstock and New Orleans Mardi Gras.
The orchestra begins its US Spring tour with a one-off exclusive boutique gig at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on Thursday 5th April. This small but perfectly formed affair has a limited number of tickets available - get yours today!
The event will coincide with a batch of TV, radio and press interviews. The tour will continue with concerts which include some workshops and participation events, to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Georgia, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Maryland and Connecticut. (WI, MN, IA, ME, MA, GA, SC, NH, MD, CT) See “Gig Dates”. We are looking forward to returning to venues, exploring pastures new, meeting old friends and making new ones.
We’re in NYC ahead of our big U.S. Spring tour, and figured we might as well have a little fun and put on a show while we’re in town! The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be playing a one-off exclusive gig at (le) poisson rouge, on Thursday 5 April. This small but perfectly formed affair has a limited number of tickets available - get yours today!