19
Feb
13

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Ukulele Orchestra

 

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Les Currie & Sean McKenna

Monday 18th February 2013

QPAC Concert Hall

 

Reviewed by Rebecca Matthews

 

Mention the ukulele and images of George Formby singing When I’m Cleaning Windows spring to mind. With this as my baseline experience, I imagined the ukulele had come kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  How wrong I was.  Looking at the 2.7 million plus hits on You tube (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly), and sold out world tours, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain had my attention.

 

 

What stars must have been in alignment for these eight amazing artists to be in the same place at the same time to form this funny, entertaining and surprisingly melodic orchestra of instruments that many thought had seen its heyday. 

 

No genre is off the menu for these all-strumming, all-singing, all-joking Ukulele players; from Dolly Parton to the Sex Pistols, as long as you can play it and sing it, it’s fair game.  I didn’t love every song but there was enough diversity in their repertoire that everyone could pick a favorite.  Highlights for me were the camp fire rendition of Anarchy in the UK (who knew it could sound so sweet?!) and a gorgeous finale of Waltzing Matilda that with the encouragement of audience participation brought us all together for a celebration of the host country.

 

Ukulele Orchestra

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s plenty of dead pan humor, teasing and self depreciation going on between the sets.  Although the music could easily stand alone, this adds an extra layer to the experience and makes you remember that we aren’t here to listen to some classic stuffy opera (sorry, classic stuffy opera lovers), but a true celebration of musical talent and ingenuity.  

 

As an audience member there were plenty of opportunities to sing along to your favorite tune and via the website, fellow musicians were encouraged to bring their own Ukulele to participate in a simple little tune that no doubt delighted the fellow Uke-o-philes.

 

My too-cool-for-school work mates laughed when I told them I was going to see the Ukulele Orchestra… well, joke’s on them. I loved every second of it. 

 

FINAL AUSTRALIAN SHOWS

 

SYDNEY – Tuesday 19th

 

MELBOURNE – Wednesday 20th

 

 

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