Posts Tagged ‘ukulele


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. 




SYDNEY – Tuesday 19th


MELBOURNE – Wednesday 20th





The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain



Do you know this film clip? You know the song.


One day I saw this version, or heard this version, and I cried my eyes out, and I became a bit of a uke fan.


Even now I hear it and my heart breaks. This rendition is how sad beauty can be. And how beautiful sadness can be.





If you’re a uke fan, you would already know that The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are playing QPAC’s Concert Hall on Monday at 8pm.


If you’re not a big uke fan, don’t worry, YOU WILL BE! Because this is no ordinary night out! Look!



EXCITING NEWS! It’s our first giveaway!



Thanks to the team at JPPR you can WIN 2 complimentary tickets for Monday night’s performance in Brisbane, simply by ‘fessing up or imagining you play the ukulele and commenting below.


We have  2 x 2 tickets to give away.


Make sure you follow the steps for your chance to win and treat you and a friend to a fun night out!


1. Like our page on Facebook (by liking our page you are simply connecting with us and other creative types there. Feel free to continue sharing the love!).


2. Comment below to tell us that you’ve liked our page on Facebook, and then tell us in 25 words or less, what is the song you would most like to play on the uke and why?



The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Winners will be announced here on Monday.

Following their recent roof-raising, foot-stomping show at the Royal Albert Hall, the exceptional Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are coming back to Australia. As part of a world tour which has included sold-out concerts in New York and London, the “Ukes’ will be bringing their funny, toe tapping, all singing, all plucking obituary of rock and roll and melodious light entertainment to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2013.

Since playing their first gig in 1985 the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain have gone from playing upstairs at a London pub to the world’s most prestigious venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House and London’s Royal Albert Hall. The orchestra’s influence on the renaissance of the ukulele is undeniable with the “uke boom” seeing chart-topping bands such as Mumford and Sons join the phenomenon sweeping the globe with the celebrated ‘bonsai guitar’ well-and-truly at an all-time level of popularity.

Returning to Australia after their first tour earlier this year which saw sold-out concerts around the country, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are sure to be the hottest ticket this summer with a new show that will be an entertaining white-knuckle ride between twisted covers including Lady Gaga, Adele, Junior Walker, Black Sabbath and Michael Jackson.

With concerts announced today for Brisbane’s Concert Hall at QPAC on February 18, Sydney’s State Theatre on February 19 and Melbourne’s newly refurbished Hamer Hall on February 20, you will be hooked from the first chord when 8 ukuleles come together and are played at their best by world-acclaimed, highly skilled performers with a dollop of typically British humour.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain believe that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, especially when they are played on their instruments bought with loose change – ukuleles!

Grab your friends and family and enjoy a night out like no other with the band that The New York Times recently named as one of the ‘five best concerts of the year’.



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