- Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Img_capt = Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, 2005
Landscape = yes
Genre = Various
Years_active = 1985 - present
URL = http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/
Current_members = Dave Suich
Jonty Bankes [cite web |url=http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/main/ShowPage.aspx?PageID=1&SessionKey= |title=What is the UOGB |publisher=Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain |accessdate=2008-06-28 ]
filename=Good Bad Ugly theme - Ukulele Orchestra GB.ogg
title=Theme to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"
description=Sample of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain playing the main theme of the Film.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a musical ensemble featuring
ukuleles in different registers and an acoustic bass guitar(although the orchestra prefer to class it as a bass ukulele).
Founded in 1985, [ [http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/main/ShowPage.aspx?PageID=1&SessionKey= Official Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain website information] ] the orchestra has since performed in many worldwide venues, including the
Royal Festival Halland the Glastonbury Festival. The Orchestra has appeared on TV in the UK and elsewhere. Members were commissioned to write and record music for two editions of " The South Bank Show" and the orchestra has featured on " Tomorrow's World", " Blue Peter", " The Slammer", " Richard and Judy" and "This Morning" and other shows on UK TV. The orchestra performed at the 50 year anniversary VE day celebrations in Hyde Park(with Cliff Richardand Vera Lynn), before an estimated audience of 170,000. The orchestra has toured Japan, US, Canada, and Europe. Albums include "Precious Little", "The Secret of Life", "Top Notch" and a large back catalogue of recordings including a 2005DVD, "Anarchy in the Ukulele", recorded at the Barbicanin London.
Their version of "
Dy-na-mi-tee" (with vocals by Hester Goodman), reached #81 in the UK singles charts in 2005. Also featured on the CD single were covers of the instrumental "Wonderful Land" and "Natural Woman", with (male) lead vocals provided by musical director George Hinchliffe.
Recent years have seen
televisionappearances on programmes such as Jools Holland's " Hootenanny". High praise has been forthcoming from the press for live shows. [ [http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,,1144530,00.html Guardian Unlimited review of appearance at Barbican, 2004] ] [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2005/05/12/bmuke12.xml&sSheet=/arts/2005/05/12/ixartleft.html Telegraph review of appearance at Komedia, Brighton, 2005] ]
The orchestra has had varying line-ups over the past two decades, but is currently performing as an octet, with seven ukulele players and one bassist. The members wear traditional orchestra dress for performances, with the men in tuxedos and the women in smart evening wear. A typical Ukulele Orchestra gig comprises songs and instrumentals from all kinds of musical backgrounds: regulars include
Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" reworked as a swinging jazz number, Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", " Anarchy in the UK" performed in the style of Simon and Garfunkel, and the theme tune from "Shaft". The orchestra also compose and perform their own pieces, as well as arranging medleys - for example, David Bowie's " Life on Mars?" is melded with "My Way", " For Once in My Life", "Substitute", and more.
The group has shied away from featuring the music of
George Formby, Britain's most famous ukulele musician; however, in recent years, they have included a version of his song "Leaning on a Lamppost", performed in a Russian Cossack style and retitled "Lenin on a Lamppost". [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3004964.stm|title=Orchestra makes ukulele cult hit|last=Youngs|first=Ian|date=2003-06-23|work=BBC News|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-06-12] [cite web|url=http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/Main/ItemDisplay.aspx?SessionKey=&ItemID=34|title=Anarchy in the Ukulele DVD track listing|accessdate=2008-06-14|work=Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain]
*"The Ukulele Variations" - 1988, Disque Ethnique (LP); CBS/Sony Records (CD)
*"Hearts of Oak" - 1990, CBS/Sony Records (CD)
*"A Fist Full of Ukuleles" - 1994, Sony Records (CD)
*"Pluck" - 1998, Tachyon Records (CD)
*"The Secret of Life" - 2004, Longman Records (CD)
*"Miss Dy-na-mi-tee" - 2005, Longman Records (CD single)
*"Precious Little" - 2007, UOGB (CD)
*"Top Notch" - 2001, UOGB (CD)
*"Anarchy in the Ukulele" - 2005, UOGB (DVD)
*Jonty Bankes ("bass ukulele")
* [http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/ The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4559510005057780538&q=ukulele Performance of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana]
* [http://uogbfans.de/ http://uogbfans.de Very detailed fan website about the Ukulele Orchestra in German and English language]
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