The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain today announces new dates as part of its world tour, including some of the world's major venues. In a tour that takes in Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA, the Orchestra perform at the Sydney Opera House, Australia on 6 March, the Royal Albert Hall, London on 21 September and Carnegie Hall, New York on 17 October with a total of 70 concerts worldwide.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming ukulele players, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele.
A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a funny, virtuosic, twanging, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the "bonsai guitar™" and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery. Only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling). Going from Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra goes on "a world tour with only hand luggage" and gives the listener "One Plucking Thing After Another".
Formed in 1985 as a bit of fun, the Orchestra's first gig was an instant sell-out, and they have been performing ever since. By 1988 they had released an LP, appeared on BBC TV, played at WOMAD and recorded a BBC Radio 1 session. The current ensemble has been playing together for over 20 years, and has become something of a national institution, as well as giving thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
Over the last 25 years, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has spawned hundreds of imitators, and you can now find ukulele groups in nearly every major city, indeed, the Orchestra are often blamed for the current Ukulele revival which is sweeping the globe. The Ukulele Orchestra's music has been used in films, plays, and commercials, while film clips of the Orchestra's live concerts and TV appearances on websites such as YouTube have been watched millions of times. Collaborators have included Madness, David Arnold, The British Film Institute, The Ministry of Sound, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and The Kaiser Chiefs.
Royal Albert Hall
Friday 21 September 2012
Tickets: £18 - £39.50 available from the Royal Albert Hall box office 0845 401 5034 or www.royalalberthall.com
Wednesday 17 October 2012
Tickets available from Monday 27 August 2012 from the Carnegie Hall box office (001) 212 247 7800 orwww.carnegiehall.org
Complete listings for all venues on the tour at www.ukuleleorchestra.com.