October 7, 2013

Last night we were lucky enough to go and see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB hereafter) play live in Edinburgh. In case you haven’t heard of them, go and search for them on YouTube now. I’ll wait…


Knowing how they combine songs and music from a variety of genres with comedy and pastiche, my main worry about last night’s show was whether my kids would get it. I needn’t have worried; there was plenty of recent material, including Adeles Rolling In The Deep and Daft Punks Get Lucky, but they also enjoyed the unfamiliar music too.

I always thought musical pastiche and comedy takes real talent to accomplish well but, even so, I was impressed with their skills and musicality. The plagiarism song and performing George Formby (who must cast a long shadow over any ukelele player) in the style of a Russian choir must take so much practice and skill to pull off. Their deadpan delivery suited a cover of Kraftwerks The Model, but other material performed straight’, including classical and folk music, was enjoyable and entertaining. Anyone who’s watched a UOGB video will have been struck by how much the audience clearly enjoy being part of the event. Last night was no exception, and almost everyone in the hall last night (except one embarrassed-looking older daughter) seemed to take part in the dance moves for Le Freak!

If you ever get the chance to see them perform live just go!

If you’re a hardcore fan of the UOGB I’d suggest you check out their first appearance on Pebble Mill at One way back in 1988!


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