The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be recording a special track for Burns Night from their studio as part of our special event for 2021. They appeared at the festival in January 2017, playing to a sell-out audience at the Easterbrook Hall when the festival made a temporary move to the Crichton Gardens.
They made quite an impression on our audiences, so it felt natural to include them in our tenth anniversary edition.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is an English musical ensemble founded in 1985, consisting entirely of ukulele of various sizes and registers, accompanied by the natural voices of the performers. The orchestra play and sing music from a variety of musical genres, ranging from pop, rock, and punk to classical tunes, with humour long being a feature of their act. The UOGB has played at many international venues and festivals. They now brand themselves as “George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain”.
The orchestra was formed in 1985, soon after George Hinchliffe bought co-founder and friend Kitty Lux a ukulele for her birthday. According to Hinchliffe, the original idea was not to be a comedy act, but to create a liberating musical forum where any style of music could be played, from funk to rock-and-roll to classical, and the ukulele was chosen for its musical versatility more than its novelty value. “The humour only came in during the first gig, when we played in two keys by accident and were messing around, with the sheet music falling everywhere. I thought we should go with it.” Their first gig was at the Roebuck pub, just off Trinity Church Square in London. The orchestra has since performed in many venues worldwide, including New York’s Carnegie Hall (2009, 2012), the Sydney Opera House (2012), London’s Royal Albert Hall (2008, 2012) and Glastonbury Festival (2005).TV appearances have included: Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms, Blue Peter, The Slammer, Richard & Judy, This Morning and Skins.
"They have grown into a much-loved institution”"The Observer
"Wonderfully clever"David Bowie
"The ukulele has found its avant garde"The Guardian
"Most people have to die before they become immortal. These ukulele superstars have no such worries."NME
"Iconoclastic. Unabashed genre crashing antics. Nothing is spoof proof."The Sunday Times
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