The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Live In London 2 (independent)

Rating: NNN

“We are still the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain,” announces one of the eight members of UOGB by way of introduction to Live In London #2. Considering that the group has entertained the UK and Europe for 25 years, that’s a feat as well as a good joke.


Seven uke players and an acoustic bass player, UOGB affectionately take the piss out of popular music and evidently have great fun doing so. They’re virtuosic players and intentionally punk rock singers, taking liberties while reimagining material by everyone from Jelly Roll Morton to Steely Dan, Hawkwind and Gainsbourg.

UOGB’s humour points to the changing nature of popular music (themes from Shaft and Thunderball are introduced as old folk songs), and their renditions of Only You, America and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly are impressive. Closing medley Fly Me Off The Handel features fragments from a number of songs played simultaneously.

Top track: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain play Convocation Hall Saturday (November 6).

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