The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain knows how to have a good time. Since their creation in 1985, the group has been strumming, singing and laughing their way to international success. During their performances, no genre of music is off limits as they remix well-known songs on their "bonsai guitars" and show audiences that music does not have to take itself so seriously.
Music is—and is supposed to be—fun. And fun is exactly what the Ukulele Orchestra brings to their performances. Take their 2015 performance of "Pop Medley" for example. The performance begins with a serenade from one member to another of James Blunt’s "You're Beautiful," but quickly becomes much more, which would ordinarily be unexpected...but nothing should be unexpected with the Ukulele Orchestra. While the events of and reactions to the first song are still playing out in front of the crowd, the band quickly shifts to "Let it Be" by The Beatles, in response to the previous song. Next thing you know, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and the ukulele become a magical pairing.
Despite not always knowing where the journey will finish, with the Ukulele Orchestra the middle will inevitably be fun. In this case, the song selection that follows tells a story about love: unrequited love, self love and observing love. Using their comedic chops, the group doesn’t just tell a story about love, they show the story. You never know what is coming next, but you can be sure it will wow you and make you laugh.
To quote "Heroes" by David Bowie, "we can be heroes, just for one day." The Ukulele Orchestra are heroes of making music we can all connect with and of reminding us not to take ourselves so seriously. It is admirable how after 35 years of touring, they've still managed to make audiences laugh and appreciate change.
George Hinchliffe's Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs in Shannon Hall on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8pm - Learn more