UOGB’s latest



Last month, I mentioned that  the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain was releasing two new albums.  Our copies arrived last week, and Mrs Acilius and I can give them enthusiastically positive reviews. 

fidicula-inter-angelosThe Christmas album, referred to on their website as “Christmas with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain” but labeled as Fiducula inter Angelos (“Miniature Lyres among the Angels,”)  does not after all include the performances they issued last year as a virtual album called “Never Mind the Reindeer.”  Those performances are still available on iTunes.   I do miss the rendition of “The Holly and the Ivy” from last year, but new tracks like the “Wenceslas Canticle” and a vocalese version of  “Winter Wonderland” more than make up for its absence.  Their “Jingle Bells Canticle” gets us (Mr & Mrs Acilius and the dogs) dancing every time we hear it.  Here’s ukulelehunt‘s review of the album. 

live-in-londonIn a comment on last month’s post, ukulelehunt’s proprietor Al Wood, a.k.a. Woodshed, gave it as his opinion that Live in London #1 is the UOGB’s best album yet.   I agree, though Mrs Acilius still leans toward Precious Little.  She plans to walk down the aisle to that album’s recording of “Finlandia” when we make the “Mrs” part official in May, so it has a sentimental importance to her.  Though when we listened to Live in London #1 and heard Hester Goodman’s rendering of “Teenage Dirtbag” as a ballad of adolescent lesbian angst, Mrs Acilius was so enthusiastic I wondered if she was about to suggest using that instead.  She assured me that her enthusiasm was strictly political, stemming from a conviction that sexual minorities need representation in music.  That she has a crush on Hester is purely by the way.  Here is an unflattering picture of Hester sitting next to George Hinchliffe that I could look at if I were in a jealous mood, which of course I never am.    

I’d single out a few other tracks for praise as well.  Four tracks I can’t bring myself to leave out are a distinctly Hellenic “Misirlou”  (I linked to a video of this arrangement  a while back,) a rousingly militaristic version of “Pinball Wizard,” their hilariously genial “Anarchy in the UK,” and a simultaneous segue tour de force simply titled “Melange.”  The whole album is very strong, and despite its origin as a collection of pieces from many performances over several years holds together quite well as a whole.  The live format also captures some of the band’s showmanship that’s been missing from other albums.

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  1. cymast

     /  December 10, 2008

    So the “Mr” part is already official? And I didn’t even get an announcement! Hmpf.

    BTW Hester is hot. You must have sky-high standards.

  2. cymast

     /  December 10, 2008

    Thanks for the song links! My fav is “Misirlou.” But then again, you could take any random sampling of songs from any genre, throw any recording of “Misirlou” in there, and I’d probably pick that as my fav (in this universe as we know it so far).

    “Anarchy in the UK” sounds suspiciously like “Pinball Wizard.” “Melange” sounds suspiciously like “Hey Jude.”

  3. acilius

     /  December 10, 2008

    Hester is hot in that picture, superhot everywhere else. That’s why it’s an unflattering picture.

  4. acilius

     /  December 10, 2008

    “Melange” does include samples from “Hey Jude” and several other songs. I’ll fix the link to “Anarchy in the UK,” thanks for the note.

  5. Al

     /  October 23, 2009

    Hester is beautiful! I think she’s lovely… 🙂

  6. acilius

     /  October 24, 2009

    Hester is beautiful, yes. The really remarkable thing about the unflattering pictures of her that go up on UOGBfans.de from time to time is how good she looks even in them. Even in a shot where she looks like she hasn’t slept in a week or bathed in a month, she is still a pleasant sight. The only person I can think of who manages to wear disheveledness more attractively than Hester does is my wife.

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