New UOGB Album

live in london 2The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has released a new album, available for sale at their website.  Mrs Acilius and I have ordered our copy; it should be arriving in two or three weeks.  The band’s latest email to fans promises that they will be putting out DVDs in the future of their show “Ukulelescope” and their mass-uking session at the BBC Proms last month.  No word yet on when “Dreamspiel,” their opera about Germany in the 1930s, will be available for home viewing.

The UOGB (or a piece of it) plays “I’m Gonna Be”

I’ve been looking for this clip for quite a while now.  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (well, four members of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and someone else) plays The Proclaimers‘ “I’m Gonna Be” on the BBC.

UPDATE: The “someone else” is Leisa Rea of “Adams & Rea.”

UOGB’s latest

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Teamwork

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.    

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New albums from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Many thanks to the world’s greatest website, ukulelehunt, for announcing that UoGB is releasing two new albums.  The Christmas album includes several terrific tracks they’ve made available for free as MP3s in the past as well as a good deal of new material, the other album is live.  They offer free samples as well as an opportunity to pre-order the CDs at the link I’ve given. 

At the same time you buy these two albums, you can also buy Will Grove-White and the Others.  We bought our copy of it some time ago and it’s lived in our CD player ever since.  Highest recommendation!

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Plays “Misirlou”

Here’s an old favorite, UoGB style.

Solo album from a member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Will Grove-White has released a solo album, Will Grove-White and the Others.  From an interview with ukulelehunt:

What was the impetus for your solo project?

In recent years, the Ukes has become more of a full-time job, making it harder for all of us to do other work, as the Orchestra’s demands grow and grow. I now find myself, at 35, a full-time Ukulele player – not something I ever thought I’d say, of course – I used to have a proper job. This album was really about seeing what it would sound like if I did something on my own, that could sit happily alongside the Ukes. The impetus was really from my wife, who kept telling me to get on with it.

What can we expect from your solo stuff?

Well, of course there are Ukuleles, but also plenty of other much maligned and overlooked instruments – the Musical Saw, Tuba, Melodica, Clarinet and Cardboard Boxes. I wish more mainstream musicians would cast their nets a bit wider in their choices of instruments. Bass, guitar and drums is a pretty tired formula. I think I can say it’s a good-time album, upbeat and optimistic – sort of Sid James meets Hoagy Carmichael and Tom Waits at a bluegrass concert.

New Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Fansite

The UoGB recommended this new fansite in their September mass email.  It’s also available in English.

The Rise of Big Ukulele

Tuesday the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain was interviewed on BBC Radio 4.  Here’s the link. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/musicfeature/pip/3jtve/

Sunday they were the topic of a piece in The Express

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/49393/Why-it-s-hip-to-strum-a-cute-ukulele

Some free music from a member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

If you’ve followed my advice and looked up the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, you’ll have noticed Hester Goodman, the attractive brunette with the haunting voice.  Here’s her myspace page, complete with two free songs I defy you to get out of your head. 

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=300075013

Free Music from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The world’s greatest ukulele orchestra has made some of its music available in the form of free MP3 downloads.  Do look them up on youtube; their showmanship is half their appeal. 

http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/main/ListClips.aspx?Type=1&SessionKey=