Concert review by Julia Pattison: George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at the York Theater Royal

The eight-piece orchestra took the stage to rapturous applause – its reputation for irresistible entertainment is well established.  Photo submitted
The eight-piece orchestra took the stage to rapturous applause – its reputation for irresistible entertainment is well established. Photo submitted

Venue: York Theater Royal

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How good it was to see George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain back on tour after the lockdown.

An eight-piece line-up, they took to the stage to rapturous applause – their reputation for irresistible entertainment is obviously well established.

Sitting as a chamber band, this talented troupe quickly created an intimate atmosphere with their demure banter while making their superb ukulele playing seem deceptively easy.

The concert opened with a “Galop” with an imaginative arrangement of Dick Barton’s theme, “Keep up Snowy!” shouted original member David Suich, and the stage was set for a fun and unique evening of entertainment.

Each member of the band had their chance to shine, and from the beautiful sea ballads to the comedic capers of Blue Grass, we were treated to wonderfully imaginative arrangements with carefully considered tight harmonies as well as impressive ukulele playing.

From rocking our beards in a jaw-dropping arrangement of ZZ Top’s “Gimme All Your Lovin'” to the band’s uplifting version of Paolo Nutini’s song “Nothing’s Gonna Bring Me Down,” this was live entertainment at its finest.

As wonderful as it was to hear so many new song arrangements, it was like reuniting with an old friend when the orchestra opened the second half with their fabulous and now famous rendition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, built from a full-sounding vocal soundscape of every player’s amazing contribution.

Too early we got to the last issue; innovative, entertaining and just pure joy in life, clearly demonstrating what a talented troupe this talented troupe is.

I will never look at George Frideric Handel’s music the same way again!

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