Saturday, 26 May 2018

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

23rd of May 2018

Albert Halls, Stirling

Wife, Daughter and I had attended a concert by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOoGB) some time back, and had each long looked forward to the next time the folks visited Caledonia.  Discussing that previous concert on the way through to Stirling this evening, I was startled, stunned, and then inordinately depressed (in that order) to learn that first gig had been in 2012 – six fucking years ago!!

Daughter took this in her stride, as it appeared aeons ago to her, but to me it seemed mere months had passed.  Weeks even.

I am not totally sure what Albert Einstein meant when he stated time is a curve, but if he meant it appears to speed up as one gets older, I can only truly concur.  It is all to do with percentages, I suppose.  For Daughter, six years currently represents almost a third of her life life ago, whilst for me six years is less than a tenth.  I am not quite sure what all this means, other than Tempus is Fugiting a darn sight swifter than I find comfortable.  

A further sobering reminder of the relentless passing of time was the absence from the current UOoGB line-up of founder member Kitty Lux; the lady having passed in July of last year.  Co-founder George Hinchcliffe was also missing this time around, but on a mere sabbatical one hopes.

The Albert Halls, Stirling: outside...

...and in.

This evening's set began in an uncharacteristically serious manner with a straight rendition of the easy-listening standard Holiday for Strings.  But thereafter we were treated to the UOoGB's trademark repertoire of more contemporary rock and pop classics ukulelicised.  All garnished with more than a dash of dry wit and humour.

It was the more up to date stuff which worked best – particularly Pharell Williams' Happy and Clean Bandit's Rockabye.  Although Kraftwerk's Das Modell came across as if Ralf and Florian had written their 1981 UK hit with a subsequent ukulele arrangement in mind.

I felt the audience had been a touch restrained, almost remote, in its appreciation at times during the gig.  But clearly the good folk of Stirling prefer to keep their powder dry, for the extent of the raucous whooping, clapping and stomping for an encore probably surprised the band as much as it did me.

What has sort of become the band's calling card - their take on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - was performed as the first encore, and as they settled down to give us a second, I did think they were going to struggle to top this.  But top it they most assuredly did with a beautifully poignant rendition of Heroes

If time is going to fly past as swiftly as it appears to be doing, then this was as good a place as any to spend a couple of hours of my remaining allotted span.

David Suich loses it during Silver Machine....

....his hair bobble that is.

Although he appears to have regenerated into The First Doctor by the end of the performance.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Stirling 2018

Set list

Holiday For Strings
Psycho Killer
Life On Mars?
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
It Had Better Be Tonight
Parlami D’amore MariĆ¹ 
Silver Machine
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Limehouse Blues
Dance Of The Knights
Das Modell
A Case Of You
On The Road Again
Slave To The Rhythm
Song 2
Fly Me (Off The Handle)
Highway To Hell

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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