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

An eight piece line-up, the orchestra came onto the stage to rapturous applause – their reputation as irresistible entertainment obviously clearly established.  photo submitted
An eight piece line-up, the orchestra came onto the stage to rapturous applause – their reputation as irresistible entertainment obviously clearly established. photo submitted

Venue: York Theater Royal

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

An eight piece line-up, they came onto the stage to rapturous applause – their reputation as irresistible entertainment obviously clearly established.

Sat in chamber group format, this talented troupe quickly established an intimate atmosphere with their wise cracking quips while all the time making their superb ukulele playing look deceptively easy.

The concert kicked off at a “Gallop” with an imaginative arrangement of the Dick Barton Theme, “Keep up Snowy!” shouted original member David Suich, and the scene was set for a unique, fun night’s entertainment.

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

From swinging our beards in a stunning arrangement of ZZ Top’s ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ to the group’s uplifting version of Paolo Nutini’s song ‘Nothing’s Gonna Bring Me Down’ this was live entertainment at its very best.

Wonderful as it was to hear so many new song arrangements, it was like a reunion 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, building up from a vocal soundscape to the full sound of every player’s stunning contribution.

All too soon we came to the last number; innovative, entertaining, and just a sheer joy to experience, clearly demonstrating what polished performers this talented troupe are.

I shall never look upon the music of George Frideric Handel in the same way again!

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