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Shetland Arts’ presents the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain live at Mareel on Thursday 3 & Friday 4 October 2013. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele.

A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar” and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery. Only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling). Audiences have a good time with the Ukulele Orchestra. Going from Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra takes us on “a world tour with only hand luggage” and gives the listener “One Plucking Thing After Another.”

Ukulele Orchestra Image

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer, Lisa Ward, said: “The Ukulele Orchestra is known worldwide for their fun and impressive performances, and will be the perfect antidote to the dark nights rolling in again in October.”

The Orchestra was formed in 1985 as a bit of fun, but the first gig was an instant sell-out, and they've been performing ever since. By 1988 they had released an LP, appeared on BBC TV, played at WOMAD and recorded a BBC Radio 1 session. The current ensemble has been playing together for over 20 years, and has become something of a national institution. The Orchestra has given thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. They have more recently performed sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House (2012), The Royal Albert Hall (2008) and New York's Carnegie Hall (2010).

Tickets cost £28 and will go on sale on Saturday 18 May at 2pm via Shetland Box Office in Mareel & Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at www.shetlandboxoffice.org and www.mareel.org

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