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Ukulele masterclass: Four strings and a jolly good time

 

George Hinchliffe, head of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, tells Tom Hodgkinson why the uke's fanbase is soaring again

Tom Hodgkinson  Sunday 16 September 2012

When you tell people that you play the ukulele, they invariably say: "Oh, have you heard of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain? They're marvellous!" Along with remarks about George Formby, it gets a little wearing. While smiling and saying "Yes, aren't they great?", inwardly I'll be smarting: Bloody Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. What about me! But of course I have nothing personal against the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I am a fan of their humour and musicianship. In fact, I venerate them.

How could I not? They are the masters of the instrument. They have been playing together for nearly 30 years and have built up a huge, global following. Their nationwide tour includes, this week, a gig at the Royal Albert Hall.

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