THE WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL UKULELE ORCHESTRA: The Dreaming EP
By Simon Sweetman
Iíll happily applaud this orchestraís work with children; the concerts and workshops at schools, the free shows at Wellingtonís Botanical Gardens and the discounted family-focused concerts. Wonderful stuff. Very positive. But Iím being asked to assess a CD Ė an EP of five songs. These covers Ė part po-faced and faux-earnest Ė are not my idea of fun listening. The idea that this is a band of (mostly) amateurs just having fun seems to have been taken to heart by all and in the context of the free shows and the community involvement thatís wonderful. But, listening to Dreaming Of You, Thatís Amore and Blue Smoke as attempted here is hard work. The singers canít sing, most of the ukuleles are poorly played, thereís problems with pitch Ė at one point everything and everyone sounds out of tune. And I donít even want to hear Totoís version of Africa, much less a shonky cover. Iím trying to forget this troupe of merry revellers ever attempted a song by Prince, but for the record (so to speak) Iíll state here that there is a cover of I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man. Presumably, in this instance, the ĎYour Maní refers to someone who can sing and play in tune.