The Serious Ukulele Orchestra: The Instrument of Love
By Dominic Blaazer
I just love this, from the CD liner, and want to share it with you: 'We live in a world where all of the major earth shattering challenges have been faced and met. Everest has been conquered, the moon reached, the four minute mile left in tatters and the Pacific Ocean crossed solo by a man in a chilly bin lid. Given that there just isn't anything left for the rest of us to attempt, we've been forced to downsize and make more personal versions of these mammoth and unlikely tasks, to seek less obvious rewards. The challenge of making complex and listenable music with just 1.5m of nylon strings, 550 grammes of wood and glue and a musical scale of one-a-half octaves may not be dangerous or earth-shattering but it is just as unlikely. So stick this CD on your gramophone, make a nice cup of tea, and enjoy.' The tracklist includes the unlikely in Volare, Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend, a very inventive My Favourite Things, and the likely - classical, jazz and Beatle standards like Autumn Leaves, Yesterday and The William Tell Overture (or at least a minute of it). Personally I could have done without bloody Take 5 or the even bloodier Cavatina but including the Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Music For A Found Harmonium almost makes up for those. The eight (!) ukulele players are accompanied at times by a tea-chest bass, a tuba, piano, cello, brass and burping. And where do such plans get hatched? Hamilton, of course! Available from Discstore on the internet.