Last night we went to see The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at De Montfort Hall in Leicester.
I have blogged about the ukes before. I took my dad to see them as a Christmas present about three years ago, thinking they would be right up his street. He’s a sucker for anything that smacks of old time music hall. I thought it would be all George Formby and ‘turned out nice again’. I was prepared to tolerate it because I am that sort of daughter.
It wasn’t like that at all. If anything, I think he had to tolerate parts of it for me, particularly when they launched into a version of AC DC’s ‘Back in Black.’
Since then I have been attempting to drag anyone and everyone I know to see them, and have completely indoctrinated the children by buying all their CDs and playing them repetitively in the car.
Yes. I am one of those people who get a bit compulsive about their obsessions – until they don’t. My obsession with the ukes has not worn off yet.
When explaining what they do to various poor victims I have trapped in corners at parties there is always the stumbling block that no matter how many times I bang on about, say, their awesome version of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads, people think I’m delusional and do exactly what I did the first time I heard of them. i.e. Start humming ‘Leaning on a Lamp post’ and getting quite disturbed by visions of George and his enormous teeth.
The only way I have found to combat this is to buy lots of tickets to their gigs and then bully people into coming until they give in.
This was how, yesterday we managed to fill three quarters of a row at the venue. I had guilted my mum and dad, Jason, Andrea, my friend Nicki and all her family, and the children, who apart from me, were actually the only ones remotely excited to be going.
I spent yesterday afternoon in a miasma of horrible guilt thinking that now that I had forced them all to come with me, it was bound to go horribly wrong and everyone would hate it, hate me, and never agree to come out with me anywhere, ever again.
This used to happen whenever we attempted to take my grandma out anywhere. We would go to a restaurant. It would be lovely. We would revisit it six or seven times. Every time it would be lovely. We would agree that it might be ‘safe’ (granny was nothing if not hyper critical) to take Doris with us next time. We would venture forth with granny in tow. That one time would be the absolute nadir of dining experiences. There would be hair in drinks, bad service, mice, botulism on tap and twenty four hour muzak at volume eleventy. Sometimes there would be a fire, or someone would die. She was the kiss of death to any and all experiences you wanted her to enjoy. Particularly anything related to food. You would take her home and be subjected to her utter amazement at the mere thought that we might entertain the very idea that she might like ‘that sort of thing.’
This was where I was going with my thoughts on enforced entertainment yesterday.
Then we got there, and I was a bit antsy and over solicitous in a Uriah Heep esque way, with a little grinding of teeth thrown in just to up the stress levels.
Then they started to play…
And everyone got it. And it was brilliant. And we didn’t want it to end. And it was magnificent.
They’re touring all over the UK at the moment, but they also tour all over the world. Here are some dates.
Dismiss all thoughts of George Formby from your mind and go and see them.
That is an order.