View Full Version : Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain--Change in Lineup?

06-09-2018, 07:12 AM
For those of you that watch this group's YouTube Videos, are you aware in a change in the lineup, permanent or otherwise? I know Kitty Luxe died last year, but in videos posted in 2018 there are new performers in place of George and Hester. The website still lists George and Hester without a clue about their recent absence. Some apparently new members are also shown, but without any notice of substitutions. Are any UK UU members aware of any changes they can tell us about?

06-09-2018, 08:27 AM
When I saw them in Connecticut last month, those substitutions were in place, and the program listed George as "musical director." The performance was great, but I was startled at the changes.

06-09-2018, 10:41 AM
Ben Rouse is one of the new players i believe .

Steve in Kent
06-09-2018, 10:17 PM
Ben Rouse is one of the new players i believe .

Ben joined in 2014, I think the newest member is Ewan Wardrop.

06-10-2018, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the replies. I enjoy the group, particularly the humor often provided by George and Hester. I'll also miss George's solos as well, but the group I'm most familiar with isn't its first incarnation either, so I'm glad to see the group live on no matter who leaves.

Orton Pearson
08-14-2018, 04:32 PM
Surely the current UOGB 'first team' line up is :-
David Suich
Peter Brooke Turner
Hester Goodman
George Hinchliffe
Leisa Rea
Richie Williams
Will Grove-White
Jonty Bankes

Some of the first team have other projects, so there are 5 reserves just in case of injuries, suspensions and unavailability. All of the reserves are good enough to deliver performances such that high quality is assured.

Ewan Wardrop
Dave Bowie
Nick Browning
Ben Rouse
Clara Sanabras

Each of these has appeared enough times to be considered as very worthy members of the ensemble.
When was the last occasion that George appeared? When was the last occasion that Hester appeared? When was the last occasion that George and Hester both appeared?

As for the repertoire I consider that there is one category of popular music missing, glam rock. I would like to hear them play the most popular songs of Wizard, Sweet, Mud et al. Maybe play the individual songs or do a mash-up such as See My Blockbuster Tiger Feet.

08-15-2018, 09:35 AM
I think they're all fabulous. I am not worthy and all that. :worship: Given the number of performances around the world I'm pleased that at least some of them get to take a break once in a while.

Orton Pearson
08-24-2018, 09:41 PM
Email response from the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain office regarding line up questions :-

You have basically got the ‘first team' line up correct. Currently George is on a sabbatical so Ben has joined the line up and is touring with us full time.

Hester is most definitely still with the band full time, but has a young daughter and so is not always able to come on the long international tours. This was the case on the last US tour and so Ewan joined us. We filmed the opening show in NYC and recently posted some clips on Youtube, and so it does look like Hester is touring less than she used to, however this is not the case.

We do have a number of deps that step in when a member of the band is not able to do a particular tour due to family commitments or medical issues. They are primarily Dave Bowie when Jonty is unable to tour and Ewan Wardop or Clara Sanabras when one of the other members is not available.

In addition to our regular touring we sometimes take on commissions for specific projects. These projects require a large time commitment to develop the show and rehearse it. This commitment is in addition to our usual busy tour schedule and so, depending on personal circumstance, some members of the orchestra are unable to commit to the projects. An example of this is our upcoming show “When This Lousy War is Over”. Dave and Richie were unable to commit and so Nick Browning stepped in.

We do not work to a rota system of players as we try to build in downtime so the band can all have time to recover from a tour before hitting the road again. In addition by having a pool of extremely talented deps that understand the vibe of the orchestra and are able to just join in where needed, as well as the regular players that know each others parts so well that they can cover for each other musically, the musicians have the freedom to be able to not tour if they think they need a break. This is a system that has developed over the last 33 years and we have found that it works as it allows individuals to do what they think is best for their own welfare without the pressure of always having to tour.

I hope that this answers you questions

Best wishes


Jodi Cartwright

Orton Pearson
09-30-2018, 12:50 PM
Here is the one hour UOGB concert at Le Poisson Rouge, New York City of April 2018. https://www.facebook.com/UkuleleOrchestraofGB/videos/1824652090933777/ When it asks you to log in just click on 'Not Now'. The UOGB appear at 4:50.

I had wondered which category of ukulele is played by each player. Jonty tells us at 13:02.
From our left this line up plays :-
Dave - Soprano
Peter - Soprano
Ewan - Soprano
Ben - Tenor
Richie - Baritone
Leisa - Concert
Will - Unspecified but at the end he walks away with what seems to be a Soprano and a Sopranissimo. His hobby is the playing of very small instruments in his band of similar minded people.
Jonty - Bass (ukulele)