Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret at the Albany
Ever heard The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil played (and sung) by a massed ukulele band? I thought not. This peculiar delight and many others were performed at Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret at The Albany, Deptford. The show was advertised as ‘the brightest stars in the Ukulele universe’ and boy, them stars sure did blaze dazzlingly bright that night.
Tricity herself wore a very fetching sort of ukulele tiara, and after leading an audience singalong version of Hit the Road Jack her magnificent vocal power and range became evident in the rendition of her bootycall number Ain’t Gonna Get No Sleep Tonight (because my baby’s coming round). Other stars, though less exotically attired than Tricity, were no less popular with their wildly enthusiastic audience: Jo Stephenson, writer of some very funny lyrics, performed immaculately.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s George Hinchliffe reminded us why he is the undisputed King of Uke with brilliantly performed numbers like Shimmy Like My Sister Kate. George was beautifully supported by Nick Browning on the bass ukulele. Then Mr B. the Gentleman Rhymer, virtuoso exponent of the now slightly more unusual banjolele (as practised by George Formby) and owner of a pair of extraordinarily mobile eyebrows, gave us his superb, parodic, version of rap; indeed, it was ‘rap meets The Chap’ or, put another way, Bertie Wooster on grade-A ganja.
Thanks to Tricity’s cabaret professionalism, this was a superbly entertaining evening of great charm and verve, with much audience participation (a ukulele workshop was on offer earlier) and a chance to take part in ‘the Grand Finale featuring the world premiere performance from the Albany All Stars Ukulele Orchestra’. A medley of four songs (Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon), Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones), Are Friends Electric (Tubeway Army), and Born This Way (Lady Gaga) was devised by George Hinchliffe, with a bit of help from Tricity. So it was that participants in the workshop got the chance to work with the musical director of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – no mean coup for The Albany.
The uke, one would like to think, is back and here to stay.
Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret. The Albany, Deptford, London. 26 October, 19:30. £7.
Photos by Polstar Photography