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Plunka-plunka-plunk, plunka-plunka-plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk.
October 4, 2008 3:45 PM   Subscribe

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs the theme to "Shaft" (SYTL). Really, is any description needed?

Also, since we're very loosely on the topic of odd British versions of popular songs, the rave remix of the "A-Team" theme that was in the Spaced episode "Epiphanies" (the Sean of the Dead guys). Just because, hey, this post wasn't random enough already.

My work here ... is done.
posted by WCityMike (46 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
So white, and yet so very awesome.
posted by the_bone at 3:48 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Those guys know how to rock! Thanks.
posted by RussHy at 3:52 PM on October 4, 2008


So very amusing. Love that. Thanks for the smile WCityMike.
posted by nickyskye at 3:54 PM on October 4, 2008


Ukulele "Shaft" previously on Mefi -- 1, 2.
posted by ericb at 3:55 PM on October 4, 2008


That last dude has a pretty big ukulele.
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:02 PM on October 4, 2008


How did the audience manage to clap a) together and b) on the beat?
posted by DU at 4:06 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Their version of The Good the Bad the Ugly is really cool.
posted by chillmost at 4:14 PM on October 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


That was really fun, but this was shockingly good, up until about 1:40, when they ruined a great song with a bunch of inferior pap layered on top of it. (Born fucking Free? Really?)
posted by maudlin at 4:19 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


And while we're at it, their version of Wuthering Heights (by Kate Bush) is pretty sweet, too.
posted by barnacles at 4:19 PM on October 4, 2008


I love their Smells Like Teen Spirit (but only because I'm a fan of ukulele grunge).
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love this bit from Father Ted.
posted by tomcooke at 4:24 PM on October 4, 2008


Their version of The Good the Bad the Ugly is really cool.

Yes.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:25 PM on October 4, 2008


They do have one of those website thingies.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:30 PM on October 4, 2008


This totally made an otherwise bleagh day really, really good, WCityMike. Thanks!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:50 PM on October 4, 2008


That last dude has a pretty big ukulele.

The bass is kind of a cop-out, yeah. Should have at least sprung for a guitarrón or something.

Oh, and that obligatory reaction shot of the sole black person in attendance: Classy.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:05 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's like watching your kid, who happens to be a ukulele, graduate from college... they've come so far!
posted by astroworm at 5:27 PM on October 4, 2008


DU, I died a little inside when they all started clapping on the downbeats. I fully realize we white people are practically handicapped in this respect, but c'mon, this is a funky song. If you can't find the 2 and 4, sit on your hands. It's not a Sousa march, people!
posted by sdodd at 5:59 PM on October 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've got it! The folks who do sign language interpreting at live events could be pressed into service. They'd stand on stage with their arms over their heads and broadly mime clapping on the 2 and 4.
posted by sdodd at 6:01 PM on October 4, 2008


Why is it we white folks--most but not all of us!--cannot clap on the right beat? I've even tried forcing a crowd to shift by clapping loudly on the right beat (I used to be a drummer) with minor success but I'm embarrassed for my race most days.
posted by etaoin at 6:07 PM on October 4, 2008


I dug this, but no 'ukulele cover band will ever really replace Gus and Fin in my heart.
posted by flod at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2008


We have a Ukulele Orchestra? Since WHEN?

Also this is awesome. I didn't expect singing too.

"How did the audience manage to clap a) together and b) on the beat?"

It's this thing white people do. Especially British people. Why do we do it? Why? Can't we all agree to stop?
posted by saturnine at 6:21 PM on October 4, 2008


Thanks for posting this. It's great. For comparison, here's the original "Theme From Shaft" on YouTube.
posted by sdodd at 6:30 PM on October 4, 2008


The Fast Show provided the ultimate combination of Shaft and britishness (in this case, snooker).
posted by Authorized User at 6:37 PM on October 4, 2008


That was ace. My better half saw them recently and had a very fun evening.

Aside: The Cambridge Folk Festival can throw up some strange sequences that result in wholesale audience changes. A couple of years back I watched an Irish reel band (whose name I have forgotten), followed by a brilliant set from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, then an hour or so of Jimmy Cliff being utterly fabulous to close out the evening. I would also add that never in my life have I seen so many people in one place with their own pewter tankards.
posted by mandal at 6:53 PM on October 4, 2008


Pony request: ukulele.metafilter.com
posted by jbickers at 7:08 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and that obligatory reaction shot of the sole black person in attendance: Classy.

Haha! Yeah, I noticed that too. "Look! See?! There's a Negro here, and he likes this!! SEE??"

That said, I think the Ukulele Orchestra of GB is a fine little ensemble, and they did a bangup job with this. It's not their fault that the filmmakers cut straightaway to the only black guy in the crowd, and it's not their fault that white people STILL clap on every beat.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 PM on October 4, 2008


Pony request: ukulele.metafilter.com

Hey, jbickers, where you been, man? You've already got it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:48 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


How self-linky is it for me to suggest also rocking out to New Zealand's own Wellington Ukulele Orchestra, starring my big sister, and boasting Brett McKenzie (of Flight of the Conchords) as a founding member?

Yes MeFites, you are officially two degrees from Brett.
posted by pivotal at 8:06 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


The "A" Ukuleles of Halifax.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:23 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heathcliff!

I don't care how many times these things get reposted, I always need to see them again.
posted by yhbc at 9:11 PM on October 4, 2008


Metafilter: Really, is any description needed? [more inside]
posted by penduluum at 10:11 PM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Any other now-inspired ukulele players out there in the near-Los Angeles area who want to collaborate on my in-progress cover of Billy Joel's "Pressure", let me know.
posted by davejay at 10:38 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any other now-inspired ukulele players out there in the near-Los Angeles area who want to collaborate on my in-progress cover of Billy Joel's "Pressure", let me know.

Oh how I wish I was near Los Angeles....
I expect to be notified immediately when this is finished.

Billy Joel=Absolutely Awesome
Ukulele=Incredibly Awesome
Putting the two together? Absolutely Incredible!
(You thought I was going to say "Awesome" again didn't you?)
posted by Kimothy at 10:59 PM on October 4, 2008


It would have been awesome if you had. :P
posted by davejay at 11:13 PM on October 4, 2008


If you listen really hard you can hear the black guy clapping on the right beats. One lonely little smack in a sea of Caucasian thunder.
posted by salishsea at 2:25 AM on October 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


salishea: I would favorite that comment ten thousand, nay, one hundred thousand times, were I only able.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:35 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thing is, though, the white people were also clapping on the right beats, that is, the 2 and the 4. ZI¥¥It's just that one and three (the white beats) that we need to exorcize from white people's souls.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:37 AM on October 5, 2008


And in case you were wondering, yes, I spell "it's" with a ZI¥¥. Got a problem with that?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 AM on October 5, 2008


There's nothing more likely to give me shivers down the spine than a really good mashup of songs I love. Except possibly this...
posted by twine42 at 4:42 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


hey, c'mon, could've been worse than 1 & 3. In Scotland, it's usually 1½ & 3¼ ...
posted by scruss at 6:22 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


stuffwhitepeoplelikefilter

A bona-fide black man gives his approval at :40
posted by toastchee at 7:08 AM on October 5, 2008


this is pretty awesome stuff right here.

man, i love the internet some mornings.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:52 AM on October 5, 2008


Holy crap, that Toumani Diabate at the end of the video! Argh... wish I could have seen some sweet kora stylin's.

The Ukulele Orchestra also does a surprisingly pleasant version of Satellite of Love.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2008


What kind of a thought process leads up to the conclusion, 'I think I'll take up the bass ukulele'?
posted by spamguy at 7:35 AM on October 6, 2008


What kind? Why, one of perfect clarity and serenity, my friend. A thought process from a mind at one with the universe, at one with the mystic vibration of the cosmos. Cutting through the layers of illusion, and attaining the exalted state of bass ukulele receptivity.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:04 AM on October 6, 2008


Ok, their version of You Don't Bring Me Flowers seriously kicks some butt.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2008


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