They've long been well-loved for their charming re-interpretations of hits from both New Zealand and abroad, but this November the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra are finally releasing their debut album, Be Mine Tonight.
As the Dave Dobbyn-referencing title suggests, it will be a collection of our nation's best-loved tunes, rearranged for multi-part vocal harmonies, and characterful plucking on ukuleles and double bass. It will also feature special guests including Lisa Tomlins (fresh from a world tour with Neil Finn), Shortland Street actress Amanda Billing (who will also be performing live), Hawaiian ukulele artist Pi'ikea Clark and Canadian ukulele star James Hill.
In the next few months, the group will be touring China, Japan, and the United States but they're very excited to announce that come November, they'll be celebrating the album release with a 15-date tour of New Zealand, taking their disarmingly small instruments and larger than life personalities from Invercargill to Kerikeri.
"It's been two years since we last took our ukulele shenanigans up State Highway 1," says band member Age Pryor. "We are ridiculously excited about bringing our brand new show and album to fans new and old. It's going to be a hoot."
They start at the Glenroy Auditorium in Dunedin on Saturday, November 8, and heading to Invercargill, Alexandra, Wanaka, Ashburton, Christchurch, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Taupo, Napier, and Tauranga, before performing at the Wintergarden in the Civic Theatre in Auckland on Friday, November 28.
They then head to Kerikeri, before finishing up with two nights at the James Cabaret in Wellington on December 5 and 6. Head to ukulele.co.nz for further information and ticketing.