NOW the summer festival season is well and truly underway, there can be no let-up for York’s ukulele collective, The Grand Old Uke Of York.

Fresh from last Saturday's well-received set on Platform 2 at Pocklington's Platform Festival at The Old Station, they face a hectic schedule of performances around both county and country.

The Ukes kick off on Monday with their own headline show at 7.30pm in the White Rose Rotunda in Parliament Street, as part of The Great Yorkshire Fringe, when a York audience will have a rare chance to see the humorous, high-energy covers band perform anything from Kaiser Chiefs to Steppenwolf within their own city.

Next, the inaugural Selby Arts Festival invites these 14 titans of Yorkshire tweed to take to the stage on July 27 at 7.30pm at The Venue nightclub in Selby, just before the group travel over to the Bolesworth Estate, in Cheshire, two days later to play at Chris Evans’s Carfest North, in aid of Children in Need.

Band leader Naomi Wells Smith says: “We have come such a long way within five short years and have been lucky enough to play at many wonderful venues, accompanying and meeting some tremendous world-class musicians, as well as featuring in a Toyota car advert, performing for the Tour de France's Grand Depart at Leeds First Direct Arena and touring the village halls of Yorkshire this year.

"The Grand Old Uke Of York pride themselves on not only presenting an exciting range of pop and rock music, with seven types of ukuleles, but also on being able to showcase the musical talent of our members. We don't like to make what we play too obvious a choice for a ukulele group."

Tickets for Monday's York gig are on sale on 01904 500600, at or from the GYF bus in Parliament Street, "but hurry as we sold out last year," warns Naomi. Selby tickets are still available at