IT’S DIFFICULT not to smile when you hear the ukulele played well, even more so when there’s about a dozen of them, playing an innovative arrangement of a pop or rock classic. You’re pretty much guaranteed to be grinning and clapping along like a loon.

Such was the scene in the White Rose Rotunda on Monday, as the self-proclaimed titans of tweed, the Grand Old Uke Of York, wowed the crowd with a host of unexpected covers.

From the opening I Predict A Riot, through a Back In The USSR/Get Back Beatles medley, Prince tributes and even some Status Quo and Steve Harley, the band kept the crowd onside and the energy up - a feat all the more impressive considering the venue was essentially a tightly-packed tent on the hottest day of the year.

There was humour between and during songs, with running gags about raffling off one of the team - who was apparently related to a number of famous musicians - and beach balls were tossed around the audience to complete the festival feeling.

It’s not every day you hear The Kinks, Take That, Pink and Queen on the same set list as Bruce Channel, Labi Siffre, Free, Steppenwolf and Eurythmics, but when the artists are this entertaining and this musically accomplished - with great vocals from individuals and as a group, and a tightness that only comes from experience - those gigs are worth searching out.