Here is the second extract from our performance at the fete. This time you’ll find us on ukes, banjos & bass, with Rufus in fine voice, playing another of our favourites - Joe ‘King’ Oliver’s 1926 composition, Doctor Jazz:
Category Archives: PLUC News & Info
Leaving my ukulele at home, I journeyed to London’s Southbank to enjoy a day of singing by the Thames on the opening day of the Chorus Festival, the start of this year’s Festival of Neighbourhood.
After some fun vocal warm-up exercises, we adjourned to the Queen Elizabeth Hall to practice three songs to sing en masse down on the Riverside Terrace to launch the Festival: Purcell’s Come, Ye Sons of Art; Jerusalem (Blake/Parry) & the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset. We were accompanied by a brass band on the upper stage & it was very moving being part of such a large group. The rain managed to hold off until the final few bars of the last song & you may spot people’s hoods going up in the video!
Various events were dotted in & around the Royal Festival & Queen Elizabeth Halls for the remainder of the day.There were around twenty separate choirs giving free performances. Additionally, various choirs ran Trading Station sessions, where you could drop in & learn a few songs with them.
The London Forest Choir, were up in St Paul’s Roof Pavilion, where I enjoyed sight-singing some of musical director Jonathan Rathbone’s arrangements of classical music & old standards (thanks to the woman who kindly shared her music with me!).
I then delved down to the RFH basement, where the echoey acoustics were superb for an uplifting session with Trade Winds. We learnt intricate harmonies of African & Serbian songs by ear. Emerging upstairs to the Clore Ballroom, I was met with a blast of Mr Blue Sky from nearly two hundred dancing members of the Rock Choir, who performed several more excellent numbers. More vocal warm-ups to wake us all up, the audience then joined in with providing backing harmonies for the final Saturday Showcase of an ad-hoc choir brought together for the day.
In all, it was a really useful & entertaining day, giving good tips on the different techniques between singing formal classical numbers, pop & rock songs & musical theatre. I kept bumping into the same friendly participants, despite the large number of folk involved, so hello to them if they read this blog!.
I’d definitely recommend an event like this to anyone wanting to improve their vocal skills & confidence in singing in public.
As today is PLUC-founder Simon’s 40th birthday, I thought I’d check out what was Number One when he was born. I can’t find a uke-version of the UK chart topper, Little Jimmy Osmond’s Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool (although the original does have a banjo in it), so here’s a version of the US Number One, Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain (which I think is a much better song anyway)).
Happy Birthday, Radders! Jeanette
(A few photos of PLUC performing at Simon’s 40th are in our Gallery.)
Well, since our website relaunch at the end of June, the site has gone from strength to strength. We’ve had 17,000 views this year, with our busiest day being Boxing Day (178 views). See our official WordPress PLUC 2012 Annual Report for more info.
Thanks very much for reading our blog & have an excellent 2013! We leave you in 2012 with a little ditty by Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Our annual Christmas Strumalong will be from 8pm, Tues 18 December 2012 in the Jolly Farmers pub, just outside Lewisham Hospital.
Contact Simon for links to the Xmas songbooks we’ll be using (he may also bring a few spare copies on the night).
This will be the last club night of the year – the following Tuesdays are Christmas Day & New Year’s Day. We will reconvene back at the Lewis Club on Tues 8 January 2013.
As always, all players are welcome to join us, whatever their level of experience. Just bring yourself & your uke!
We recently featured The Beatles Complete On Ukulele as a member’s choice (actually my own webmaster’s choice on my birthday!) and were delighted when German musician, Christian Jahl, agreed to write us this guest article about his experience working on the project and his music. Jeanette
How did you get involved with The Beatles Complete On Ukulele?
I joined the project in 2009 after listening to a radio show about David Barratt´s idea of producing each Beatles track newly with the uke as lead instrument. That sounded so weird to me that I got in touch with David via mail. After he had heard my music, we got on well together and so I started recording Wenn Du Jemanden Brauchst. That version from the video footage was recorded in my hometown Düsseldorf, which you might know as the city where the German pop avant-garde band Kraftwerk comes from, and New York. David got my tracks with guitars, Wurlitzer and vocals and he and Roger [Greenawalt] added uke, bass and some of the effects. So, that’s what I call a real long distance production. I played all instrumental tracks and sung all vocal tracks.
Why did you pick If I Needed Someone? Was it a particular favourite song?
George Harrison has always been such an inspiration to me, his character and his way of seeing things in general. So I picked up one of his beautiful songs, with a melody that is really catchy and in some strange way “endless”. I listened endlessly to If I Needed Someone when I was a teen. Everybody used to ask me why I was listening to that “old crap”. Harrison was also the one who led me to the ukulele. Once he said, he always had a uke on him to be able to play wherever he was. That sounded reasonable to me. This instrument is like a little orchestra in your pocket, wow!! I always enjoy playing it and am happy about the renaissance it has experienced lately.
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