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Pratts Bottom Village Fete May 2018

This year’s fete saw the rain start just as we started performing! But we remained largely dry under the marquee, playing two sets of twelve songs in each half, each around forty-five minutes.

PLUC at Pratts Bottom Village Fete, Sat 12 May 2018

PLUC at Pratts Bottom Village Fete, Sat 12 May 2018

Band members are: front row L – R – Chris, Jeanette & Rufus; middle row L – R – Bob, Andrew & Steve; back row L – R – Colin, Dave & Marie. Here we are with our version of Lady Madonna:

During our interval, Colin’s band Famous Last Words played a forty minute set, culminating with a rocking version of the theme tune to Fireball XL5 from their lead singer & mandolinist, another Dave.

Our loyal but rather soggy audience including PLUC member Dave P & his wife, Chris, plus their mates – yet another Dave & his wife – remained under their brolleys for the second half, even managing to grab a couple of video clips of us. In keeping with the day’s theme, this one is a Chas ‘n’ Dave stalwart, Ain’t No Pleasing You:

As ever, we’re available for charity events, ukulele festivals and private bookings, so do get in touch if you’d like us to perform for you.

We hope to get more videos up of us playing on our WebmasterPLUC YouTube channel.

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Ukulele Festival of Scotland 2018 – Quiz

I’ve just returned from a weekend at the most excellent & beautifully-run Ukulele Festival of Scotland, held in Dumfries. I’ll write more about it soon, but for now, here’s a little teaser for you.

Name the ukulele player on the right with the long, dark hair by commenting below.

(Bonus points available if you can name the other three ukers.)

Jeanette

UFoS - Name Those Ukers Quiz

UFoS – Name Those Ukers Quiz

 
 

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PLUC Tips – Gail

Here are some practical tips from Gail, who is always busy travelling around from her home in Colchester (where she plays in a U3A class and also in a group Ukulele for Fun, who do little gigs, mostly for old people’s homes) and her family, looking after her young grandchildren in Catford & elsewhere. So she is used to carrying round all her equipment effectively between locations and playing under different conditions! She’s also an avid crafter, doing knitting and other hobbies, and makes use of equipment she has from those activities to create some cheap and functional items for her uke-playing.

Gail's Essential Equipment - Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

Hopefully you’ll find some of these useful, particularly if you’re going gigging. We always take clothes pegs to keep our songsheets firmly in position, especially when playing in the open-air, but Gail has come up with several more of her own suggestions here:

  • Use a yellow highlighter for certain things to make them more readable, such as the chorus, any chords printed in faint red or new chords to you.
  • It’s useful to have a pencil, rubber and piece of paper at the ready to note changes to the printed chords in a song, new intro/outro, useful bits of info regarding all sorts of things to do with music and other playing tips.
  • Other recommended ukulele-based little extras to keep handy are a clip-on tuner and a rubber stamp to print the little chord layout diagrams neatly on your sheets.
  • You can get a small fold-up book stand for your folder or tablet cheaply from Poundland, so you can prop up your music to see it more easily.
Gail's Essential Equipment - Stationery, Flexible Torch & Chord Cards

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Stationery, Flexible Torch & Chord Cards

  • A clipboard is useful to prop up single songs on your Poundland book stand (stopping them from flopping over).
  • I have also acquired a flexible tube with a little torch on each end that bends round your neck. You can aim this at the songsheets in a dark area, such as the pew of an old church with no overhead lighting. But do check the batteries aren’t dead first as it’s more efficient with working batteries! This tip was on the recommendation of my friend who has sight problems.
  • A large nappy carrying bag makes a useful carrier for the folding book stand, clipboard and all my songsheets that I keep contained in a large folder.
Gail's Essential Equipment - Make Notes As You Go

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Make Notes As You Go

  • To make a uke strap, first use a drill carefully to fit a strap button screw into the base end of the uke. Then you can attach a home-made strap which can pass under the strings at the fret end – a nice shoe lace would work well or some Petersham ribbon. If you use one of those quick release side clip buckles from a haberdashery shop or eBay, like found on a pushchair, then it’s easier to get on and off.
  • Label your carrying bag and uke case with a luggage label for when you leave it behind so other group members know who has lost it!
  • Print two copies of a songsheet instead of one, so if somebody hasn’t got one you can help. It’s a good way to thank people who have kindly passed one onto you – with songsheets ‘what goes around, comes around’ I have found.

Gail

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Escape the first four frets of your ukulele with the first in a new series of tutorials from Ukulele Russ. Here he shows you how to move up the C major shape, complete with a couple of song examples:

 

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Bright Idea!

In a nice variation on the ‘playing a different tune on the ukulele every day for the whole year’, Steve Phillips has decided to use it to raise awareness & collect donations for SolarAid. This charity sends low-cost solar lights to families without electricity in remote areas of Africa (such as regions of Malawi, Uganda & Zambia), so that they can use free renewable energy, instead of relying on dangerous & inefficient home-made kerosene lamps, which are expensive to run.

Steve will be recording & posting a new song daily throughout 2018 & I’m sure will appreciate some ideas for sun & light-related numbers! He’s already done Bring Me Sunshine & Mr Blue Sky.

A donation of around £4 can get a lamp to a family. And donors leaving their email address will get the chance to have all 365 uke arrangements at the end of the year.

Here’s a cheery Johnny Cash number to enjoy, I Hardly Ever Sing Beer Drinking Songs:

 
 

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Have A Tim Minchin Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody (other winter celebrations available)! I was pleased to spot a couple of the excellent long-haired, bearded, bare-foot Australian musician, Tim Minchin’s numbers in this year’s Ukulele Wednesdays Xmas Songbook.  Why not hop over to page 37 to enjoy this jolly little number Woody Allen Jesus? And while you’re there, read about donating old ukes, volunteering to entertain for Crisis or even giving some goods or money to a homeless charity or foodbank. Thanks.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2017 in Interesting Uke Sites

 

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December 2017 Club Nights

Please note the following arrangements for our club nights around Christmas:

Tue 12 Dec & Tue 19 Dec – We’re at the Lewes Club, as usual. We’ll be sticking with playing our regular numbers but I’ve copied Mele Kalikimaka to the 2017 Xmas Songs folder in Box, as we usually play that as our traditional Hawaiian festive number during December.

Tue 26 Dec Boxing Day – XMAS BREAK.

We return to the Lewis Club on Tue 2 Jan 2018. New members welcome.

For those of you wanting a Christmas strumalong, do have a look at Cynthia Lin’s Beginner Holiday Ukulele Jam from last year – a free songbook of thirteen numbers & you can play along with the recorded webcast. Here she is with one of the numbers, All I Want For Christmas Is You: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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