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Category Archives: Uke – Events & In The Media

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Shipping Forecast – Sailing By For 150 Years

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast – the world’s longest continuous weather forecast. Warning of storms in thirty-one sea areas around the British Isles in a specific & concise format, it was originally sent by telegraph & then transferred to radio. The BBC have been broadcasting it four times a day since 1924, with a short interruption during WWII.

The 0048 broadcast is undeniably the most popular. In addition to it still being a vital aid to seafarers, many Radio 4 listeners use the soothing tones of the announcers to help them fall asleep, especially as this edition is preceded by the gentle lilting sounds of Ronald Binge’s Sailing By (played to help fill any gap between the previous programme to ensure the forecast starts punctually & also to allow a recognisable signal by which people can tune in).

See our Sailing By article from Radders, where he discusses that it’s his favourite PLUC tune.

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End Of An Era – Kitty Lux

In this week’s PLUC session we were all very shocked and saddened to learn the news that Kitty Lux of the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain had died. Co-founder and Director of the UOGB, she was a major force behind the Orchestra.

She had been ill for a while and thus unable to perform on stage with them for the last few years. Here’s Kitty’s rendition of the Lou Reed number Satellite of Love:

 

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It Was Fifty Years Ago Today…

The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper, with its iconic cover art, is possibly the most influential pop album ever, recorded with great ingenuity on just four-tracks back in 1967. A mix of styles, from rock to vaudeville, psychedelic to Indian, it’s seen as an early concept album.

Unsurprisingly, numerous ukulele versions of its songs abound. Dip into most of our regularly recommended YouTube artists & songbook sites to find some of these well-known tunes lurking. However, for those seeking chords to the entire album, why not try Beatle-lele or Stewart Greenhill? The former site has interesting playing tips (& we use his version of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds); the latter allows for easy transposing or showing in different layouts.

Eat My Uke gives tabs of the main riffs for all of the tunes, played here in a medley:

 

And here’s WS64 playing the album in full:

 

Now you know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall!

 

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How Do You Feel About The Ukulele? – Survey & Interviews

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Emma Winston (image from  usesthis.com/interviews)

Local Goldsmiths’ PhD student and musician, Emma Winston, is currently collecting information from the ukulele community for her research into the instrument, surrounding how people perceive it and their participation in uke groups. The results will eventually form part of her doctoral research.

Players and non-players are invited to take this short survey. Emma is also at the stage where anyone keen to talk ukuleles with her further is welcome to email her. She is conducting informal interviews – more just general fact-finding chats than a huge list of questions – which can be face-to-face, over the phone, by Skype, email or whatever suits you best!

Extract and photo from an recent interview on The Setup:

I’m Emma Winston, and I’m a PhD student, musician, teaching assistant, sound artist, and botmaker.

I’m in my first year of an MPhil/PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I’m studying the contemporary subculture surrounding the ukulele and the people who play it, particularly as that relates to identity and creativity. I’m still in the very early days of research, but it’s an instrument marked out by beginner-friendliness, a DIY aesthetic and real passion for what is often seen as a novelty or joke instrument (despite quite a long and rich multicultural history). In the last few years it’s increasingly become bound up in narratives of gentrification, twee middle-class aesthetics and hipster culture; yet it was also the only instrument recorded to have sold more, not less, during the depths of the UK economic recession, and has formed the centre of community activity for everything from mass world record attempts to music therapy groups for Alzheimers. It’s a fascinating instrument, largely because the ways in which people use it are fascinating, and if you’re reading this and have any particular interest in (or hatred of!) it please do get in touch, since I’m currently at the ‘talk-to-as-many-interesting-people-as-possible’ stage of research.

Survey : http://ukulelesare.xyz/

Emma’s email address: e.winston@gold.ac.uk.

Various PLUC members have past & present connections with Goldsmiths, so we’re pleased to mention this interesting project on our website.

Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the UK’s leading universities for the creative arts, from film and art to popular music. Notable musicians who studied there include Damon Alban, Katy B, James Blake, Graham Coxon, Neil Innes, Alex James, Rosie Lowe, Andrew Poppy, Adrian Sutton, Errollyn Wallen MBE & Amelia Warner (aka Slow Moving Millie). Regular & varied music performances, talks and festivals take place during the year, most of them open to the public & many completely free, ranging from classical to contemporary, electronic to pop, featuring established performers, recent graduates & students.

 

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Hollesley 2016 – Farewell

It was that Hollesley time of year again, but sunny Suffolk was a mix of joy and sadness as it was to be the last year at this site. Still it didn’t dampen the spirits, the revelry or uke playing.

Hollesley 2016 – Phil Doleman, Rufus & others playing Enjoy Yourself (filmed by almuzo):

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Croydon Ukulele Festival 2016 – Sat

Saturday 5th March saw day one of Croydon’s inaugural ukulele festival.

Maria was the first of our number to arrive, attending the Mass Busk practice at midday, which she found very useful. I met up with her & the other players around 1.30pm outside the Whitgift Shopping Centre for the al fresco busk. Luckily they’d thought to erect a marquee, as it was rainy, & we nabbed the last two (front row!) seats. We worked our way through the songbook of well-known numbers for about an hour to a small but appreciative audience of soggy shoppers. Our fingers were pretty numb from the cold by the end but it was a fun gig!

We grabbed a hasty lunch then dashed back to the daytime venue – the Green Dragon pub along the central High Street – to catch the last part of the set from the Berkhamsted Ukulele Random Players (BURP). Here they are with their version of Jesse J’s Price Tag (filmed at a previous gig by John O’Sullivan): Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Croydon Ukulele Festival – 5 & 6 Mar 2016

Croydon hosts its first ever ukulele festival on Sat 5 & Sun 6 Mar, with workshops, mass busks and performances from different groups, dotted around various pubs throughout the weekend. There are two main evening concerts: the one on the Sat features Phil Doleman & Sunday’s show is by two comedy ukers, Elliot Mason & Jo Stephenson.

See the Croydon Ukulele Festival main page for more details.

 

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