When we were playing After You’ve Gone this week, Rufus mentioned that he’d recorded a version in his garden with Alli, founder of Ukulele Cosmos. It seems a fitting song to post here on St Skeletor’s Day:
On Sunday 29 September, Tricity Vogue‘s Ukulele Cabaret & Workshop returns to The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG. It’s £7 for show only, £12 for workshop & show. The workshop runs 4.30 – 6.30pm, show 7 – 9pm.
The grand finale will be a mass performance by the Albany All Stars – everyone who’s just attended that afternoon’s workshop will play a huge group medley.
I attended last year & it was great fun! The workshop splits you into beginners & more advanced – some people had never touched a uke before. It’s a good way of finding out what it’s like to perform in front of an audience (I can just be spotted at the back in the videos!).
Bring your own uke &, if you have one, music stand (so you’re more comfortable looking at the music – we were in a room without tables last time).
In September 1973, I started secondary school. A big school, with lots of talented boys; many of them musical, some ambitious to perform. We fantasised about forming bands (this was the high era of Pub Rock, just pre-punk DIY ethos, after all). I was OK at singing, as that’s what I’d done for some time. We used to get together round at one another’s houses and copy records.
By 1974, we were a little older, and a little more ambitious. Guitars were being studied in music lessons by some. I still had piano lessons out of school, and was playing the cello. But neither of these instruments was any good for our embryonic band. I knew what I wanted to play.
At the top end of Bromley high street was an old and small music shop, run by a man of indeterminate age, though he must have been well into his seventies. I had a wodge of Birthday / Christmas gift money in my pocket. “Do you have any ukuleles?” I asked. The old boy shuffled off into the back of the tiny shop, emerging some considerable time later with a thick white cardboard box from which, true to time-honoured cliche, he was blowing the dust. “Is this what you want?” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
At this week’s club night we had a surprise visit from some Antipodean ukers – two players each from The Blue Mountains Ukulele Group and SSCUM – St George and Sutherland Community of Ukulele Musicians who were over in the UK separately on holiday visiting friends, family & ukulele builders. They’d been looking to find a local group with whom to enjoy an evening’s strumming & we were delighted for them to join us for the evening!
So: one week on, and the comedown is just about over. The inevitable blues and emptiness that hit after a great, great, time have just about gone. Can it really be a whole year till the next Hollesley?
Every year about this time, there is a gathering in Suffolk of uke folk on a truly international level at the famous Hollesley Ukulele Jamboree. What started out as a fairly casual gathering of friends six or seven years ago has now become (to its devotees at least) THE premier ukulele event anywhere. Visitors come from as far as the USA, South Africa – even Australia – though most are from the UK and Europe (with a curiously high proportion of Swedes…).
There’s about 120 of us in the group photo – including partners, kids, friends…It’s a very inclusive thing. Read the rest of this entry »