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Tag Archives: Ukulele

PLUC Tales – News From Old Members – Ed

As folk know, two years ago PLUC stalwart Ed Green moved to the village of Old, in Northamptonshire, to be near his family. He keeps in touch with us to let us know how he’s doing. Here is his latest update. Do leave him a message in the comments if you wish to send him your greetings:

Burton Latimer Ukulele & Drum Group
BLUD at Kettfest – Ed is second from the right on the back row

Up here in the Midlands there are so many ukulele groups that I play with two different ones.

This picture was taken last Saturday at Kettering Steam Festival with Burton Latimer Ukulele & Drum Group (BLUD). They meet every Tues night at the Duke’s Arms, Kettering.

I also play with another group in Market Harborough Ukulele Group (MHUG). Their sessions are Weds eves at the Congregational Church Centre.

Check out both their songbooks. They are all available for download on their websites, along with more info and videos.

Hope PLUC is still as strong as ever. Pass on my best wishes to everyone.

Regards Ed

Here are BLUD performing Have You Ever Seen The Rain at the 2017 Festival:

 

More PLUC Tales.

 

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Poor Old Mr Woogie

More sad news today with the death of Chas Hodges, from Chas ‘n’ Dave. A versatile musician, who played with everyone from Joe Meek to Eric Clapton, Labi Siffre to Deep Purple and Gene Vincent to Jools Holland, one of his best numbers is a firm PLUC favourite, Ain’t No Pleasing You:

 

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Respect

Today had the sad news that Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at the age of 76. One of the best-selling musical artists of all time, she was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Aretha was also a civil rights activist, being a symbol of black pride & women’s liberation.

None of the ukulele tracks of her numbers could get anywhere close to her great voice, so I’ve picked an instrumental of Gerald Ross playing the Bacharach & David tune, I Say A Little Prayer:

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Uke – Events & In The Media

 

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PLUC Tales – More Benny Hill Than James Hill

Dave Parnell's Holiday Uke

Dave Parnell’s Holiday Uke

I’m in sunny Vejer at the moment with my wife Chris. It’s nice here, and the locals are going mad enjoying their feria. With plenty of singing drinking and dancing it’s just the right backdrop to get me going…

I was watching a programme on telly a couple of years ago now about how to grow old gracefully, and keep your marbles longer, before going into full-blown old age stupidity! Angela Rippon and gang were extolling the virtues of taking up dancing, a foreign language, musical instrument, or some other hobby. Having tried the piano and realising my limited ability years ago, I told my wife I was going to take up the uke.

She laughed!

The next day I was in Normans Music shop in Eltham, looking at their many ukes. The shop owner was busy with one of his suppliers and eventually asked me if I wanted any help. I told him I was after a uke and he showed me a couple. He asked me who it was for. Feeling a little embarrassed, I heard myself say, “It’s for my son.”

The next question was, “How old is your son?” To which I realised, this hole is growing too big really quickly! Also realising I was now wearing Pinocchio’s Nose, at which point I burst out laughing and confessed:

“I’m sorry mate, I’m lying. It’s Angela Rippon’s fault. I’m trying to stop myself going old and stupid before my time by taking up a musical instrument!”

He had a good laugh with his supplier, then asked why a uke. To which I replied, “It’s only small with four strings. How hard can it be?”

I came out with a mahogany Freshman concert, chord book and tuner. The journey had begun. (I was about to find out how hard it could be!)

At first I started to learn some easy chords and tunes from books. These weren’t really tunes I wanted to play. I moved on to YouTube and tried out Ten Thumbs and the Ukulele Teacher.

I was doing this for about a year. Then one evening my wife said she’d found a uke club on the internet called PLUC. I knew I needed help, so went along, feeling apprehensive and hoping I wouldn’t be laughed at for my obvious lack of ability.

The first night, Jeanette welcomed me and asked Colin and Bob to guide me along. They didn’t think they’d be stuck with me for this long! But I’m glad to say, they haven’t told me to get lost yet.

From the first tune that night, I knew I’d come to the right place. All the tunes were upbeat and different styles. For the first few weeks I was conscious that I couldn’t stop smiling. Everyone must have thought I was mad. I felt that I ought to be clapping everyone – it’s making me smile now writing this, thinking about it.

That first night I just didn’t realise what a great bunch of pluckers I was walking into!

Before I joined PLUC, I thought that I was practicing but I have since realised I was only playing at it. I now practice at every opportunity. I have brought a sopranino on holiday and can’t put it down. The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, but I know that walking into PLUC hat night was the best decision I’ve made on the uke trail.

The only side effect I wasn’t expecting is I’ve now got five ukes and I’m on the look out for that special one. I hope I find it before I end up like Rufus and Kev!

I’d like to thank everyone at PLUC for their encouragement along the way. They’re all great individuals and it’s given me the motivation to aspire to a better standard.

All the best, Dave the sub-standard plucker.

Other PLUC Tales: I Never Liked The Uke – Steve H; Long-Distance Strummer – Gail; New Uker! – Sheila; A Tale Of Two Ukuleles – Tina; The First Rule Of Uke Club… – AnthonyRon’s Progress; Probably The Most Fun Instrument In The World… – Jos; It’s Been A Year – Part 2 – Jeanette; From Classical To PLUC – Andrew; A History Of The Ukulele – And Its Part In My Downfall – JamesSanta Rides Again – Alan F; Steph’s StoryRon’s Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome; Uncle Ron’s Legacy… – Wee Kheng; Dan’s Story; Five Years & Loving It – Simon; My Ukulele Origins… – Rufus; Why Ed Started Playing The Ukulele; Ron’s Song; It’s Been A Year… – Jeanette

 

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PLUC – The First Decade!

Well, this month PLUC turned ten years old. Many thanks to all our ex-members & WordPress readers who kindly sent us best wishes!

We celebrated alfresco in the Lewis Club’s garden, along with home-made cake from Gail, our long-distance commuter, who comes from Colchester whenever she’s visiting her family in Catford.

Reload the page to get a different order of pictures; hover over an image to read a description & click on it to see it full-size. Thanks to Andrew, Gail, Jeanette & Julie for the photos.

Simon put together a selection of ten of the original songs played in those early days, which were basic tunes from existing groups such as Ukulele Wednesdays & TUSC. It was interesting to contrast these with the more advanced numbers we soon enjoyed playing once the group was running & our experienced players began bringing in their own arrangements. We currently have 110 songs in our repertoire, in a wide mix of styles & covering a good mix of genres & eras, specifically picked to try to avoid the regular songs you hear in every ukulele group or festival singalong!

For the second half of the evening, Jeanette read out the eagerly-awaited results of our recent Top Ten survey to find our ten favourite (& ten least-liked!), songs we play. We rounded off the night by playing the best of those numbers. A snippet of our most popular – selected by thirteen of us as a fave – is at the end of this post.

For that first night, Simon was joined by Rufus & Dave Suich, followed by Chris from the second session. The rest of us have joined at different times from 2011 onwards. We’ve seen quite a turnover as people move in & out of London, change jobs or just get too busy to keep playing.

Over the ten years, we’ve had around a hundred regular members  – with us having up to 25 current at any time (about the most we can comfortably cram upstairs at the Lewis Club) – & around a hundred one-off visitors, usually arriving just after Xmas with a brand-new uke & New Year’s resolution to learn an instrument (which dissolves by the end of January!).

Plus we regularly receive visitors from people holidaying in London – we get plenty of people from the thriving uke communities in Australia, the USA & Germany, as well as others from elsewhere in the UK who pop in when they are passing through. So, if you’re ever nearby on a Tuesday evening with your ukulele, feel free to get in touch & join us for the night!

Eleven of the current fifteen regulars managed to attend the celebratory session: Andrew, Bob, Colin, Dave S, Gail, Jeanette, Jos (hotfoot back from Portugal), Richard, Rufus, Simon & Steve.  Many thanks to the owner of the Lewis Club, Julie, who looks after us & lets us rehearse there every week.

Members’ choice of the most popular song we currently perform (rehearsal snippet filmed by Justin Gates, an Australian visitor with his father, Richard (from MUG in Perth), earlier this year) :

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2018 in PLUC News & Info, Uke Night

 

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UkeTubes

It’s Sir Ringo Starr’s 78th birthday today, so here’s Jim Boggia’s version of one of his most popular Beatles numbers With A Little Help From My Friends. Don’t forget to say “Peace & Love!” at midday.

 

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PLUC – Ten Years On

depositphotos_9653824_m-2015

Image from DepositPhotos

Next month is PLUC’s tenth birthday.

Founder, Simon, is doing us a blast from the past by digging out the original songbooks used for those early sessions. And to contrast with that, the current regulars have voted on their favourite & least favourite numbers of the one hundred & nine tunes we now play, so we will be announcing our latest PLUC Top Ten Tunes & slotting them in too on the night.

If you’re an ex-member who would like to attend the celebratory evening, do get in touch to learn more details & book a place.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2018 in PLUC News & Info, Uke Night

 

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