Tuesday, 24 January 2012

We're (Uke) Jammin'

I'm sure you've noticed by now that my profile mentions I play the Ukulele.

Betty Page was partial to a bit of Uke, it would seem...

Interestingly, the Uke seems to have something of a following amoung us vintage loving types.  Perhaps it has something to do with wearing tiki dresses & pretend one's in Hawaii....whatever, I feel it's time I tell you how the Ukulele has taken over my life in the last 12 months.

Performing last Friday at The Boileroom music venue in Guildford - 24 Ukuleles on stage with singing!  Far left, @Timato_, 4th from left @claz0r, 3rd from right me, over my right shoulder @PirateMagpie, 2nd from right @missukulady (Penny Fazackerley), and far right @skifflefella (Adam Wolters). Pic courtesy of Philip J Mitchell

Picture the scene - In February 2011 I was happily minding my own business, wittering away on Twitter, when some crazy lady named @claz0r (now one of my best friends) started following me.  She lived in my home town, she said, and would I like to meet up at some event called 'UkeJam', which was being held in a local pub?  It also turned out she was a fan of a skiffle band which a friend of mine is in (The Charley Farley Sunday Four). After some discussion with Mr G, it was decided we would go along to this 'UkeJam'.  I walked in the door of the pub to be faced by an assortment of 15 or so locals from young to old, all clutching teeny tiny guitar-like instruments.  One was thrust into my hand, along with a songbook & chord sheet, showing me where to put my fingers, and away we went.  By the end of the evening, I was hooked.  It was so easy to play.  And lets face it, who doesn't want to meet new people, drink beer, sing & play a Ukulele?!

Within a week I'd purchased my own Uke.  On ebay. For £12.  Yes, a decent Mahalo uke will sent you back LESS THAN £15.

The Uke and the Jam thereof has become a huge part of my life.  We meet every 2 weeks in a local pub to Jam together.  UkeJam is organised by Adam (@skifflefella), a music teacher, and Penny (@missukulady), a wonderful vocalist.  It is FREE.  We currently meet every other Monday at the Royal Oak Pub in Guildford, and our numbers are swelling with each meet.  At last count there were 35 of us strumming & singing away.  Penny & Adam are constantly adding new songs to our Hymnbook, and organise gigs for us to play.  Just last year we have played Guilfest, supported Hayseed Dixie, and the Charley Farley Sunday Four multiple times.  We have regular 'dressing up themes', which always serves to get the party going.  Last Friday we supported the CFS4 & Josh Kumra (fresh from his number 1 with Wretch 32), at The Boileroom in Guildford.  Here's a little vid of us on You Tube at our latest gig (there's more on our YouTube channel too).

Would you like to see some more photos?  Well, of course you would!

UkeJammers dressed as Pirates, for National Talk Like a Pirate Day, of course!

Dressed as people whose songs we sing - Paloma Faith, Slash & Lady Gaga. Pic by Rachael Lowndes

At our 1st Birthday last week.  Look how many people love the Uke (there were many more behind the photographer)! Pic by Rachael Lowndes

Al Murray (of pub landlord fame), played Drums for us at our latest gig, Pic by Mr G

@claz0r & I...blasting out a bit of Johnny Cash, (in all probability!) Pic by Philip J Mitchell
We've been asked to provide, by forming several smaller groups, short sets at a Vintage Fair being held at the Boileroom in Guildford on 11th February.  If you drop by on the day around 1pm be prepared for a little bit of 3 part harmony & a whole lot of ukes while you browse the stalls.

Or, just meet us in the Royal Oak, Guildford & play/sing/drink along!  Next meeting is Monday 30th.  See our website for details,or like our Facebook page!

And what do you know? It turns out the Ukulele is an excellent accessory to a Vintage Frock! (or just the undies, if you're Betty!).

1 comment:

  1. We do love dressing up, don't we?! The first Boileroom gig had some ace outfits too.

    Also YAY! I got mentioned on your BLOG!