Tag Archives: festival

Monkeying around on the Kazoo

Sorry it’s been a little quiet on here for the past few weeks. I don’t really have any excuse other than just not really being around the computer all that much. We’ve had some sunshine (really?!?!) so I’ve been out on the bike a lot more getting some miles in. I’ll have to get a rack so I can take the uke with me, hehehe!

As a small token of apology, here’s a somewhat embarassing video of me trying to get a tune out of my recently purchased kazoo:

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Southern Ukulele Square Fest

Talking of festivals (of course we were) the Southern Ukulele Square Festival is fast approaching. A first for SUS, it’s being held at the Square and Compass pub, Swanage. The fest kicks off on Friday 29th of June with the main acts on the Saturday, followed by a mass jam to cap off the fest on the Sunday. Acts confirmed so far include Mother Ukers, Krabbers, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, plus workshops and performances from other great uke artists!

Tickets cost £20 for the weekend or £40 including camping and can be purchased from www.southernukulelestore.co.uk

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2012 Ukulele Fest of GB: Friday

Despite the dreary weather, Friday evening saw ukulele lovers from all across the country converge on the Exmouth Arms to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. We drove straight from work across to Cheltenham, checked into our lovely B&B and then headed out to find the right pub. This was easier than expected thanks to a giant model ukulele standing proud out the front!

The BBQ was fired up for dinner and beer garden was soon full of uke players (and some bemused non-ukers too, hehe) getting together for a strum and generally enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. The jams around the Bridgenorth Strummers table were great fun, thanks!

         

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2012 Ukulele Fest of GB: Preview

The 2012 Ukulele Festival of Great Britain kicks off this evening over in Cheltenham. Friday night’s festivities get underway at the Exmouth Arms (Bath Road) where some of the performers and hopefully plenty of you will be down to sample some of the good food, fine ale and finer music that will be on offer.

It’s too late to buy tickets online but if there’s any left you can still purchase tockets on the door, either Friday night at the Exmouth Arms or on Saturday at the Cheltenham Town Hall.

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http://www.ukulelefestival.co.uk/Locations.aspx

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Life lessons from 1 year of ukulele

Today I realised that I’ve been writing on ths blog – and therefore playing the ukulele – for a year this month! It’s been an interesting journey from not being able to strum a chord to where I’m at today.

Playing the ukulele has certainly taught me a thing or two. So for my first anniversary post, here’s a few things that the ukulele has taught me about life:

Everyone has their story. People are natural storytellers, whether it be old friends around a campfire or a stranger on a country path, there’s a story inside everyone. Along these lines, the uke is a natural conversation starter. If you’re out strumming your uke, conversations and stories flow more easily.

Slow down. In music, as in life, sometimes it’s best to take a step back, relax and just slow the pace a little. As the age-old cliché goes, “take time to smell the roses.” Or in ukulele-speak: Learn it slow, learn it correct, then speed it up!

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Persistance is key. Like everything worthwhile in life, it may not come to you overnight. Pair that with an ever-aging brain filled with degrading neural pathways and it may not even happen next week or month, this could take some time… But eventually, one day, it will just click. Persistance pays its dividends to those who stick with it.

Like minded individuals. Sure you can progress just practicing by yourself, but nothing compares to getting together with a bunch of like minded people and jamming out. This is especially true if you get the chance to play with people more advanced than you are! There’s only so much you can learn from books.

Be Prepared. The great scouting master Baden Powell said it and it rings true for life and ukulele. Always have a repertior of “most wanted songs” to draw on. From my experience so far, over 40’s tend to ask for a bit of classic Formby. Anyone under 40 may request Train or Jason Mraz.

And lastly, lots of good-looking females in their 20’s will ask you to play a bit of Bruno Marz. Just sayin… 😉 Happy strumming!

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Ukulele Festival of Great Britain 2012

Now that Ukes for UNICEF is done and the dust has settled, it’s time to prepare for the next big ukulele event! The famous Ukulele Festival of Great Britain will be taking place from the 1st to the 3rd of June 2012. The festival will revolve around the Cheltenham Town Hall on the Saturday and the Exmouth Arms for Friday and Sunday.

Acts from the UK and around the world will be flocking to Cheltenham for the weekend to perform and host workshops for us mere mortal uke players. Some of the acts confirmed for this year’s festival include The Re-Entrants, Ukulollo and Gerald Ross – more to be announced later.

http://www.ukulelefestival.co.uk/

Tickets cost £30 for Saturday or £35 for the full 3 days.

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2012 Ukes for UNICEF: Video

Here’s a couple of videos I took over the course of the day. The first one is a montage featuring some of the very talented performers, the second is Krabbers with a rendition of his classic, Hedgehog Poo. Enjoy!

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