Sunday, 9 November 2008

Ukulele Open Mic and other dates...

Ok... So I have been messing around trying to get a date for the next Ukulele Open Mic and not getting anywhere with it. Well the star man Mr Tony S. has stepped up and is organising an Open Mic on Monday 1st December at the Constitutional Club 7:30pm. We would like as many people getting up as possible, so get practicing! To get you in the mood here is a video of myself and Tony playing 'Paul's Dance', we will be performing this and other cracking songs on the evening.

Beards and hats are optional, ukuleles are not!

Here is a quick round up of some other important dates...

Friday 14th November - Hear 'The Night Owls' live on BBC Somerset Sound 6:15pm

Sunday 16th November - Support 'The Night Owls' at the Brewhouse Bar 12:00pm-2:00pm

Sunday 23rd November - TUSC Gig at the Christmas Lights Switch On - Market Square - Meet 12:15, play 12:40-12:55. (We are getting a good fee for club funds, so let's make it a good turn out!)

Monday 1st December - Ukulele Open Mic - Constitutional Club - 7:30pm

Friday 5th December - TUSC Gig at the Open of the Blue Shed Studio - Burrowbridge - 6:30pm - This is Lucy's gallery opening, so further details can be obtained from her. (Free Cider for Strummers)


Saturday, 25 October 2008

Nipper with Bosko and Honey

So my part in the ukulele safari is up. We played and sang '54-46 Was My Number' by Toots and the Maytals. Bosko and Honey were wonderful company and amazing performers and I feel most honored to have been part of their incredible journey.


Night Owls website update

The Night owls web site has undergone a little bit of updating with a slightly new look and lots of additional photos. There are more ukulele pictures, song arrangements and some live rehearsal recordings. I have also started blogging. So drop over to;


Monday, 11 August 2008

Swingin' Ukulele Safari

After Bosko and Honey's visit to Taunton I felt inspired to make a ukulele and melodica version of Bert Kaempfert's 'Swinging Safari'.

The recording features my first attempt at playing upright bass, which is great fun. I used a number of ukuleles including, a regal baritone, a no name baritone, a Martin style 0, a Kepasa Hollywood Concert, a National Steel and a John Grey Banjo Uke.

After making the song the Little Nippers and I decided to make a video to accompany the song. In it I play Nipper and the Little Nippers play Bosko and Honey. The whole thing was filmed by Moogly Moo. We have sent it to Bosko and Honey to say thank you for their visit to Taunton.

To download a high quality stereo mp3 of 'Swingin' Ukulele Safari' Click here,
Download 'Swingin Ukulele Safari'
(Right Click and Save as...)

Here is the video we made...


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Bosko and Honey Visit TUSC and a Live Ukecast Special

Last weekend Steve and I attended Raystock 2008 in Suffolk. We had a marvelous time, meeting old friends and making new ones, strumming ukes and being eaten alive by the Suffolk midge population. Steve, John Colter and myself formed an impromptu band and called ourselves 'The Yellow Mahalo Trio', we took the open mic by storm with our rendition of 'I Wanna Be Like You'. The Saturday night concert featured Bosko and Honey and the amazing Yan Yalego from France. A big thanks to Ray Shakeshaft for organising a great weekend. On the Sunday we drove back to Taunton bringing Bosko and Honey and a combined total of 12 ukuleles with us.

The little Nippers were incredibly excited to meet our esteemed guests and immediately invited them to take tea in the garden.
On Monday evening TUSC moved to a new room in the Constitutional Club for what promised to be one of the most exciting 'Ukulele Revolution' concerts so far. First up were The Night Owls, who braved the extreme heat of the room to play a short set of 1930's classic songs.
The evening continued with a couple of tip-top numbers from Tony, who once again sang his classic version of 'Walk On the Wild Side'.

Next up on the bill was the marvelous Jeff Japers who entertained us with his anarchic brand of comedy. His return to TUSC saw him bring his wonderful collection of bells, whistles and sound effects.
And finally Bosko and Honey took to the stage. They talked about their travels around the world on the 'Ukulele Safari 2008' and had the audience on the edge of their seats listening to both original tunes and great cover songs. Bosko and Honey have an amazing stage presence which is really only hinted at in their You Tube videos. The music they play demonstrates the great versatility of the ukulele and together they create a sound which is both thrilling and beguiling.

I was lucky enough to make a recording of the concert and have put together a 30min 'Ukecast LIVE Special' featuring music and interviews from the evening.

DOWNLOAD the Ukecast LIVE Special HERE
(Right Click and save as...)

Bosko and Honey stayed on in Taunton for a couple more days and I had the honour of playing a Ukulele Safari shared song with them. We spent many hours in my Uke Cave working on the song and discussing the ukulele world, Bosko even found a very large ukulele to play.

All good things come to an end and the Safari moves on, so on Wednesday we waved them goodbye as they made their way to London for their next adventure.

Thanks go to Jeff Japers, Tony, The Night Owls, Paul Harper for the photographs, Steve for the driving, Jeff (Constitutional Club steward) and of course to Bosko and Honey for their marvelous concert.


Thursday, 17 July 2008

Ukulele Revolution with Bosko and Honey

It is a little short notice but Bosko and Honey will be playing a gig in Taunton on Monday 28th July at the Constitutional Club, Bishop's Hull. As if this wasn't enough the comic superman Jeff Japers and retro band The Night Owls will also be performing.

Ukulele duo Bosko and Honey are currently touring the world on a self styled ‘Ukulele Safari’. They have played to great acclaim at both the New York Ukulele festival and the Italian International Ukulele Festival. The Safari has taken them from their home in Australia, via Japan, the US and now to Europe. Their stunningly innovative and unique ukulele music has beguiled and enthralled audiences every step of the way.

Eclectic ukulele performer and song writer Jeff Japers once again brings his original comic creations to Taunton. Hailing from South Wales Jeff has been busy putting together a new set of songs to entertain and delight.

The Night Owls play hot syncopated 1920’s songs and wooing love songs of the 1930’s. Their stylish performance of harmony singing and ukulele make them a much sought after band on the ukulele circuit.

As with other Ukulele Revolution gigs email me if you would like to attend.


Saturday, 3 May 2008

Ukulele Diary Dates and Links

I have been somewhat busy with numerous projects, so here is a catch up post including all the TUSC Diary dates.

Monday 5th May - Pete Howlett to visit club, talk about making ukes and play a little blues.

Monday 19th May - 'Mighty Uke' Film maker Tony Coleman to visit and film the club.

Sunday 25th May - Ukulele workshop, 'Beginners and Beyond' 2:00pm in the skittle alley.

Saturday 28th June - TUSC to play in Bishop's Hull Field for the 'Bell Celebrations' (Time TBA)

Saturday 12th July - Branscombe Beer Festival (Free beer and burgers for performers)

Monday 14th July - 'Art for Life' Gig @ Musgrove Park Hospital

For those new members, the gigs are open for all TUSC members and work better with as many people as possible. Please get those dates in your diaries.

Ukulele Workshop - 'Beginners and Beyond' - The workshop is open to members of all abilities and will be flexible to cover beginners strumming and chords through to some more advanced techniques. It is also a great opportunity for new players to get involved and learn their first strums. There will be no charge, just turn up. If you are new to TUSC please drop me an email and let me know if you intend to attend.

Videos of the 'Ukulele Revolution' - Just in case you missed the videos of the 'Ukulele Revolution' with Steven Sproat they are all on our You Tube Channel.

Here is a great one;

The Night Owls Website

The Night Owls have a new website and Blog. You can hear our Demo recordings HERE. Or if you have My Space become our friend, The Night Owls on My Space.


Monday, 25 February 2008

New TUSC Ukulele Song Book

Here is the new TUSC ukulele song book. The list is again made up from suggestions and old favourites

  1. Shine On Harvest Moon
  2. Ain’t She Sweet
  3. My Blue Heaven
  4. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
  5. Minnie The Moocher
  6. Don’t Fence Me In
  7. In The Mood
  8. Big Rock Candy Mountain
  9. That’s Amore
  10. Singing the blues
  11. Banana Boat Song
  12. She’s Not There –The Turtles
  13. Lady Madonna – The Beatles
  14. All Right Now – Free
  15. Misstra Know-It-All - Stevie Wonder
  16. My Girls Pussy - R Crumb And His Cheap Suit Serenaders
  17. Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
  18. Geno - Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  19. Don’t You Want Me Baby - Human League
  20. Galaxy Song - Eric Idle
  21. Take On Me – A-Ha

When making up the book I was thrilled by the great ukulele versions of 'Ain't She Sweet' so here are a couple to wet your whistle.

Paul and George

The Winin' Boys


Monday, 4 February 2008

TUSC Website Update and a New Ukulele Club

I finally got round to updating the TUSC website for 2008. There are new links in the photo section, all four books are up and new members added to the gallery. Whilst making the updates I came across another ukulele club; they are a little like us but hail from Springfield in the US. The 'Springfield Ukulele Club' is based in the home town of the Simpson's and meet every Monday night at Mo's Tavern.

Pictured - is Homer J D'Ville from the band Caravan Gogh, he is an honorary member of the club.

SUC are looking for new members, so if you are a ukulele player and would like to appear on the members page please send (via email) a photo of yourself and your 'Simpsonized' head shot for inclusion on the web page.
(It's easy to Simsonize yourself just follow the instructions on the Simpsonize web page)


Sunday, 27 January 2008

Ukulele Revolution with Steven Sproat

TUSC is proud to Present Ukulele Revolution with the UK's finest ukulele performer Steven Sproat.

Steven first played ukulele at the age of 10 when his father gave him a John Grey banjo uke. He has since gone on to become one of the most respected ukulele performers in the UK. He has supported the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and played at many venues both large and small. Last year he took the New York Ukulele festival by storm, dazzling the international audience with his strumming firework display. His new CD 'Acer Glade' is out now, along with a series of excellent ukulele tutor books available.

The show will be at The Constitutional Club, Bishop's Hull, Taunton on Friday 14th March.

It will also feature retro ukulele band 'The Night Owls', Uke super group 'Tony and Tom' and of course the world famous 'Ukulele Eddie'.

The show is free for club members and any guests wishing to attend should email Nipper.

I thought you may like to see Steven in action so first up here is his video for 'Alone Again' taken from his new album 'Acer Glade'.

And here is Steven performing at TUSC last year.


Saturday, 26 January 2008

Ukulele on CNN

A couple of weeks ago Sasha Herriman from CNN came down to Taunton to film the children at my school and later the same day visited TUSC. Here is the news report that went out on CNN.

It was great fun playing for the cameras and both children and adults had a wonderful time. Sasha is also a singer of some note, look out for her in the Concert for George DVD, she is in the Ravi Shankar Choir; I think we may have even persuaded her to take up the ukulele!


TUSC Awards 2007

It has been a while since I last posted so here is the first of a few updates...
In December we presented the annual TUSC awards. Below are some of the proud winners .

The awards were a follows;

Ukulele Eddie - Most New Ukes And Holidays Whilst Singing Sweetly
Tony - The Harmony Doctor And The Ukulele Player Who Came Down A Hill But Went
Back Up A Mountain
Tom - Having The Biggest Uke With The Coolest Sound
Carol - The Rhythm Queen And The Least Amount Of Legs
Grant - Most Improved Player With A Rubber Face
Fran - Most Improved Player (without a rubber face)
Jodie - Singer Of The Year
Susie - The Furthest Flung Uke-Club Attendee
Pat - The Best Finger-Picker And Tall-Story Teller
Diane - Teaching
Gorillas To Sing
Chris - Strummer Of The Year
Scott - Being Most Like Elvis
Debbie - The Best Uker In The Back Of A Camper-Van
Jugs - Never Turning Up
, Ever
Dave - Most Impressive
Sarah - The Hostess With The Mostest
Ben - Short-Back-And-Sides
Ian - Being Least Likely To Wear A Hawaiian Shirt
Nicky - Hitting The High Notes
Steve - Most Sudden Departure
Martin - Being The Keenest New Uker
Josh - Bravest And Most Romantic Ukulele Player
Alison - The Most Improved Singer & Player Despite Being A
Jim - The Fret-Board Wizard
Plus Entry Into The Hole Sniffers Hall Of Fame

Steve - * Consistent Attendance * Consistently Improving Playing * Organising TUSC Gigs * Being Cheerful & Helpful * Consistently Improving Singing * Buying Beer For Nipper