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'
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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
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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.