Sept 2017 – Ukelectica

As I mentioned in the weekly mailers and on the night, I had literally run out of ideas for themes this month. There are plenty of themes that I could have chosen, though as these nights have turned into a labour of love, I have learned that I must be inspired to bring any kind of magic. Also I had limited time to produce a book so I went with some songs we have done in the past and improved the charts.

Each night’s set list relies on who I have as special guests… this month as Rod Coe was away I also needed to find a bass player. After producing the poster and the flimsy concept of Ukelectica… my cohort from Byron Reggae / Funk band Ragga Jump, young Max Foggon contacted me about being a performer. He was inspired by the image on the poster of the space girl as he has recently purchased a Vocoder with the view to performing a cover of Daft Punks ‘Something About Us’. Boom! Max became the star of the show as well as the bands bass player. I had also prior to that been contacted by Phil Frea – local freaky fella with a smooth deep voice about doing a few 40/50’s tunes. So Ukelectica it became… a bunch of eclectic songs for the uke – So Eclectic it was Out Of This World! (Yeah Right!)

We began with Iz’s version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ with my newly acquired strum pattern, followed by a stirring version of Cow’s with Gun’s (where were you Coorabell kids!!!) and then Summer Time Blues before Miss Amber came out and lead with a really tough song to sing from Sia, Electric Bird and nailed it. Daughter Rose performed Adele’s ‘Send My Love To Your New Lover’ and then showed off her rapping skills with Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’. That was way fun. We love Britney Spear’s ‘Baby One More Time’. Some of these songs are not great for Uke Players with limited technique I admit. It pays to come on Monday nights to learn some tricks. Phil Frea got up and somewhat tumbled through his tunes… he has had it tough and his mind is very active, though posses a rich and striking voice. Route 66 was a highlight.

The N.R.U.O were back and in really fine form. All the tunes went down well, particularly Patsy’s Gypsy Swing. Pete’s Apache is a favourite and fun to strum and the Duo Harmonies of ‘Hey Sherrif’ always ht the mark as we segue-wayed into the stirring ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.  The Poster also influenced the choice for The Carpenters – Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft. Not an easy tune by any means though it really worked. The band handled the tempo changes with smooth ease. Top work Justin Bannister on Keys, Jason Caspen on Drums and Of course max Foggon on Bass.

I played bass for most of Max’s songs. I now appreciate any bass player who can sing as well… It’s not easy at all. Max Foggon is a quadruple threat… awesome bass player, fantastic uke player, wonderful singer and showman and… he can perform a very tuneful  mouth trumpet. Max lead a very entertaining set with a sweet version of Bill Withers ‘Just The Two Of Us’ and a flawless and atmospheric rendition of Daft Punk’s ‘Something About Us’. Disney’s ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ was a blast, taken home by a reggae version of ‘What A Wonderful World’… then after thank yous we all enjoyed ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ with the whole cast joining in apart from Rosie who had gone home to watch Netflix.

The numbers were down, perhaps because it was in the school holidays though everyone who was in attendance had a wonderful time even though there were more challenges in this months book than usual. Next month I will address that and make the book more playable to make up for it. Thanks to Luis on the sound and Deb on the door as well as the club for having us.

May 2017 Hawaiian Night

This night was quite a production, augmented with grace and beauty by Hula Tomoka, Yuri and Kanami from the Gold Coast School of Hula Dance. These beautiful Hula Dancers are true joy to behold, breath taking! Aloha Baby – Stu, Paul Agar and Rod Coe provided the bulk of the music including some lush instrumentals. Jason Caspen provided the beat with Miss Amber leading a few tunes as well. The highlight was the Hula dance lesson with a line up of dancers having a great time. Also the best dressed was a lot of fun with the youngest male in the room scooping the Kahuna Massage for dad and Dorothy taking home the ladies prize for her colourful outfit.

Unbelievably, Bede Cooney won the poster… it’s a running gag that Bede wins all the time… he does!  The evening was streamed live on Facebook. Unfortunately there was a little hitch in posting to the Uke Mullum Facebook page, so apologies to those who tuned in. A work around was quickly put in place and the 2nd set was live. Thanks to Samb from Bay Stream who did and amazing job and thanks to those of you who tuned in. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2

Also big thanks to Luis for sound and lights, he went many extra yards to make the show look great. Big Thanks also for Sista Mary who to care of the door.

It was lovely to see some familiar faces returning to Uke Night and great to see some folk from Yamba, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

April 2017 – Hits Of The 70’s

One of the best nights we have had in a while, both attendance and the quality of the show. New comer Justin Bannister on Keys was a huge hit. He played most awesome keyboards and even sang ‘Spirit In The Sky’. Monday night crew Erina and Mac did a great job on ‘ Meet Me On The Corner’ guests Ash Bell and Sara Tindley brought down the house as usual. Very fine version of Piano Man in the original key must have special mention.

The coolest moment for me was when Daughter Rose and Sara’s daughter Poppy danced to Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and nailed the movements. Rod Coe on Bass, Jason Caspen on Drums and Evan Landers on guitar and Mando.

Lucky Duck Brad Green again nabbed the poster. There was laughter and smiles and even dancing. The themed nights seem to be more popular and better attended so for now that’s what we’re gonna do. Back to themes every Month.

Thanks to Lyn from Niche Pics for the photos.

Jan 2017 Modern Australian

Thanks to everyone for coming to the Modern Australian UKE NIGHT. It was in the end a fantastic evening albeit with a late start and even later finish. I was up at the crack of dawn and so was our trusty sound man Luis Christia and Door Technician Deb Stoker at the Brunswick Heads Breakfast in the Park Australia Day celebration. The NRUO was leading the songs for the forth year in a row. So we were a little pooped.

This book featured Australian songs from the last 20 years. So not surprisingly some folk had never heard of them. This was the exact reason I did the book. It seems ludicrous that songs most people want to hear and play are the ones they know, usually from their youth when they first fell in love with them. While I understand why that is, in the past 20 years 10s of thousands of songs have been written… some real treasure too. We must keep moving along folks.

With this in mind I thought it important to have some young folk up on stage with us. Local band 100 Words consists of 12 year old – Miller Stuart-Long, (fantastic singer / song writer in the making), Jack Edmonds and Sam Sanders. These guys share the instruments around and have learned how to hold it down and keep it tight. So refreshing to see. Milly sang with daughter Rose Eadie on ‘Big Jet Plane’ before the band got up and played two original songs. Also Sonny Flynn played trumpet. What a great feeling to share the stage with these young musicians. Sam Sanders was actually in the UKE NIGHT band as guitarist and did a mighty job with a talent way beyond his years, playing some wicked riffs and solid grooves and solos on songs he heard for the first time the week before.

The first half of the show was full of pop songs from Australian bands and solo artists, including the wonderful message song ‘Caught In The Crowd’ by Kate Miller-Heidke. Guest vocalist Sara Tindley’s daughter Poppy Baily-Tindley sang this one with Rosie – they were amazing. Both Miss Amber and Sara sang harmonies with the girls unable to contain their proud mother smiles.

Brad Green won the highly coveted poster in the raffles and Noel won the two tickets for next month. Barb won the Australia Day ukulele and promptly told Miss Amber to bend over so she could show her were to stick it. (Barb is over 80 and doesn’t fancy learning I guess).

The 2nd half of the show was more singer songwriter flavoured, perfect for our guests Sara and Mr Ash Bell. Ash is having a break from performing at the moment and it was so great to hear his voice again. See clip of Ash singing Paul Kelly’s ‘They Thought I Was Asleep’. A few people had left by now as it was getting late so it was a very special intimate 30 minutes, finished of by a rockin’ version of  ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ from Jet sang by Sara, who can belt out a rock tune with the best of them. (I love when Sara Rocks out)

There was a lot of learning from the musicians this month and I really appreciate the time and effort that went into recreating all the little details. Brilliant keys from new comer Dan Brown who was the perfect man for the job with the ability to pull authentic synth sounds one minute and beautiful piano solos the next. Thanks To Al Brooker and Jason Caspen for their exceptional rhythm section work. The night was ended with a soulful version of Nick Caves ‘Into My Arms’ with impromptu 4 part harmonies in the last chorus. We were packed up and out of there before 10pm.

See more pics from Lyn McCarthy at Niche pics here

Modern Australian

Riptide – Vance Joy
Cry – The Mavis’s
Lighthouse – The Waifs
Coin Laundry – Lisa Mitchell
Caught In The Crowd – Kate Miller-Heidke
Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone
Don’t Be Silly – 100 Words
Hoops – The Rubens
To My Table – Mama Kin
Walking on A Dream – Empire Of The Sun

Black Bugs – Regurgitator
I’m Not Coming Back – Husky
Buttons – Sia
Time – Sara Tindley
We Won’t Run – Sarah Blasko
Bowen Station – Ash Bell
They Thought I Was Asleep – Paul Kelly
My Happiness – Powderfinger
Heart Beating – Suzannah Espie
Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
Into My Arms – Nick Cave

Christmas Uke-Tacular 2016

This was a great irreverent Christmas celebration with a bunch of slightly off  kilter Christmas tunes that had everyone in a great mood and smiling as they left. Not schmaltzy, though some real love and joy in the room… a great way to the year of Uke Mullum and Miss Amber and Stukulele’s Uke Night.

Steve Passfield was excellent as Naughty Santa and a delivered some great guitar and a lot of quick witted humour. The audience were having a great time, particularly Val Hodgson when the band spontaneously launched into ‘Wipe Out’.

The Tinsel Tones were fabulous as ever, this year with Misty Henderson who also nailed Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’. Rosie Eadie did a fine job of her tunes ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘I saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus’ which has dropped a key every year. Naughty Santa sang about wanting some Lovin’ and Back Doors….

The Poagues ‘Fairytale Of New York’ was a big hit. The little known ‘Sleigh Bell Rock’ was well received also.  A quick ‘Feliz Navidad’ with Rod Co’s grandson Cooper and a wave good bye and that was the 6th Annual Christmas Uke-Tacular.

Check out the pics from Lyn at Niche pix here

November 2016 – The Best Of the 2016

The Best Of The 2016 Songbooks

 

This was one of the best fun Uke Nights as it was spontaneous and loose though still very musical and entertaining. Traditionally, November is all about looking back on the songbooks we have presented and choosing the favourites. The result was a very eclectic mix. Sharny Russell was roped in at the last minute. She was coming over to do a guest spot though Stu quickly put her to work on keys, at times playing songs she hadn’t heard before. Of course Sharny (sister of Steve Russell) is one of the Austrailia’s most accomplished Jazz pianists and vocalists. What a touch of class. (we are blessed with the most wonderfully talented musicians).

The band were great as usual – Al Brooker on bass, Jason Caspen on Drums and Evan Landers on Guitars. It was so great to have Misty Henderson back with us. She is such a star in the making. The NRUO backed her during ‘Summertime’ and also performed ‘Lullaby Of Birdland’ which was beautifully garnished with Sharny’s piano.

A great highlight was ‘100 Words’, a band consisting of local 12 year old, Mila Stuart-Long, Sam Sanders and Jack Edmonds who played their 3 original songs during the break. We hope to see more of the group next year. Straight after you could have heard a pin drop during Sharny’s version of Carole Kings ‘You Got A Friend’…. simply stunning. Jono Hillman sang a few tunes with us from the British Invasion book of last month and then did a fine John Kay from Steppenwolf in ‘Born To be Wild’.  Val and Erina did a fine ‘She’s Not There’ by the Zombies. We finished the night with Time After Time which Miss Amber always slays especially with the addition of beautiful harmonies from Sharny and Misty.

Val and Barry won the door prize  – free tickets and somehow convinced Stu that a free bottle of wine was part of the prize. Pete Brosnan took home the poster with the winning number 16. Doesn’t get more fortuitous that. Smiles all round for another fun event in Club Mullum with a bunch of new and familiar faces.

June 2016 – Novelty Tunes

Novelty Songs

In response to the previous months Jazz Night, this Book was much more playable for the ukers, (though we had a few key changes to deal with)… It was a great night with many highlights and big laughs. We were having so much fun we played half of the 2nd set before we realised it was break time.

Clelia Adams does great versions of these Novelty Tunes, her version of ‘Hello Mudda Hello Fudda’, recieved much applause as did Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie… There were jaws agape when Jimmy Willing took the stage, his peacful stoic demeanour quickly erupted into the prancing show pony he really is. Iggy Pop move over – the shirt was off, hat waving in hand,  nearly hit his head on the ceiling jumping up and down…  he sweat a bucket… this was all in three songs. Jimmy put out so much energy – It was like 3 hours at the Gym.

Other great moments  during the night (I have been told) were ‘Cows With Guns’ and my favourite Miss Amber’s two renditions of Ruth Wallis’s two tunes ‘Boobs’ and ‘The Hawaiian Lei Song’. (Thanks Jan Beer for introducing her to us – we love her). Rex Carter on drums (first ever time singing uo the front) and Rod Coe on Bass were great Mounties in The Lumberjack song and Evan Landers (sun) did a great Lonnie Donegan on ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’. Everyone left with a smile on their face. The obvious conclusion –  silly, cheeky, double entendre, risque songs are fun…. we will be doing them again soon.

April 2016 – Gone Not Forgotten

April 2016 Gone Not Forgotten

It’s always great when someone says, “that was the best uke night yet”… (some one always says it.) This Uke Night felt like a big joyful wake, lot’s of warmth and melancholy… less uke playing on many of the songs as the chords were particularly tough this month, though lots of loud singing.

Stu as usual lead the first few tunes and hit a high with Roy Orbisons’ ‘Crying’. It was an extra special night for Miss Amber as it was her Ukulele debut. She did her own version of Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know I’m No Good’ a great arrangement that was hugely applauded. Members from the N.R.U.O, Madeleine, Jeanti and Terry joined in to play the riff from Nirvana’s ‘Come as You Are’.

This night had the benefit of extra planning time as the concept was originally for March then was moved as our stars Belle Hendrik and John Hill were not available till April. So glad it worked out this way as the set list and charts were fine tuned into what turned out to be a celebration of the great artists who have effected our lives so many ways and now have passed over to the other side. Also, sadly Prince died a week before the show so two of his tunes were added to the set.

John Hill is a consumate performer, singer and piano man and he floored everyone with his version of Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ (with the missing 2nd verse) then followed it with the Jamie Cullum inspired version of Jimi Hendix’s ‘The Wind Cried Mary’.

Special surprise guest was the unpredictable maverick Phil Frea. He was very entertaining with his lyrical adaptation of ‘New York New York’ – ‘Newtown Newtown’.  Even the mixed up verse somehow made it even funnier. He then dedicated his next tune to his 6 year old Daughter – ‘I’m Gonna Sit right down and write myself a letter’ with bv’s from Belle and Miss Amber.

Stu lead the Elvis Medley with more BV’s from the gals and it was time for the break with raffle and lucky door prize.

Belle Hendrick is a force of nature. Her versions of Nina Simone’s  ‘Feeling Good’, Edith Piaff’s ‘Non Je Ne Regrette Rien’ and ‘Kozmic Blues’ by Janis Joplin were jaw dropping…. then she belted out AC DC’s Highway To Hell with a version that would have had Bon Scott scared. After John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ the cast fare welled Prince one more time with Purple Rain. There were more than one standing ovation during the night.

Rod Coe on electric Bass and Rex Carter on drums were the incredible as usual, thanks to Luis for gtreat souns and Deb on the Door and the club for having us. Fiona Knight who is still battling cancer came along on the night. Margaret Bell escorted her and it was so great to see them both there.

See All Lyn McCarthy’s pics from the night here (thanks again Lyn)

March 2016 – Intimate Requests

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Originally the plan was to have the month off as Stu had an operation on his nose and was advised he’d need time to recover. One week later and Stu was feeling fine and completely bored so ‘Intimate Requests’ was the order of the day.

Since moving to the Ex-Services, comments had been made that UKE NIGHT was not as intimate as it used to be back in the Courthouse Hotel. So the band set up on the floor at the front of the stage and used a smaller vocal PA. The Ukers could hear themselves, like the Tumbulgum Uke Nights of old.

We also put the entire Uke Mullum song list online for the month so people could request their favourite songs, and if they chose, could lead them. Stu also did up 5 new charts for songs that were not in the list of nearly 1000 tunes. Neil McInnes, Graham Richardson, Erina Leech, Bettina and Melissa (The Moyle Sisters), Tone Uke, Almer Asha and Val Hodgson got up and slayed ’em. All very different moods and styles with great performances all round and cheered on by the supportive crowd.

The Band Comprised Mr Rod Coe on Double Bass, Warren Earl on guitar and Steel, Evan Sun on Mandolin and Guitar and percussion. We also had Clelia Adams smashing 5 tunes and a visit from Kathryn Jones plus our UKE NIGHT darling Misty Henderson (with Young Safron) who at the time of writing this is headed to Italy as part of the Mullum high school exchange program.

Thanks to all who came along, Deb on the Door and a special thanks to Luke from the Mullum Ex-Services Club who helped out with the TV monitor. It was a great format and will definitely be happening again.

Jan 2016 – Pub Rock

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This was so much fun. We realised the audience was drowned out by the loud monster stage sound we had, though that’s the only way to play Pub Rock with guitarist Tim Longworth, drums by Jason Caspen (who lived these songs) and Rod Coe on fender precision bass plus newcomer Zane on Sax who featured brightly in Men At Works ‘Who Can It Be Now’ and The Models ‘Barbados’. The set list was full of favourite moments from Countdown… ‘Unguarded Moment’ by the Church, ‘Happy Man’ by Sunnyboys, ‘Don’t Change’ by INXS to name a small selection.

Miss Amber did a great Jimmy Barnes for ‘Forever Now’ completely ripped as Chrissie Amphlett in ‘Boys in Town’ and pulled off a very convincing Continental Robert for ‘Soul Kinda Feelin’ then did great backing vocals all evening.

For the third year in a row Sara Tindley and Ash Bell were back to lead some big tunes. And lead they did, Ash always delivers and his versions of two Hunters and Collectors tunes were mighty as was his The Angel’s ‘No Secrets’, Aussie Crawl’s ‘Boys Light Up’ and Dragons ‘April Sun In Cuba’.

We won’t mention the technical glitch we had with ‘Girls On The Avenue’… (for the first time in a very long time this song fell into ruin) though some nice free form vocals came out of that miss hap while Stu struggled to download the chart in the correct Key.

After so many big moments the audience was mouth agape to see Sara Tindley absolutely rock out on ‘Long Way To The Top’. Bon Scott would have been proud. Then we ‘Threw Our Arms’ around each other and it was time go home. It was like going back in time. Probably not the Ukes greatest moment in terms of anyone being heard though Lot’s of smiles at the end of the night and a great way to celebrate Australian Music.

See photo album from Lyn at Niche Pics here