Oct 2017 – Gunfighter & Murder Ballads

This was a really fabulous night… due to the roll up, the superb musicianship from Warren Earl and fantastic vocal performances from Ash Bell, Clelia Adams, Miss Amber (particularly Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang) and yours truly didn’t fare to badly neither, channeling Marty Robbins and mostly in key. The flow of the evening was wonderful, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There was dark and scary moments which made the laughs more heartfelt. Wish you were there. Just a great bunch of tunes with compelling stories. Great sound from Luis, Thanks to Ashara on the door. Great bass and srums From Rod Coe and Jason Caspen (respectively).

Guests up from Adelaide said it would make a great event for the Adelaide Fringe. Sadly unless someone offered a huge budget it would be hard to replicate outside of Mullum. We are so spoiled for talent and the great auditorium we present the night in each month.

See the pics from Lyn McCarthy at Niche Pics and they’ll tell the story.

 

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.

August 2017 – Keep Calm and Uke On

This August 2017 theme ‘Keep Calm and Uke On’ came together at the last minute. I do admit I’m starting to find it difficult to come up with a fresh theme each month and the thought of all the work that it takes to finish off a book and compile the performers and players is very daunting. Though… for some reason… I keep doing it. I guess I know the the end result is always rewarding as it definitely was in this case. The poster came first and the idea for the theme was planted at Monday Night Mullum Uke Club after seeing the image. Special mention to Val Hodgson who often influences me with her strong opinions. (love you Val).

Thankfully, UKE NIGHT hero John Hill filled in on Piano at the last minute as Dan Brown sadly had to pull out due to family illness. Turns out he was the perfect man for the job, he is a wonderful player and performer and it is always an honour to share the stage with Mr. Hill. Special guests Tim Stokes and Vasudha Harte (A.K.A. Lady Boho) were wonderful guest performers. The first set was anti war / protest songs starting out with ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ by Eric Bogle… this is one heavy song… It set a maudlin tone. Miss Amber does a great Kate Bush and her version of Army Dreamers was very well received.

As the set moved on the songs became gradually lighter and after Lady Boho’s excellent versions ‘I Was Only 19’, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steel’, and a very cool ‘Tryin’ Times’ (excellent Bass by Mr. Rode Coe), we ended the set with the French tune ‘Le Temps De L’amour’ (The Time For Love). Vasuha has a voice like caramel. Audience members were excited to have a new face on stage and she has left quite an impression with most folk never having seen her perform although she is a multi talented musician and teacher and a stalwart of the local Byron Shire music scene.

Enter Tim Stokes for some songs of love and uniting. He is the man for these kind of songs… ego-less, full of love with a smile that melts your heart. His original tune ‘Blessed Are’ went over very cheerily and his version of ‘What a Wonderful World’ left the whole room all gooey.

We ended the evening off with two from John Lennon (and Yoko) with ‘Imagine’ and a rousing ‘Give Peace A Chance’. This night was a very palpable emotional journey that reaffirmed my belief in the power of song. Thanks to Jason Caspen on Drums, Deb on the door, Luis on Sound and everyone one who came along. There were a lot of faces who hadn’t been to the last few evenings and it was great to see almost all of the NRUO united again sitting together at a table strumming along.

 

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.

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.

July 2016 – Songs Of The Silver Screen

Songs Of The Silver Screen

What a wonderful night. The cold kept a few away which didn’t dampen Stu’s spirits at all… the important folks were there. The first few tunes went over well and Miss Amber was in fine form and looking gorgeous. Michael Smith from Gold Coast Ukuleles sang The Lion Kings’ – Can you feel the Love Tonight and a cracking version of ‘ Unchained Melody’, next Tone Uke did ‘Singin’ in The Rain’ and smashed out a ripper version of ‘Time Warp’ with Miss Amber and Stu.

Maria won the the A3 poster for the lucky door Prize and the proceedings commenced with a surprise visit from Phil Barron on musical saw… in ‘As Time Goes By’ and ‘Lara’s Theme’ what a special treat! Good friend Jeremy Jacks then auctioned our two large format posters. Lyn McCarthy silenced the bidding with an opening bid of $100 for the first poster which was promptly sold. The next one had a battle between 3 bidders and finally was won by long time supporter Brad Green. Another tune or two then the amazing Leigh Carriage graced the stage. It was the best birthday present I could have given the Uke Night and myself.

Leigh is an alchemist who can heal you with her vocal delivery. I was immersed in a blissful, joyful calm during her renditions of  ‘I Got Rhythm’ , Que’ Sera and ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’. She then finished of the night on stage joining in with harmonies with Miss Amber. Did I mention Steve Russell was playing Keys all night with us. Next level musicianship from the boys in the band. It was very special way to celebrate 5 years and nearly 60 consecutive uke nights. Thanks to all involved: the wonderful duo of Deb on the door and Luis on sound who have been with us all the way, Rod and Rex the Silver Haired Foxes in the rhythm section and all the great folk who continue to support and enjoy our monthly event. YAY for us!

Christmas Uke-Tacular 2015

Christmas Uke Tacular 2015

Another very smiley and wonderful evening. The set list was the most fun we’ve ever had with a Christmas show with songs like ‘Christmas in Jail’, ‘Trim Your Tree’ and ‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus’. Daughter Rosie sang her old standard – ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ (wouldn’t be Christmas without it). Right up until the last week I had no idea Clelia Adams and Kathryn Jones were even in town. What a surprise it was to have the Tinsel Tones back together again for their 3 part harmony versions of ‘Christmas Island’ and ‘Mele Kalikimaka’.

We had new comer Lily Loy from the sandwich shop round the corner join us for her first ever time singing on stage. She has an amazing quality to her voice and blew everyone away with her songs.

That Mae Wilde always brings spontaneity, sass and a wicked sense of humour. Her tune – CW Stoneking’s ‘On A Christmas Day’ was magic, followed by a limbo competition (I want to See Santa Do The Mambo) then the seemingly naughty ‘I Know Just What You Want For Christmas’.We love you Mae. Later Ilona Harker joined us on stage as well and boy do we love her.

Highlight of the evening for me was Steve Passfield practically unannounced showed up as Santa handed out chocolates and made my dream come true of launching into a beautiful version of ‘White Christmas’ complete with a very pretty and flawless solo. Rounded up nicely with the punkabilly ‘Sleigh Bell Rock’ which we played twice it was so much fun then Chuck Berry’s ‘Run Rudolph Run’. Big Christmas Thanks to Rod Coe on Bass and Rex Carter on Drums with Deb on the door and Luis Christia on sound.

See Photo Album from Lyn at Niche Pics here

November 2014 The Best Of

UM_November14_A3

November is now traditionally our time to reminisce over the past 10 months and put together our favourite tunes from the year. The band rocked yet again as we had the ‘A-Team’: Warren Earl on guitar, Al Park on Keys, Rex Carter on Drums and Rod Coe on Bass (‘The Kiwi’s’… It became apparent that nearly one third of the room was from NZ on the night – thanks to Rex turning 60 and inviting his family along). Guest vocalist were Fiona Knight who smashed her tunes and Chris Mallory who may need surgery after taking on the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive again. Rose Eadie made a special appearance with the Lennon & Maisy song.. A life That’s Good. Val Hodgson delivered another mighty version of White Rabbit. Brad Green sadly couldn’t make it as his lady had to go into hospital. Mac did a fine job of leading Brad’s ode to ‘Randy the Rooster’ done to the tune of ‘Take A Walk on The Wild Side’.

The songs that made the list in order were:

Big Rock Candy Mountain – Harry ‘Haywire’ McClintock
Singin’ The Blues – Marty Robbins
A Kind Of Hush – Hermans Hermits
Bird Dog – Everly Brothers
A Life That’s Goood – Lennon & Maisy
Randy The Rooster – Brad Green
All Of Me – Willie Neslon
Where Did Our Love Go – Supremes
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meatloaf
Can’t Take My Eyes Of You  – The Four Seasons
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Stupid Cupid – Connie Francis
I Love The Night Life – Alicia Bridges
Better Be Home – Crowded House
Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
Echo Beach – Martha and the Muffins
Queen of Hearts – Juice Newton
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
Joy To The World – 3 Dog Night
You Shook Me All Night Long – AC DC
Kiss – Prince

with and encore of Johnny Be Goode – Chuck Berry

Thanks for great sound by Luis Christia, Deb on the door and the staff at the Courthouse Hotel.