August 2018 – 80’s

Thanks to everyone whom came to 80’s UKE NIGHT. There were a lot of regulars away, though many new faces and even some welcome little people. It was a great night. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself: SET 1 | SET 2

April 2018 – Lounge

Thanks to all who came along to the LOUNGE UKE NIGHT. It was a well attended evening of cool tunes and amazing musicianship with Steve Russell on keys, Jaimie Pattgalin on drums Rod Coe on bass and Kate Gittins on all things wind and even the accordion.

Erina Leech from the Monday night crew nailed two Shirley Bassey inspired versions of Spinning Wheel and You are The Sunshine Of My Life. Daughter Rosie sang Mambo Italiano which was dedicated To Clelia Adams our Italian Country Music Queen who is recuperating after an operation here’s a little snippet

The Northern Rivers Uke Orchestra, played instrumental versions of The Girl From Ipanema, A Taste of Honey and The Munsters Theme which all went down a treat and I’m sure it was as big a thrill as it was for me to be backed by Steve Russell and Jaime on drums. Thanks to Luis for excellent sound, Ash on the door and Club Mullum for hosting our little community event.

Check out Niche Pics Lyn McCarthy’s Photos here

Feb 2018 – Crooners

This was one of most enjoyable nights I have ever done… I loved the set and the genre and I loved having Dan Brown on Keys and Kate Gittins on wind instruments and accordion. Kate is the answer to my dreams. I have been searching for a clarinet player for ever and a day. She also plays Sax, flute and she debuted her accordion skills on the night. Everyone loved her and she really enjoyed being in a combo that she can hear herself. To be honest I could play the evenings set for the rest of my life. Really enjoyable music.

Apart from Terry Flatley who did a fine version of Mona Lisa there were no special guests. Although we performed 23 songs and then repeated one at the end we finished the evening at 9 on the dot. Jan won the poster and I’m very happy for her as I know she loved the theme. Commiserations to Jan’s good friend Lizzy who was sitting right next to her and missed out even though she won the 3 free raffle tickets in the Name the Dancers Comp.

Miss Amber sang beautifully. Highlights for me were The Carpenters ‘Close To You’ and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ I love singing ‘Far Away Places’ and ‘I Get Ideas’. The other notable difference out the evening was we set up on the floor and the sound was beautiful thanks to Luis Christia. Everyone in the room could hear themselves and the band blend together. Great work from Jason Caspen and Rod Coe on drums and Bass respectively. Thanks to Ashara on the door and the club for hosting us. Jolly good.

Photos by Lyn McCarthy from Niche Pics

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.

 

June 2017 – SOUL

The 70th consecutive UKE NIGHT on Thursday 29 June was themed SOUL and was a true joy. Partly because of the great guests and musos in the band, partly because of the fantastic songs and partly because we had a great turnout and everyone was up for a bit of fun!!

Justin Bannister was back on keys with his excellent energy and optimism playing all the extra little horn lines and string parts. 13 year old Sam Sanders was as steady as a rock on soul guitar chops and pulled off a fantastic blues solo at the end of the set. Always consistent and fabulous Jason Caspen and Rod Coe – drums and bass and for his first ever jaunt, Peter Chown on Sax made one tight little combo.

Then the guests: First up ‘Man About Town’ Jono Hillman did a great job Sam ‘n Dave’s Hold On I’m Comin’ and his other 2 tunes. Brand new comer Soul Sister Number 1 – Shelly Brown raised eyebrows and put smiles on faces. She is a marvel, full of great soul chops and positive uplifting vibes. Of course Raku One O’Gaia (formerly known as Soulman) always brings it on home in a big big way. One of the more memorable nights we have had in a while. The numbers were good and there were more ukes in the audience than the previous few nights. Sharon Shostack who has filmed a few birthdays in the past won the SOUL poster and I was very chuffed for Ian Wickham who was beaming with delight when he won the lucky door prize.

Samb was there live streaming and a few folk tuned in – including Terry and Maddy from the NRUO all the way from Darwin. Thanks to Luis and Deb back on the door. Thanks for all who came 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.

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!

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.