The Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne is now easing and soon many activities will begin again. While this will be great for community groups, we at Bayside Ukes think that there is a need to proceed with caution before starting back at the Hampton Community Centre due to the increased hazard of contracting Covid-19 from the mechanics of group singing. There is a higher risk of contracting the virus in an enclosed space.
For those who are unaware of these health risks, the following video gives detailed health and scientific advice from experts with regard to group singing in an Australian context. This information is also applicable to anyone singing in a group during this pandemic. The video takes about an hour but it is worth viewing for health and safety reasons.
The main recommendation is that singing groups should not get together inside until there have been no new local cases of Covid-19 for at least one month. Bayside Ukes will be following the advice of these experts and we look forward to such a time when we will be able to play together in the real world.
We will update the calendar on this blog before we resume our sessions depending on the rate of transmission of the virus in Melbourne.
In the meantime, here is a fun video by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain of Kraftwerk’s The Model (RIP Florian Schneider).
Stay safe and keep on strumming.
Tomorrow Australians and New Zealanders remember our service men and women on Anzac Day. This year it will be very strange without the usual marches and dawn ceremonies held in our countries and at war memorials overseas, but these are challenging times.
With everyone under Pandemic lockdown we are being encouraged to commemorate the dawn service in our driveways this year. Those who are able to play brass instruments are being asked to perform the Last Post for their neighbours. Here is a link to the ABC News website which gives ideas on how to participate in this historic event from your home.
While the ukulele is not suitable for the Last Post, you can still play some songs for the occasion in your home or backyard later in the day and have a sing-a-long with your family or house mates. This website has suggestions in previous posts about war songs made for past Anzac or Remembrance Day commemorations. Just look in the archives for posts in April or November.
One of the most powerful Australian songs about war is Redgum’s I Was Only 19, which is about an Australian soldier’s experiences in the Vietnam War. If you have never heard this song before, the following video features Redgum’s original version played over contemporary war footage of the Australian troops in Vietnam.
I have been unable to find a ukulele cover but here is a link to the ukulele chords, so you can play this song tomorrow.
I Was Only 19
However you commemorate the day, wishing everyone a safe Anzac Day.
Keep on Strumming,
Bayside Ukes members are all excited to be invited back for this years Sandringham Village Festival on Sunday, 27 October. We have been busy rehearsing and have some new songs to add to our repertoire.
This year we will be supported by our fantastic drummer, George and have a guest bass player, Anton.
Come and support the Sandy Village Traders and join in the fun and activities from 10am till 4pm. Entertainment will continue in Melrose Street until 5pm. You can check out Bayside Ukes on the main stage. We look forward to seeing you there.
Autumn in Melbourne
It is finally autumn in Melbourne after a long, long summer and the hottest March on record. Time for some ukulele songs that reflect summer’s passing. The following were all performed in Australia.
Probably the most famous song for this time of the year is Autumn Leaves. Here is a Jazzy version sung by Misty Henderson accompanied by ukulele and band at Uke Mullum in the northern NSW town of Mullumbimby.
A wonderful rock song with an Autumn theme and references to Lord of the Rings is Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On. Hope you enjoy this fun and gutsy version by Adelaide group, The Wheatsheaf Ukulele Collective.
Finally, one of the most beautiful Autumn songs is Harvest Moon by Neil Young. This delightful version is performed by Californian Dani Joy overlooking Sydney Harbour on a lovely day in May. Hard to believe it is Autumn in some parts of Australia.
Whether it’s Autumn or Spring where you are, it is fun to play songs that reflect the seasons. I’m sure you have your favourites.
Bayside Ukes is very busy at the moment getting ready for our spot at the Hills Ukulele Festival on Sunday, May 19. We will be performing on the main stage at 11.00 am and are very excited to have been invited to participate in this wonderful event.
The Hills Ukulele Festival takes place from May 18 & 19 at Emerald, situated in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges which are part of the Greater Melbourne area. For anyone unfamiliar with this precious and scenic area of Victoria the following drone video should give you an idea .
For more information about the Hills Ukulele Festival go to the website by clicking here.
I’m sure many players and fans of the ukulele will greatly enjoy this event and the wonderful setting. Hope to see you there.
Summer is in full swing in Australia as we head into 2019, with extreme heatwaves affecting much of the country. For us lucky ones down south near the coast it has not been quite so hot, but there’s a scorcher in the forecast.
What better way than to celebrate the New Year with a scorching rock song. Here’s The The Australian Ukulele Show with a blistering version of Thunderstruck by Aussie legends AC/DC accompanied by ukulele legend, Jake Shimabukuro at the Byron Blues Fest. Talk about generating some fireworks.
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year from Bayside Ukes and if it’s cold where you are generate your own heat with some smoking hot ukulele songs.
Well we did it, and what a fun time we had. It was a beautiful day, with a sea breeze from the nearby Port Phillip Bay. The beach road is directly behind the Stage, hence the rumbling noises in the background of our song videos.
We were really lucky with the fine weather and there was a large audience. They seemed to enjoy our performance for which we are very thankful.
Here are a couple of our videos.
More videos of this day can be viewed on the Bayside Ukes YouTube channel. Just click here.
Bayside Ukes will be performing this coming Sunday at the Sandringham Village Festival on the main stage in Melrose Street at 2.00 pm.
This is a great chance for fellow ukers and those planning to take up the ukulele to come and see what we do. It should be great fun and we look forward to meeting other ukulele players.
The festival is run by the Sandy Village Traders to showcase their businesses with stalls, food and entertainment for people of all ages. It is the tenth anniversary of this popular Bayside event and we are glad to be included.
Bayside Ukes Tuesday sessions are back on after a two-week break so hope to see everyone raring to go for the last term of 2018. We have some fun things in the pipeline.
Finally the weather is warming up after a long, cold, windy Melbourne winter and early spring. Hopefully everyone can rid themselves of the annoying coughs and colds that have plagued so many of us in the colder months and will enjoy playing their ukuleles in the sunshine.
I found this happy ukulele video that should get anyone in a good mood no matter what the weather. It’s called The Ukulele Girls and is by The Little Things who hail from South Florida. They performed their original and upbeat song at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on this duo click on this link to their Facebook page.
Yes, I must say it is wonderful to be a ukulele girl!
In Australia and New Zealand it is Anzac Day on 25 April and in 2018 we will be remembering the final year of WWI, as well as later conflicts. This year it is the one hundredth anniversary of the battle at Villers-Bretonneux where the Australians had a major victory after so much loss and there will be commemorations at the Australian National Memorial on that site in France on April 25. At these times singing songs is an appropriate way to remember such events. The following songs about war sound great on the ukulele, whether they are about the sad or happier times.
One of the most powerful war songs is The Band played Waltzing Matilda written by Scottish Aussie, Eric Bogle in 1971. It’s about the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 but could be about the horror of any war and that is why it has become so popular in other countries. Silly Dave does a good version. And by the way, matilda is the swag or the bed roll carried by a swagman on his journeys and not a woman.
A song that was popular with the troops in France during WWI was Mademoiselle from Armentieres. It is probably one of those songs where soldiers kept making up humorous verses to suit the occasion. Some were quite risqué and many were in protest to the awful conditions or the behaviour of superior officers. Here is an amusing example.
By WWII the radio played an important part in keeping up the soldiers’ morale. One of the happiest songs was Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy sung by the Andrews Sisters. The Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra Trio did a lively version with nice harmonies in 2013.
During the Vietnam War there were many great songs written about war. One that captures the mood of the 60s is Eve of Destruction, performed by Barry McGuire in 1965. Sadly the words are still relevant today. Ken Middleton did a terrific version at Martha’s Vineyard Uke Fest in 2015.
There are many war songs from different periods to choose from if you want to have a sing-along on Anzac Day and this is just a selection.
Happy Anzac Day!
Kat, Bayside Ukes Member