If the bustle and stress of city life is getting you down there is nothing like a change of scenery to refresh the spirit, especially were there are multitudes of ukuleles. That’s a good reason to head to the Dandenong Ranges for the Hills Ukulele Festival next weekend.
On Sunday May 19 at 11am Bayside Ukes will be playing on the main stage at Emerald Primary School. For more information see the previous post on this website.
Here’s a song to get you in the mood for a trip to the hills.
We’ll be packing our ukes for the misty mountains, up to hills where the ukulele spirit flies! Come and join us.
Tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand is Anzac Day when we remember those who gave their lives in wars. To commemorate this important event here are some song covers on ukulele that deal with various aspects of war.
The following songs were all written about the Vietnam conflict and are still relevant today.
I-Feel-Like-I’m Fixin’-to-Die Rag, by Country Joe and the Fish, with it’s wonderful use of dark humour, was made famous by their performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The following cover sounds great on the baritone ukulele.
Pink Floyd’s Us and Them, from the album Dark Side of the Moon, is a powerful and haunting song about war. The following version has been adapted for the ukulele.
New Order’s song Love Vigilantes (1985) about a soldier longing to return to his family has been covered by other artists, but none are as poignant as this raw and emotional ukulele version. I think it says it all.
Ukuleles, since the beginning of the last century, have become a popular instrument for those in the Services and when we play some commemorative songs on Anzac Day we can remember them.
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.
An exciting ukulele band from Grenoble, France, The Big Ukulele Syndicate, fill their performances with movement, fun and fantastic ukulele playing. Check out the following video and you will get the picture. They are so entertaining.
Their facebook page is in French, but here is the link for those who can read the language.
It’s been very hot down under with too many bushfires. You can smell the smoke in Melbourne. Time for a cool and calming song.
The following tutorial, given in a picturesque winter setting by Bosco of Ukulele Cheats, demonstrates how to play the beautiful To Love Somebody by the Bee Gees, with lots of playing tips. Love the way he can still play in freezing conditions without his fingers going numb.
Great to see so many members back on board last week. We had a fun session revisiting songs and trying a new one. Looking forward to Tuesday night.
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.
Bayside Ukes has finished its sessions for the year. We’ve had a great year with several performances, the most memorable being the Sandy Village Festival in October.
A big thank you to all our members for making 2018 such a wonderful, fun year. Your enthusiasm for the ukulele is what it is all about.
Thank you also to all those who have supported this blog. It’s great to have an audience of fellow Ukulele lovers.
Just for fun here are a couple of festive songs that are just made for the ukulele. The first is performed by the fabulous Memphis Ukulele Band. The chords can be found on the Doctor Uke website. The second, being typically Aussie, is just plain silly. For a link to the ukulele chords click here.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday with lots of ukulele joy.
Fans of the Beatles and the ukulele will just love the Hawaiian band, Beat-Lele. If the Beatles had played the ukulele as a band they would have sounded like this.
Here are two of their videos. Amazing!
For more about this great band visit their facebook page.
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!
There is nothing like a great rock anthem to make you feel energised. You know. The kind of songs that speak to a generation and stay in your head forever. There are many wonderful ukulele versions of rock anthems to be found on You Tube. Here are just a few.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain recently performed AC-DC‘s Highway to Hell that was released in 1979 with the great Bon Scott on vocals. A terrific version with Dave Suich channeling Angus.
Their recent version of David Bowie‘s Heroes is also outstanding (click here).
Another ukulele orchestra, The Unique Komedy Ukulele Orchestra has done a ukulele version of Australian singer John Farnham‘s 1986 hit song, You’re The Voice, which has become a famous rock anthem in our country. It is wonderful to hear a ukulele interpretation that does it justice.
In the 1990s the US band Nirvana wrote some powerful songs that became rock anthems to a generation. That Scottish one man band, Pockets, performs Nirvana’s Lithium on ukulele with the help of a bass guitar and some drums.
Pockets also does a ukulele version of Green Day‘s 1994 Basket Case (click here)
Playing the ukulele needn’t be sedate. If you love rock and roll there is plenty of inspiration to be found in favourite rock anthems.
Kat, Bayside Ukes member.