Ukuleles

We recently had our knuckles rapped for claiming to report on "all things" Telegraph Hill but failing to deliver on that promise. Things have happened in Telegraph Hill, which we haven't written about.

But no local constituency can be as underrepresented as the thriving SE4 grassroots ukulele movement. Now, thanks to the excellent Transpontine, we are happy to put the record straight:

"Meanwhile down at Broca cafe in Brockley, the new Brockley Ukulele Group has started strumming. It's very much a Sunday afternoon drop in jam at the moment, if you're interested pop into the cafe opposite Brockley station in Coulgate Street and ask."

Brockley Central will almost certainly never pick up a ukulele to join in or even go and watch them play. But knowing they exist somewhere nearby, having fun with their ukuleles, makes us feel happy.

18 comments:

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Im going to sound really uneducated when i say this, but what the hell...

..What exactly is a 'Ukulele'?

I may of stepped in a Ukulele this morning on the pavement, unforgiving dogs.

Hugh said...

Check out George Formby on youtube singing and playing When I'm Cleaning Windows. From a time when this country was great.

mg said...

Ooooh, this is fantastic! I've just started learning the uke. I have my eye on a great one with flames painted on it. Will see you there when I'm competent!

Anonymous said...

Sorry darlings, but ukes are sooooo 2003!

jon s said...

It depends how you paly the Uke:
Fornby ....... 2003 revival;
Jake Shimabukuro ....... now.

Anonymous said...

don't you mean 1953?

Anonymous said...

I played classical guitar (ok)/flamenco(poorly) until last year until some low-life half-inched my instrument, and being unbelievably skint, I can't yet afford to replace it. I also need to true and tension my bike wheels but can't afford a spoke tension gauge either(and I don't do bike shops). A bit of lateral thinking and basic applied maths shows that a plucked bicycle spoke would have a certain frequency at a given tension. But I need a cheap musical instrument to use as a frequency reference.

Listening to that Shimabukuro chap playing 'While my guitar Gently Weeps' on YouTube has now got me looking for a half-decent uke. (Thanks Jon S) The same price as a spoke tension meter, but far more musical!

It seemed that half of Hollywood was learning the Ukulele a few years ago, and the media were endlessly banging on about the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at the same time - hence my 2003 quip.

Graeme said...

Whoops - didn't mean to be anonymous again.

Dan said...

They're great - though what sort of uke is Jake playing in the video - a Tenor?

The standard uke seems to have a lot longer scale length and sounds like something from early learning centre.

If you're into guitar, capo it at the 5th fret, use the 4th highest strings only and you've essentially got a practise ukulele.

Tamsin said...

What fun! I'm with Nick in that I will probably never go but my life is the richer for knowing that it is happening so nearby.

On the subject of Ukeleles, google out Kipling's "Song of the Banjo".

Anonymous - I love the idea of using a ukelele to repair your bicycle but in the meantime would you like to borrow my daughter's electronic tuner to see if that works.

Graeme said...

Thanks Tamsin, that's a lovely offer, but I'll decline because I'm really not sure when I'm going to get around to doing the 'spanner-work'. (I can buy a tuning fork if need be from Len Stiles in Lewisham if he's still in business).

Somebody suggested a music shop for the Homeview site. A great idea, but there's competition in Brockley Rise by the south Circ. But wouldn't it be great if Brockley had it's own luthier making bespoke stringed instruments. Sited next to our very own Starbuck's (the upholsterer), there could be an artisan's corner to rival the emerging gastro-village down by the station.(That's a fantasy, obviously.)

In the meantime I've got my eye on an Ohana tenor uke.

Watch out Jake! (another fantasy)

Anonymous said...

The love child of Tom Lehrer and Gorge Formby - Des O'Connor, is playing his ukelele at the Rivoli this Saturday.
www.magic-theatre.co.uk/act.html
Moira

Richard said...

Sorry to hijack an old post in a shameful attempt at promotion, but the Brockley Ukulele Group (or a qunitet from the group) are playing Jam Circus tonight from 9pm. Organised very last minute before a good customer & ukulele-er, Alex, disappears into the sunset. The gig will be acoustic and if you caught them at BMax or elsewhere you will expect a lot of fun!

Tamsin said...

Acoustic means un-amplified doesn't it?
If that's the case I will see if I can rout out my family to get there.

Anonymous said...

It means different things to different people.

Completely unamplified sounds a bit rubbish as you cant mix the vocals and the instrument.

People often amplify acoustic-style (i.e., wooden and hollow) instruments with mic'd vocals and call that acoustic.

In other places the definition is a load broader and just means "playing live"

Richard said...

Un-amplified in that the ukuleles won't be plugged in tonight. Mics will be used for vocals & to pick up some ukulele sound. Just like anon's definition then. Would be great if you make it, Tamsin

jimbobwoof said...

Would love some expert advice on buying a uke - casual beginner rather than power chord fanatic. So something that keeps its tuning and sounds passable.
Any ideas?

D said...

Jimbob - You can literally pick up anything for less than £20 as a beginner. By their very nature they will appear cheap and cheerful, and they'll probably go out of tune fairly quickly because of the nylon strings and dodgy tuning pegs, but they're so quick and easy to tune again it really doesn't matter.
At the other end of the spectrum you can pay hundreds of pounds for them. Pop into Duke of Uke by Brick Lane and they'll tell you anything you need to know.

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