Sunshine Coast Ukulele Masters Inc hosted its 6th annual Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival in April 2019 at Kenilworth showgrounds.

The festival boasted yet another exciting four-day program, featuring international headline acts Ukebox (UK), and  Victoria Vox (USA), as well as some truly talented artists from Australia wide. Plenty of BUMS ventured north — some campers, some day trippers. Here’s a sample of what they experienced.

THURSDAY 11 April 2019 (by Peter Ransom)

My spies tell me that many ukesters were set up in the showgrounds as early as the Monday preceding the festival. We were only able to observe proceedings on the first scheduled day and admittedly not all of it.  I think the daily Tai Chi Qigong session at 7:15 am is something new, and certainly the uke-focused excursion on the Mary Valley Rattler is a great idea. Unfortunately, it ran late with unforeseen consequences for a couple of artists.

We missed Donna’s workshop for beginners, but I know she felt it was successful.  Ian’s performance singers could be heard all over the showgrounds, and their shift into harmony was delightful. My own Johnny Cash workshop/jam in the old hall had a delayed start, but I feel it left the quite large audience with a new perspective on Johnny Cash.  Sorry Derek, I also missed your finger picking session, but after my set we took off to the pub for a drink, Open Mic and lunch. Open Mic was a revelation: there were lots of great performers (two songs each) and also undoubtedly the worst singer I have ever heard.  Anywhere, ever.

Later on we’re back at the showgrounds, and the poor Duke Ukem guys had  a delayed start due to a technical issue, but they were great as always.  A relaxed set from The Dangling Mangoes pleased the significant C&W crowd, though I would have liked more volume for the vocals.  Peter Grace and The Ukulele Saints delivered a crisp, clear and well-rehearsed set of favourites and obscurities that everyone really enjoyed. The next group was Pistol Grip, a self-admitted ‘good-time’ outfit that kept the songs and tempo going with popular material that got us happily involved.

For day-trippers like us there’s food available all day , so it was a sound check and then pizza for dinner before the evening concert in the Big Tent. Vic Kena kicked off the night with his heavy use of electronics, great voice and brilliant playing – so professional!  In the guise of Girt By C, your scribe was next. I was very happy with my performance, but others will have to be the judge of that. I fluffed the intro to Jennie’s hula, but we got past it without any drama.

With good reason, Tom Richter is a local musical legend and he didn’t disappoint. A high point was a group of his students, all young-ish girls,  who performed on stage for the first time. Tom also involved the audience, an aspect of performance that I believe is truly rewarding for everyone.

We missed the final jam.  It had been a long day, I was ready to crash and we had yet to drive home. To summarise  I liked the venue, the programming, the stages, the acts, the people and the SCUF team. Vendors were a bit thin on the ground on that day. Yes, there were some glitches, but we came away smiling and you can’t ask for more than that.

FRIDAY 12 April 2019 (by Judy Matthews)

My first time at SCUF! I joined the happy campers dotted around the Showgrounds. I was impressed with the set up and amazing, tireless volunteer crew.

Judy at SCUF (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

Friday dawned a fine morning.  A 7:15 am Tai-Chi Qigong session got early risers off to an energised start. Workshops on offer during the morning kicked off with The 2 Robs, followed by a Beginners’ Session with Richard Tonkin. A large crowd joined Ian Phillips as harmonies were learnt and practised in his Performance Song workshop. The Dangling Mangoes (Bill and Trisha) rounded off the morning’s activities with The Secret of Playing by Ear. We pulled out our chord chart (our hands!) to determine chord families and progressions for any key; and used this knowledge to play a number of songs with no music.

A stroll up the main street of Kenilworth soon brought one to the Kenilworth Hotel where open mic performances entertained the lunchtime crowd.

Ukenjammit (hailing from Newcastle) got the Big Tent afternoon concert off to a great start with a lively set; personal favourites, A Hint of Rosemary kept the audience entranced with vocal harmonies of many golden oldies. The 2 Robs and D’Ukes of Oz kept feet tapping and for the finale, BUMS own Amanda and Adrian (and Trish) teamed up as quirky and infectious Duo Ver.

Pineapple Crush kept the music coming at the 5:00 pm Big Jam – despite a torrential downpour dampening almost everything except the enthusiasm of the festival goers cramming into any dry space at the Festival Stage.

Friday night at SCUF brings the Big Tent Party. The Lazy Leis rocked the Big Tent, helped out by BUMS favourite, Vic Kena, brilliantly stepping into the line up. The mosh pit was crammed, and every crazy dance move imaginable on display. A fantastic night!

Uke playing not done for the day yet, a late-night jam with Duke Ukem kept the sound of music wafting over the showgrounds (and Kenilworth!)

Friday night post concert jam lead by Duke Ukem was an experience not to be missed. The room rocked with all levels of players enjoying a variety of songs and lifting the roof with everyone singing their lungs out.

These jams both around someone’s camp or in the hall like this one are what these festivals are all about. No pretensions just a group of like-minded people gathered for the joy of the music.    Marg Monaghan

Steve Sandilands, Darryl Reeve, Marg Monaghan, Mike Heaton, Cath McCourt, Lisa, Mick Angeles and a host of other festival goers turned up for a jam session and sing-song at the Duke Ukem campsite. Chicken Chop Suey was eaten, Southern Comfort, Tia Maria and other alcoholic beverages were consumed, blackmail videos were taken, love was professed, and memory cells removed. The night was “full” of song, playing, laughter and giggles, stories and jokes.

Rumours were rife the next day and gossip-mongers were fervid in the ladies’ toilets … but sorry……that’s all I remember.    Mick Angeles

SATURDAY 13 April 2019 (by Jim Bills)

Wondering if you should go to SPRUKE? “SCUF, it’s a four-day festival! I can’t play the ukulele that long, and a four-day concert is just way too much!”

Relax, by the way that’s the “R” in SPRUKE, ukulele festivals are not all about playing, listening and workshopping. You don’t have to be a ukulele virtuoso, and it really doesn’t matter if you pick up your first ukulele at the festival. There are plenty of opportunities to play, listen and learn without pressure. There are opportunities for socialising, making new friends and learning from peers; as well as taking in workshops which range from learning a single song (which means you learn lots of different techniques and tricks) to basic skills for newbies to trying a few advanced techniques.

So, Saturday 13 April at Kenilworth was chock-a-block with opportunities for everyone. Let’s take a walk through what went on. If you decided to “live in” (campers and caravanners) the day begins after an early breakfast with a Tai Chi session at 7:15 am.

Now you are chilled and ready for the day, you can wander into the hall for a workshop with Djembe John about percussion. Not a drummer? No matter, its about learning timing and being able to express it. Did you know that you can use percussive effects on your ukulele?

Djembe John’s market stall (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

Action moves into the Big Tent where Ian Phillips (BUMS past president) is teaching, coaching, and conducting a large group to learn a song. It’s not complicated, but it’s using a bit more than a basic strum to create a well-orchestrated song for performance.  All comers were welcomed and you can check out some of this on https://youtu.be/GmLfpC8gaDQ

Continuing from this session Dani Jones, a talented musical director from the Sunshine Coast, delivered her Just Sing vocal harmony workshop. This was followed by the boys from Liverpool – no, not those ones!!  Ukebox who also delivered a fun workshop/performance to a packed Big Tent sharing their talents, skills and ideas with the audience. Then came Victoria Vox (😊 the mouth-trumpet lady) who didn’t disappoint with both workshop, lessons and performance in a one-hour session that catered for all skill levels.

If you didn’t want to take these workshops, you could walk 100 metres to the Kenilworth Hotel, chill and listen or perform (that’s the “P” in SPRUKE) at the 4-hour Open Mic sessions running each day. Tummy rumblings and caffeine withdrawal beckons participants to the Festival Village stage where you can chill, chat, listen, eat, socialise, satisfy your UAS.  You will certainly find new friends and other players happy to share ideas, songs, techniques and challenges with you (that’s the “S” in SPRUKE – and you can probably work out what the last three letters relate too by now 😊)

There was a lunch time solo performance by Georgie Taylor from Redlands. She reminded us she’s “just seventeen”, and that she had a CD of her original works for sale with other artists at the SCUF merchandise table 😊 and did an excellent performance.

With food cravings satisfied, it was time to return to the Big Tent for the afternoon concert. It was a smorgasbord of great performances. The CAGE played some outstanding arrangements and were followed by an equally challenging performance by the BUMS Festival Group. Both were very large groups and had arranged some complex songs (around themes and dialogue 😊) The Free Range chUKES, with most members not yet teenagers, stood tall on stage and entertained the large crowd.

BFG setting up at SCUF (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

Then Miss Elm did her stage set (she was also performing on the Festival Village Stage) during the weekend and was followed by the uke/guitar duo All The Way Home.

Miss Elm (Erin Harrington) performing at SCUF (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

Finishing the afternoon on the Big Tent the duo of Kine Kool delivered an upbeat performance with audience charts for almost all of their songs and invited the audience to join them.

Whew! It doesn’t stop there – the Big Jam on the Festival Village Stage had just begun as Kine Kool finished, led by the Sunshine Coast Pineapple Crush and the undercover area and walkways were packed as sitting and standing performers jammed a continuous set of popular songs.

A mere 45-minutes appeared for the evening meal and patrons vanished to tents, caravans, the Kenilworth Hotel and the cafes, or just ordered up more pizza, chips or coffee at the village stage. No time was wasted as they prepared to get a good seat at the Premier Evening Concert at 7:00 pm.  Victoria Vox returned to the stage with her main show and was followed by Ukebox to close.  You can check out the awesome performances of both on the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival 2019 Facebook page “sunshinecoastukulelefest” or on the YouTube pages of seailive uke.

And just when you thought it was all over, a late-night jam session was hosted by The Inconvenience Store (Terry Sasaki, Tony Richardson and Cath McCourt) in the dining room until late. And as the moon set in the far west and a new day began, the ukulele rested, (mostly)…. 😊.

The Inconvenience Store (Terry, Cath & Tony) (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

SUNDAY 14 April 2019 (by Rod Iffinger)

Once again I was fortunate enough to be able to attend and perform with The CAGE and A Hint of Rosemary at the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival held annually in the lovely surrounds of Kenilworth. This year it coincided with the school holidays so I was able attend for the whole festival and have a relaxing holiday with days filled with fun, friends and music. Usually I am unable to attend the last day as I need to get back to work, so it is a pleasure to be able to share my reflections of Sunday program with our BUMS community.

Rod relaxing with members of The CAGE. (Photo courtesy of SCUF)

I began the day attending a mass drumming circle led by Djembe John. John is a special education teacher working at Sunshine Coast schools. He uses drumming as a means of building social and emotional skills such as resilience and teamwork with his students and within the community. The hall at the Showgrounds was packed for his session. He taught basic techniques on playing the djembe, which has its origins in Africa. We laughed our way through an hour of learning rhythms suited to accompanying a variety of song genres. There is something therapeutic about participating in a drumming circle, and we emerged energised for the rest of the day.

At midday I headed to the Festival Village Stage which was located in a marquee, and surround by food vans selling a range of tasty meals. The first act was Chantelle & Uke. Chantelle is an ex-Brissie girl who now lives in Melbourne. She returned home as a participant in the Songwriting Competition. An experienced percussionist for many years, she is now expanding her musicianship into the singer/songwriter role using ukulele to help her develop in this area. She sang a range of covers as well as original songs. Her relaxed style and sense of humour were well received by the audience.

Following on from Chantelle we were treated to a massed performance led by BUMS very own Ian Phillips. Each morning of the festival, Ian started the day with a large group of players of varying abilities. They workshopped a couple of songs, experiencing vocal harmonisation and different strumming techniques. Over those sessions they worked towards the goal of a performance on the last day of the festival. Approximately 200 strummers and singers performed to great acclaim by an appreciative audience.

The afternoon concert in the main stage area was opened by Redlands City Ukes, many of whom are also active BUMS members. Their all-female vocal group starred in a number of the songs, as did our very own Sprukestars – Steve & Darryl! SCUF attracts performers from across Australia and the next group to take the stage were the Mullimbimby Neighbourly Ukes. They were followed by another BUMS performing ensemble the Hypnotonics who delivered an energetic and entertaining set. Next up were the locals, the Maleny Ukes led by the talented Tom Richter. Closing out the afternoon concert was another BUMS identity Mama Juju & her group the Jam Tarts who are always a crowd favourite.

I wisely decided to forgo the late afternoon workshop & concert – Bella Bellydance! I must be getting old to pass up bellydancing for a glass of vino and a snooze.

The final event of the festival was the Evening Concert. It opened with Gypsy Rumble, a very entertaining trio who describe themselves as “Australia’s quirkiest Celtic/Folk band”. Featuring drums, violin, banjo and of course ukuleles they delivered an entertaining and toe-tapping high energy performance. The second act of the evening was The Inconvenience Store, another quirky group of BUMS regulars — Cath McCourt on bass, with Terry Sasaki and Tony Richardson on uke. All three shared the vocal duties delivering an eclectic repertoire of songs. The concert concluded with a big jam session led by Pineapple Crush, a big band of  Sunshine Coast Ukulele Musicians (aka SCUM) members. They took us late into evening with lots of the songs beloved by the ukulele community. It was a fitting end to a wonderful festival and I am already looking forward to being a part of this again in 2020.

If you missed the festival, I believe that all of the performances in the concerts in the main stage area were videoed and are being uploaded to  You Tube. Some are already there but perhaps not all.

What Rod missed …

Kenilworth Chord Construction Workshop – Sunday 9.00 am – 10.00 am (by Mick Angeles)

Mick Angeles hosted a workshop on how to create chords, revealing the secrets to Major Scales and Chord Construction in layman’s terms for everyone to understand.

There were over 200 people in attendance to hear his simplified explanation of the mysteries of Music Theory.  Mick took his participants on an enlightening journey through an uncomplicated version of the School of Hard Knocks & Experience Music Theory 101 which he designed.

Like a magician revealing the secrets to a magic trick, Mick exposed the ingenuous secrets to the Major Scales and Chord Construction formulas. His self-designed charts were very popular and in demand after the presentation. The Powerpoint presentation with audio, charts and notes were available on USBs and sold out in 10 minutes with orders still coming in for copies.

A music teacher who was in attendance approached him after the completion and congratulated him on how his presentation made sense in an easy, straight-talking manner. She bought a copy of the workshops and asked if she could use it in her classes.

WOW! Teaching a Teacher … Mick couldn’t be happier.

And here endeth the SCUF adventures according to BUMS.

Aloha! Come to the Central Coast Ukulele & Folk Festival.

Friday 23 August: 6:30 pm Dinner Show bookings essential through the Diggers phone Tara or Diggers on 4332 3399
Saturday 24 August: Daytime workshops and live performances; evening Super Jam (It will be the biggest yet!) followed by concerts and dance.
Sunday 25 August: Daytime workshops and live performances

2019 will another exciting year. Concerts are free, only workshops attract a fee. This year the entire event will be held indoors and undercover for your comfort. International, national and locals acts will perform LIVE, sharing their wonderful stories and music.

Relax and enjoy the atmosphere and live music from Friday night’s dinner show through to Sunday afternoon.

There will be great food at three different restaurants, friendly staff, RSL-priced drinks,
plenty of parking and beautiful views over beautiful Tuggerah Lakes.

Workshops will include:

  • Beginner and intermediate ukulele
  • How to change strings and ukulele care
  • Beginners and intermediate bass
  • Songwriting
  • Singing
  • Picking and strumming
  • Master class with riffs and lead lines
  • Djembe
  • Blues

There will be wonderful stalls with ukuleles for sale and much more …

Festival facilities include:

  • The Pavilion Room for workshops
  • The Liquid Lounge for main live performances with first-class sound and leads.
  • The Barrel Bar for solo and duo and blackboard events. This was so much fun last year.
  • The Cafe for solo and duo and blackboard events .

There’s also an abundance of accommodation around The Entrance from 5-star packages to camping grounds and caravan parks in the area of The Entrance, Toowoon Bay, Blue Bay, Blue Lagoon Resort to name a few. Book early if you want to ‘Stay and Play’ at the Ibis connected to the Diggers.

August on the Central Coast is such beautiful perfect weather — warm days and cools nights. Anything is possible! We’d love you to be there! Please tell your friends, and thank you for keeping music LIVE!

 

 

The 10th annual Melbourne Ukulele Festival (MUF) was held over the weekend of 16 &17 March 2019, with over 40 acts performing, along with open mic sessions, workshops and play-along sessions.

MUF, under the stewardship of Festival Director, Dean Denham, has always sought to challenge the expectations of what a ukulele festival program should contain, as evidenced by this year’s headliners — Mr Silla, a duo from Iceland and Germany, who gave us an epic effects-heavy performance with stunning vocals.

Icelandic Duo, Mr Silla, joined on stage by members of the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, MUF 2019. Photo by Nick Pitsas

Other stand-outs were the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective covering Lou Reed’s “Transformer” album, the joyous Tyrone and Lesley, and new discovery, gushingly charming The Grubby Urchins, who closed the weekend with a delightful set of slightly twisted folk and sea shanties.

Chrissy Hogarth and friends. Photo by Nick Pitsas

All the attendees I spoke to seemed to have different favourite acts. There were a bunch of fantastic community groups as well as a couple of school groups. So there was plenty for everyone’s tastes, and always plenty of great new performers to chance upon.

Plus, it’s always fantastic to catch up with old friends and meet lots of new ones — it’s always a very social event.

Helen Begley from Chicks with Picks leading a workshop. Photo by Nick Pitsas.

The festival has varied in size and scale over the years according to the resources and funding available, and this year’s event was perhaps towards the more compact end of the scale, but the music was better than ever. Planning for next year’s festival is already under way, with a fresh new committee coming together, so look out for information on Melbourne Ukulele Festival’s Facebook page and website!

By Bernard from The Brass Traps & MUK, and a MUF Committee member

Aloha! Come to the Central Coast Ukulele & Folk Festival. August on the Central Coast is such beautiful perfect weather — warm days and cool nights. Anything is possible!

2019 will another exciting year. ‘Application to perform‘ forms are now available. Applications close on 30 June 2019.

To submit applications to perform or make inquiries please phone Liz 0412837007 or email info@centralcoastukuleleclub.com. The full program will be available once all acts are in.

 

The 6th annual Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival (11-14 April 2019) is set to bring a ukulele feast to the Kenilworth Showgrounds in the beautiful Mary Valley town of Kenilworth, Queensland.

International, interstate and local artists will perform and teach their own unique styles of fabulous music and songs, all on the little ukulele, now the most played instrument world-wide.

Be inspired by UK sensations, Ukebox (https://www.ukeboxband.co.uk/), and USA solo artist, Victoria Vox (https://www.victoriavox.com/).

Brisbane performers and workshop presenters feature greatly in the program — Vic Kena, The CAGE, Free Range chUKES, Hint of Rosemary, Kine Kool, BFG, Hypnotonics, Duke Ukem, Ukulele Saints, Mama Juju and the Jam Tarts, Miss Elm and Donna & Derek Farrell.

There’ll be lots of great workshops to suit all standards of ukulele playing, and workshops on singing, dancing and drumming.

 

This year’s special event is the Mary Valley Rattler train ride to Gympie and back, playing ukuleles and singing all the way. There’s great anticipation and
excitement for everyone going on this trip. Other activities include the annual songwriting competition, open mic sessions at the Kenilworth Hotel and spontaneous jam sessions popping up all over the place.

The joy of singing and playing ukulele in groups of like-minded people of all ages, race & gender is incomparable. It brings people together for the love of making music and singing like nothing else does. Everyone is welcome to come along. Bring your tent or caravan, or come for a day trip.

For ticket and site bookings and other festival information go to website.

Contact: Lynne White
Email: sunshinecoastukulelefest@gmail.com
Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival
Sunshine Coast Ukulele Masters Inc
Phone: Lynne 0412 851 286 or Geoff 0412 808 500

Been to the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival? The experience is unique. In its 10th year, the multi-award winning event, is held at Katoomba NSW, in and around the iconic Carrington Hotel.

Tom Richter from Maleny Ukulele tells about this year’s experience.

Maleny Ukulele at the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival

Some went by road, in caravans and motorhomes (or cars unconnected to mobile habitation), running down the Newell or the New England or the Pacific Highways. Some flew and jumped a train up from Sydney. All were in connection via social media, comparing the attractions of Coonabarabran versus Glen Innes versus Grafton.

Assembling at Katoomba Falls Tourist Park (booked well in advance to ensure adjoining sites), various activities were planned (hiking, mountain biking, sight-seeing, partying, lazing around), practice sessions were scheduled, song endings were altered, complaints were filed about song endings being altered, and a general ‘feel of the place’ was obtained.

The Ukulele festival, run by the Blue Mountains Ukulele Group (Blue MUGs), is held annually in and around the heritage-listed Carrington Hotel in Katoomba, with workshops taking place in the Cultural Centre. Getting around the venue is easy, and there are many restaurants and eateries within a short walk.

On the Friday night, a gentle easing in to the festival occurred, including jamming with the host group from their popular songbooks. Saturday was the main day of the festival, and our own Tom Richter conducted a jam-packed workshop in the morning.

Tom Richter leads sellout workshop at BMUF, 2019.

He also played a solo set at the City Bank Bar (with assistance on uke and vocal harmonies from some of the very talented MU members).

Maleny Ukulele’s own set was the closing slot at the Baroque Night Club. Assembling in the very cosy green room, ukes were tuned, straps were adjusted, flowers were applied to hair, last-minute questions were whispered, and then we were announced by Unkle Cyril, our wonderfully eccentric MC. As we launched into our first song, we knew it was going to be great. The sound was amazing, the crowd was transfixed, and we were on fire (doesn’t always happen). Although they knew there was a ‘no-encore’ policy, the crowd bayed for one anyway.

Maleny Ukulele performs at BMUF, 2019.

I thoroughly recommend the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival. The setting is sublime, the festival well-run and the acts (although no international mega-stars) are very good. Take some time either side of the festival if you can, because it is a long way to travel and there is so much to see and do in the beautiful Blue Mountains.

Tom Richter
Maleny Ukulele

City Hall

A ukin’ great time – 12-14 October

Unseasonal weather

Ging, Marg and Lori rug up for the unseasonal weather.

Ukuleles at the Winery was held over three days in October at Mountview Wines in Glen Aplin, 10 mins south of Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt.
This was the 8th event of its kind and it’s proving to be more popular each time.

While the weather was not too kind to us, with cooler temps around 13 and interment showers most of the weekend, the cellar door fire and the beautiful wines of Mountview keep everyone warm and spirits high.

With many vans, tents and cars arriving early on the Thursday, we saw the festival kick off early with some impromptu jams and lots of catch up hugs and laughs. Friday and Saturday were filled with strum and play sessions, workshops of all kinds and jams sessions to practice for open mic.

Lyn Lucas and David Pedler

Friday beginners workshop was in the very capable hands of David Pedler with some help from his trusty side kick Lyn Lucas. David produced a one-page guide so that participants could take home some info. The workshop was well received and lots of fun. Spreading the love of uke …

BPUPS

George Mroz and the Browns Plains Uke Players (BPUPS)

This festival saw many regulars and also some new faces which added to the mix on open mic night, lots of new talent with everyone remarking what a great night was had by all.

Saturday workshops proved popular with some new skills shown and learnt. Learning to write a song with John Nicholson, was fantastic and terrific fun. Participants had a great time with this workshop.

Lee Williams, a very accomplished and professional muso, was pleased by the number of people who attended his Uke Tips and Tricks workshop, and inspired by their skill levels. Roger led a bluegrass workshop that included bluegrass, 12 bar blues and circle of fifths. Lots of great info there.

Phil Holloway

Phil Holloway led a workshop

Phil showed us how to use a capo. This was interesting and very informative for those who hadn’t used one before.

 

 

Rowena and Hans did a wonderful job in the learn a song workshop. Within an hour, participants learnt a new song to perform at open mic. They were great!

Rowena & Hans workshop

Rowena & Hans workshop

Early Sunday morning we had a quite memorial for an original Uke Fest friend, June Baran. A rose was planted in June’s memory, we shared fond memories, and sang a few of June’s favourite songs.

Remembering June

A moving tribute to June

Sunday morning also bought some local Glen Aplin banjo, bass and mandolin players to jam with everyone in the cellar door with some gospel songs.

Blue Grass Jam

Sunday morning Blue Grass Jam.

Leading the morning jam were Roger Sherack in checkshirt playing Uke Local Stanthope muso’s Dave on banjo, Rob on mandolin Dave’s wife on double bass. The morning Blue Grass jam was a huge hit.

Most people enjoyed the onsite catering with meals $ 5 pp/ This option left everyone free to enjoy company, wines and some uke playing.

Thanks to everyone to came along and made our October 2018 Ukes in the Winery such a special event.

For those of you who’d like to join the fun, Ukes at the Winery is held twice a year. The next event is in March 2019, date yet to be released.

Angela and David McGrath

Thank you very much Leona Counsell for sending us this video.

BUMS Inc has made a significant contribution to the Bulimba Uke Fest (BUF) since its inception in 2017. Based at the Bulimba Golf Club, the festival is a day-long event of  ukulele workshops and performances.

The 2nd annual Bulimba ukulele festival was in full swing on Sunday 21 October with another great turn out including many familiar faces from BUMS. The program features both amateur and professional performers.

Corey, Jo and Marg having hula fun at Bulimba.

This year’s festival had an Elvis theme and featured some great performances and workshops including one by BUMS’ very own Julie Minto with her band Mama Juju & The Jam Tarts.

Mama Juju’s workshop was first class and covered All Shook Up by Elvis, and their popular blues song Suitcase Full Of Songs. Julie took us through the song from the beginning, adding embellishments (including rundowns, hammers on and hammers off) as the lesson progressed. The workshop was backed up with a hand out and a YouTube link for us to play along with when we got home.

I thoroughly enjoyed performing at BUF as part of a trio from South Brisbane Mens Shed. The other members were Brian Massey on lead vocals and ukulele, and Eric Hammond on cajón and backing vocals. We played a set of five songs, and were well received.

South Brisbane Mens Shed trio, Brian, Dave and Eric at Bulimba

The BUMS junior band, Free Range chUKES contributed to the Elvis theme by playing a fantastic medley of gospel songs and The Song of the Shrimp, complete with shrimp antennae and round black eye headbands. Our junior ukers enjoyed the festival … and the food.

There were lots of other familiar faces including the biggest band of the day, Budgies from the Bulimba daytime ukulele group, and evening performances by accomplished solo performers, Caroline Hammond  and Vic Kena.

Budgies, the Bulimba daytime ukulele group, performing at Bulimba Uke Fest, 2018.

All in all it was a great festival, Sandra and Sean did a stellar job hosting the event which was sponsored by Shannon Harvey of Place Estate Agents, Bulimba. It was good to see all their hard work pay off with such an enthusiastic turn out.

Dave Charles
SPRUKE 2019 Festival Director

The BFG- BUMS Supergroup to perform a Uke Opera at Newkulele 2019

The biennial Newkulele Festival is on Friday 19 October 2018 — Sunday 21 October 2018. Newkulele is the sister festival to our SPRUKE Festival (they have the even year and we have the odd). This year we are excited that there is a significant contingent of BUMS off to perform and represent Brisbane.

The BFG (BUMS Festival Group) have been arranging, preparing and rehearsing for many months. They’ve created a Uke Opera, maybe the first ever! A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story of eleven songs woven together by a narrator.   It’s a tale full of emotion, love, frustration, anger, craziness, sorrow, joy, and violence! How will it all end? Will our hero and heroine end up like the tragic Shakespearean couple? What has the Goodwill Bridge got to do with it all?

The BFG members come from many of the BUMS performing bands. NUMB BUMS, Ukulele Saints, the CAGE, and Hypnotonics with a  narrator of great stature, our alpha BUM and President Max Borchardt.

See these BUMS at Newkulele

  • Ukulele Saints —  Sat 20 Oct in the Hunter Room 10:10 – 10:30 am
  • Hypnotonics —  Sat 20 Oct in the Cocert Hall 11:00 – 11:30 am
  • BFG Uke Opera — Sat 20 Oct in the Concert Hall 2:10 – 2:40 pm

Get all the Newkulele news www.newkulelefestival.com

Download the Newkulele Program

We have a very special repeat performance of the Uke Opera at the October Northside Jam on the special night Tuesday 30 October. This is the only other performance of the Uke Opera … ever … so if you didn’t get to Newkulele Festival don’t miss it! More info here 

Check out the BFG in rehearsal for Newkulele 2018