Squeeze in a bonus jam this year!

All BUMS Inc financial members are invited to attend the inaugural AGM Jam Sandwich  on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at the Coorparoo Bowls Club.

Enjoy two juicy sets of jamming with a thin slice of AGM proceedings between!
To top off this ukulele feast, and there’ll be refreshments! It all kicks off at 6:30 pm.

You’ll meet fellow BUMS members, find out what BUMS has achieved with you, and for you, in the last 12 months, and get a chance to butter-up the 2019 – 2020 Management Committee!

So, make sure you’re financial  (membership still only $50 after all these years) … put Wednesday 30 October in your calendar now, and make sure you’re there.

NOTE: All Management Committee positions are declared vacant, and nominations are always welcome. Please consider volunteering for the committee. It’s a great way to give back to your community, and to bring fresh ideas our Society. For more information on this, or any management committee role, contact Judy at secretary@brisbaneukulele.com

On Saturday 15 June¸ thirty-one budding enthusiasts attended a Bluegrass workshop at the Zillmere Community Hall.

Full concentration

Tony Richardson was the presenter together with his noble assistant¸ Cath McCourt.



The topics covered included the origin of, and the basics of, traditional bluegrass music; how to best play bluegrass on your ukulele;  some of the methods to achieve that style; and proper etiquette should one wish to join in with a bluegrass jam in session.

These topics were explained along with some elementary music theory and some well worded advice on how we should each tune our particular musical instrument to embrace the bluegrass style of music.

A jam session was then enjoyed by everyone.  Tony explained the difference between our usual jamming technique, and led us through how those songs should be played bluegrass style.

A joyous workshop, enjoyed by all.

On behalf of all who attended thank you, Tony and Cath.  As those who recently attended Kennilworth will attest¸ you definitely were not an inconvenience.

John Fitzgibbon

Ross Clark and Helena Bond brought the Daylight Moon passion and creativity to their June workshop as they shared a range of strumming and fingerstyle techniques for bringing your music alive.

The Ukulele Upgrade Workshop was attended by quite a few enthusiastic uke players who learnt some interesting strumming and finger picking techniques to shake up an old favourite, “You are my Sunshine”. Thanks Helena for changing the words to make this song far more interesting and for singing it so beautifully.  Thank you both for an enjoyable and educational morning. David & Lyn

Check out the technique and practise video for “You are my Moonshine” on the BUMS Inc Facebook site. https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneUkulele/videos/2235482766762725/

Win a double pass to Bobby Alu


Congratulations to our WINNER Lyn Cook. Thank you to all who entered and to The Sound Pound for the double pass.

Byron Bay ukulele player Bobby Alu is on tour and is playing an all ages afternoon show in Brisbane Sunday 9 June.
Entries closed midnight Sunday 2 June 2019.


Anyone familiar with a Bobby Alu live experience has witnessed the ease with which the Australian-Samoan moves from strumming blissfully away on his ukulele to raising the roof with a energetic percussion sequences, complete with traditional log drums.

Join Bobby and band for a cruisy afternoon at

Loft West End- 100 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4101
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Sunday June 9.

All ages welcome – U18 with a parent/guardian. Lift access and seating available for anyone who needs.

Tickets available from https://bobbyalu.com


“I’d be doing you an injustice if I didn’t suggest investing some time
and money into listening to or seeing Bobby Alu live.” – The AU Review

“Alu’s folk sound is a delightful array of feel good vibes” – EARMILK

“clever, catchy, breezy pop with an unmistakably beachy feel.” – Double J

Get tickets in this bright RED Flight TUS35 travel soprano with a black soft case (RRP $80), and matching BUMS pom-pom hat and scarf set crafted by our very own Amanda Allwood (Hypnotonics).

Plastic Fantastic! Built unapologetically from plastic, the sound quality of these ukuleles will blow you away, and their durability will make them Keith Richards’ instrument of choice after Armageddon hits. These ukes are perfect for rainy festivals, cramped overhead lockers, snowy adventures and summer swims.

Thanks to a wider arched ABS back, this baby has more volume in middle range than your average soprano, while also resonating better and sounding brighter. It is needless to mention the durability and resistance to humidity changes, the main enemies of the wooden ukuleles.

You’ll be the envy of all your friends as you strum up a storm on your Flight soprano travel uke, while keeping warm and toasty in your brilliant BUMS beanie and scarf!

Tickets $2 ea or 3 for $5 are available at major jams (Coorparoo, Ferny Grove, Northside and Toowong).

The raffle will be drawn at the Coorparoo Big Uke Jam on Wednesday 7 August 2019.

Thank you to our long-term supporters, Music Express Mt Gravatt, for contributing to the prize!


The Royal Mail Ukulele Group (RMUG) calls the Royal Mail Hotel (92 Brisbane Tce, Goodna) its home.

Andrew Café, the current publican, wanted to diversify what the pub could offer the community from bass guitar and harmonica to ukulele lessons.

Vic Kena

Vic Kena was engaged by Cath Butler, a celebrated band promoter, and Dot Gollner put her hand up to be the coordinator. In July this year the group will celebrate its 4th birthday. Vic’s own career in solo ukulele playing has him busier than ever, so we now only have him on the 1st Sunday of each month to teach us and challenge us. Everyone is welcome.

Vic’s first big challenge for us was to perform at the pub in October 2016 for the 30th anniversary of Andrew’s management. Vic led us in our first ever performance and the crowd was so supportive and we had so much fun it inspired us to carry on. Jeni Bush has become our Musical Director after joining the group in time for our first performance and serving an apprenticeship with Vic. Jeni now runs all the other performances and jams.

The first performance on our own was to fulfill a BUMS Inc gig request for the school fete at St Francis Xavier State School, Goodna. It was a little daunting to fill in two hours, but after we got going we found our voices, and really learned how to play and sing loudly. The theme was “country”, so we came up with a set of songs like “Home among the Gum Trees”. But we were really nervous and not really very country. It wasn’t until we started playing our jam songs that we were able to loosen up and enjoy ourselves.

RMUG performing at St Francis Xavier School Fete, 2017.

Somebody at work sent a SPRUKE notice to Jeni, and with Vic’s help we planned for and practised for SPRUKE 2017. Jeni led us through the performance and although our stage presence was a little underwhelming we nailed all the songs and engaged with the audience and had an amazing day. We performed first thing Sunday morning, so it was lucky we brought our own crowd.

For our next performance, Vic organised and directed us to perform at the Yeronga State School fete, by this time we were old hands so we just rocked up and had some fun.

We’ve played all the Christmas gigs at “The Mail” in the last three years, changing our set of songs and honing our stage craft skills by jamming most Sundays. We play a variety of folk tunes such as Pearly Shells, Dirty Old Town, She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain, or covers like CCR – Bad Moon Rising, Beatles – Eight Days a Week, Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues, Elvis – Wise Men, The Mavericks – Dance the Night Away, Roger Miller – King of the Road and Pete Seeger – Where have all the Flowers Gone.

Our core members are Jeni, Dot, Judy, Jimmy, Vicki, Shu-Wha, Janice and Barry, Alan and Anna, Kath, Juliana, Max and Margaret.

Jeni has sent in the application for SPRUKE 2019, so now we will prepare our set and practise our songs ready to rock and roll. We are all looking forward to performing again particularly at the new venue. Keep an eye out for us and come and join in as we will perform and do a jam song with you.


On the final night of SPRUKE 2017, I received a call saying, “You won, you won.”

What had I won? I had won a cruise, which was to be an ukulele cruise from Brisbane to Cairns on a P&O ship offered by Hello World Travel at Katoomba.

What a great prize!

After a week or two, I was contacted by the wonderful, Suzanne McBride, who said that they may not be able to fill the Cairns cruise, so could they offer me a 10 night New Zealand cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship in a Ocean View cabin.  I realised that the NZ cruise left from Sydney, so Suzanne said that they would cover the air fares to Sydney.

Wow! How good was that! I accepted their wonderful offer.

My wife, Sue, and I were very excited.

The cruise was to leave Sydney on 6 April, 2018. On 3 April, we were packed and ready to leave when we received the devastating news that the ship had broken down and was heading to dry dock, the cruise was cancelled.

The travel insurance company refused to refund the travel insurance, as this was a Royal Caribbean problem. Poor Suzanne’s hard work was for nothing .

Royal Caribbean refunded the cost of the cruise to the travel company and gave us vouchers for around $3,000 for a future cruise.

After a few months, Suzanne from Hello World (who were now iTalk Travel) contacted us to let us know that a new Ukulele Cruise to NZ was being organised, and asked whether we would like to use our vouchers. We did, so the new cruise was to be a 9-night cruise to New Zealand on a balcony suite leaving 5 March, 2019.

We organised to fly down the afternoon before departure, and stayed at a hotel near Hyde Park.

Next morning we headed to Circular Quay, and we were through customs and on board ship well before midday and had lunch on board.

Our accommodation was on deck 7 overlooking the Opera House.

We went to the compulsory drill and before we knew it we were heading out to sea.

That afternoon we collected our show bags from iTalk Travel which had a number of items in it including special Ukulele Cruise lanyards. As we didn’t know what would be in the bags, my wife had already purchased a lanyard on the way in.

I had booked dining, so we went and had dinner on a pretty rough sea. But the ship was big enough to handle the waves with ease. Sleeping however was a little more difficult as the ship kept rolling us from side to side.

Next day there was a morning lesson and an afternoon play-along, followed by a cocktail party for the Ukulele Cruise members.

Suzanne McBride (iTalk Travel) & Rob at the Ukulele Cruise Cocktail Party

Morning lessons and afternoon play-alongs were scheduled for every sea day of the cruise.

I found that the skill levels were too wide to keep most people’s attention for the whole time, some lessons suited the beginners and at other times, beginners would have been lost.

As for the afternoon play-along, this was one of my most anticipated activities. Unfortunately, every session was oriented to a final day concert rather than a simple, pick-a-song and play it. As I was often tired in the afternoon, I missed the first couple of play-alongs, so when I did attend, I found that the group was actually rehearsing for the concert, and I had missed two rehearsals. I found that to be disappointing.

First stop was the Bay of Islands, and I had decided to stay on board and use some of my drinks package which was only affordable due to $120 of onboard credit. (I would just purchase the coffee card next time). The problem was that most of the bars on board were closed on port days.

Auckland was poring rain, but at Tauranga, the weather was perfect. We had booked to visit Hobbiton and it was magical, perfect place, perfect day.

Rob & Sue at Hobbiton, April 2019

Next stop was Napier where many of the buildings were rebuilt in Art Deco style after a serious earthquake in 1931. Interesting buildings, including an Art Deco McDonalds, and we did a tour which took us up to a high peak where you can see for kilometres.

Last day in NZ was Picton in the Marlborough sounds. It was raining again so I stayed on board.

The highlight was the concert in the main theatre. Playing and singing on a slightly pitching deck was hard work, but oh, so much fun and we sounded great.

Rob performing onboard the Ukulele Cruise ship in the end of cruise concert.

Some of the audience which numbered over 300, suggested that we were better than some of the paid entertainers.

NZ Ukulele Cruise group on stage.

Would I go on a cruise again? Only if it left from Brisbane.

Would I go on an Ukulele cruise again? Probably not, I am not in the camp of those that live to learn and play every waking moment. I am in the more relaxed group that would just like to play well with friends. It was a great prize and overall we are very thankful for the opportunity to have experienced it.

The end of the 2018-2019 financial year is on our doorstep … and BUMS Inc membership fees of $50 will be due on 1 July 2019.
Payment Options are described on


For new members … the bargain of the year is pay for the 2019-2020 financial year in May 2019 and get May & June free! Download the membership application form today. And visit our Membership Payments webpage for advice on how to pay.

What’s in it for you?

Membership fees are used to maintain our performance and jam audio visual gear, hire venues, offer jams, concerts and workshops, and run our biennial ukulele festival, SPRUKE.

And FOR YOU, it means …

  • Free entry to BUMS Inc monthly jams
  • Discounts at a range of BUMS Inc workshops and concerts – See the workshops coming up in May (baritone) and June (strumming, bluegrass) 2019.
  • The right to vote at general meetings, and to nominate for positions on the society’s management committee
  • Eligibility to be promoted on our ukulele performers and ukulele teachers web pages
  • Eligibility to sell your old uke via our website or social media when you upgrade your uke.


Please note that as incorporated body, our management committee has a legislated responsibility to keep accurate up-to-date membership records. Help us to get it right.

Please complete a BUMS Membership Renewal Form to confirm your contact details. If you renew by bank transfer, and email your renewal form to treasurer@brisbaneukulele.com with your transaction record. Or, if you renew at a jam, fill in a renewal form at the members’ sign-in desk.

Amanda & Zoè’s Birthday Extravaganza

This year, two of our BUMS Festival Group (BFG) members, Amanda Allwood and Zoë Watson, celebrated their birthdays at the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival.

BUMS had a large number of performers and workshop presenters at SCUF this year. Hypnotonics, the BFG, Donna & Derek Farrell, Girt By C, Miss Elm, The CAGE, Duke Uke’m, Free Range chUKES, Kine Kool, Mama Juju, The Cage, Hint of Rosemary, Duo-Ver, The Inconvenience Store, Ukulele Saints, Vic Kena, and members of Redlands City Ukes!

Amanda and Zoe’s birthday was the perfect opportunity for many of them to get together at the local to share the celebration.

Amanda & Zoe’s birthday extravaganza

I was humbled by the sheer number of BUMS and others who wished us well, sang us happy birthday and even used Happy Birthday as their sound check song! Thank you one and all for making it a day to remember!” said Amanda.


It was a great night with Queensland’s Gypsy Rumble performing at Samuel Gray’s on Saturday 30 May. Quite a crowd turned out at the restaurant. Maybe fifty BUMS stayed for the whole three-hour show, while a few others drifted slowly away.

Gypsy Rumble at Samual Grays, Mar 2019

The group presented a three terrific sets of mostly originals from their CD like ‘Ode to Gin’, ‘Drunk’, ‘Looking Away’, and ‘Hank’,and a few covers. Tim was on tenor uke and banjo, Emily on bari uke and violin, and Nick on drums, and all band members sang vocals. During the 10-min breaks between sets, we queued up for CDs and autographs.

Audience participation was encouraged, with dancing, clapping and foot-stamping throughout. The audience also had some vocal input as an African choir, when Gypsy Rumble performed ‘Diamonds on Sole of Shoes’, and a quieter one, ‘Into my Arms’. I put in a request for their GPS song, ‘Heading in Wrong Direction’, which they’d performed at Lefties, when Death Squad was in town.

Lesley Allen give Gypsy Rumble the thumbs up.

Towards end of night, it was ‘Vegetarian Christmas’, all up for dance. And we tried to do a polka to ‘Thong’.

Their final song was ‘Monkey Rumble’, with 95% of audience up on dance floor or around tables. It was followed by an encore, called ‘Son of a Bitch’?
If you miss Gypsy Rumble at Albany Creek in March, or at Kenilworth for April’s Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival, perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to see them at SPRUKE in September.

Thank you to the owners and staff of Samual Grays for hosting the event.

Lesley Allen

Samual Grays – Great food, great service, great venue.