The next cab off the rank in our jam feature series is … WE BUMS JAM!

Hope on Boundary — Home of WE BUMS.

That’s the West End folks —  on the 2nd Friday of the month.

It’s at a place called “Hope on Boundary Cafe” at 170 Boundary St West End.

That’s in Boundary Street, just up from the Vulture Street intersection heading towards Highgate Hill.

It’s licensed, it sells coffee and food, and it’s got a relaxed pleasant décor.

What else could you ask for? Music of course!

The WE BUMS jam is not new. It’s an oldie. It was started by a couple called Geoff and Francesca (everyone calls her Cesca) over 8 years ago at the Blackstar Café in Thomas Street, West End. It ran there until 2017, when they decided to move to the current address in Boundary Street.

The Venue

The current venue has an interesting history, which also provides a little insight into some previous confusion over where the jam is, which is why I highlighted the name and address.

This café itself was started by a not-for-profit organisation called Micah Projects, which provides hands-on work opportunities in the hospitality industry for those facing barriers to employment. The original café was set up in Hope Street, South Brisbane. But the organisation also opened up this second café in Boundary Street, West End.

I don’t know about you, but the word “serendipitous” comes to mind about a café to help the unemployed starting up in Hope Street.

The Jam

WE BUMS jam has a history of being small and intimate. It also has a record of running with a theme for the night, for example “rain” or “sea”. Cesca said it was a great way of learning a new repertoire of songs.

A quiet cosy night at WE BUMS.

Anyway, Geoff and Cesca needed a break, so they came to see Max – I think it was about a year ago. Geoff and Cesca still have their fingers in the pie, and are happy to step back in and give Max a break if he needs one. I think Max has set up a roster, and you risk getting a big slobbery kiss from our Presidento if you offer to lead a WE BUMS set.

But, hey, why not? Give him a call.

So, WE BUMS is an acoustic jam, set up in the outdoor area in front of the café. It’s a delightful venue with a (wait for it) casual tropical feel again. You come straight into the jam off the street, so it attracts the odd passer-by.

El Presidento runs the show.

There were about 20 people there on a balmy summer night for my visit in February. You can tell from the shirt that Max is wearing that it’s not a black tie affair.

The good thing about a small group like this is that you don’t have to follow a script … and guess what … we certainly didn’t. Many’s the time we said let’s skip that for now, that’s too hard, we’ll do that one later, or let’s stop to get a beer. Steve Sandilands was there to help us keep rhythm, sing in tune, and add a bit of fun and devil-may-care to everything we did.

 

What did we sing? (What didn’t we sing, more like it.) The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Blame it on the Bossa Nova, Sway, Love Potion No. 9, Mac the Knife, Everly Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Belafonte, Hank Williams etc. It was a good old singalong. We all sang lustily, and had a good time. It’s a great way to finish a hard week’s yakka. And surprisingly, I didn’t have too much trouble getting a park there.

Geoff Dancer

What a great time was had by all at the introduction to ukulele night put on by Morris Brothers Music, BUMS and Linda’s Uke‘N’Sing. There were about 140 beginners attending. It was a great place to start for people with no or limited knowledge as the information was simple and clear — so easy to follow. At the start we were taught what all the bits on the ukulele were called, how to hold it and all the essential things like that. We quickly moved on though, and were playing our first song within 10 minutes from the start!

The songs to follow were a good selection of quick to master songs. The music and lyrics were projected onto a large screen at the front of the room, making it easy to see and follow along.

Linda & Paul with lyrics on the big screen.

The enthusiasm and joy buzzing around the room was infectious,” said Pam one of the participants. Linda who was leading the class had an easy manner, and an all inclusive way to make sure everyone got something out of the session. Linda and Paul (who was also running the class) worked very well together and clearly loved what they were doing.

Linda demonstrates chord shape.

We had several breaks for people to rest their fingers, have a drink, ask questions and chat with other beginners. The age range of the participants was from school-aged children to retirees, and everything in-between. Everyone was keen to learn and have fun.

There were many volunteers from BUMS on hand to give support to the beginners with things like tuning, finger placement, strumming and other tips. Morris Brothers Music had a pop-up shop with all things ukulele, so any necessary purchases could be made, and advice given.

At the end of the evening, although many had sore fingers, the enthusiasm was still buzzing and the nerves had been replaced with a feeling of achievement.

Over 140 Ferny Grove beginners & BUMS volunteers, Feb 2019

What a wonderful night, such enthusiastic teachers and learners. We had such fun and were playing songs from the beginning!” said J.H.

It was a great night and I have learnt so much,” said H.E. ‘We had a lovely night. I would recommend it to everyone. It won’t disappoint!” said V.N.

Margaret Zordan

A few fortunate Brisbane ukelists took advantage of Cathy Welsford and Angie Smith’s (The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach) Strummin’ the Rhythm, Pickin’ the Tune week-long Camp Creative course on 14-18 January 2019 at Bellingen Public School.

Combined strummers and pickers group

Lesley Allan reports …

First I wish to say we had great tutors, Angie & Cathy, who encouraged us no end, throughout a very hot week. We had 22 in the Strummers & Pickers course, and split up on the first day into a strummers group and a pickers group, to about 11 in each class. The entry level was early Intermediate, so there was a variety of skills in each class. I think the pickers might have been more experienced, but we came together,  for a couple of hours each day, to combine what we had learnt.

Cathy taught us basic good tone technique, mainly C scale, but also Major & Minor Pentatonic & Blues Scales, progressing to other scales, using same patterns. Did some work on varied 12 bar blues, especially last day, or when we were brain-tired. Cathy also brought in some good ukulele books for technique practice, and gave us recommendation on those we might choose to buy.
We did three performances, with the last one being the final concert, where a lot of groups performed, to show what we learnt in five days.

Cathy leading joint rehearsal

Our first was lunch time, songs being San Francisco Bay Blues, Let’s get a Cow, Camp Creative Song & Witch Doctor, mainly strumming with some finger-picking on chords.

The next concert was late afternoon at a local park, so a good show-off for the town. First was orchestrated When September Ends, so pickers did either an ostinato, or the melody, with strumming and singing, over that. Then we strummed Happy Earth, followed by picking & strumming Heel & Toe Polka, while the crowd joined in by dancing.

At the final concert, we did Tequila, picking & strumming, and a medley of Aussie songs.

Most of the group camped at the show-grounds, so we got to know our fellow ukers, and we were ferried around to the schools by a free bus, or we could choose to walk. So heaps of opportunity for exercise, we were also next to the Bellinger River, so could swim there or at the local pool.

I think there might have been about 900 campers, and another 70 or so staying close by, so Camp Creative is a big influx of culture to the town.

The next cab off the rank in our jam feature series is … FERNY GROVE JAM!

The Ferny Grove Beginners Jam will celebrate its 5 Year anniversary in May 2019. It goes from 7pm until 9pm on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. It was started by Paul Morris (from Morris Brothers) and Linda Gough (from Ivory Frets Music), and they’re still going strong – maybe 60 people there on 16 January. Andrew Hunt also deserves a mention for looking after the projector for the night.

What did Santa give you for Christmas? Socks, you say? Well, I can tell you what Santa gave a lot of people who were at the Ferny Grove Jam on Wednesday night 16 January this year … a Ukulele!

Donna teaching the beginners group the basics.

That’s right folks. Donna Farrell had her hands full with many absolute beginners. I don’t know how she does it, but she had all these newcomers strumming away merrily and contributing to a song by the end of the session. Dianne Davis and Donna Farrell’s group gets underway at 6pm, before the main jam.

January 2019 Ferny Grove Jam

We are close to Australia Day (as I write this review), so it will come as no surprise that there was an Oz theme. We started off with ‘Waltzing Mathilda’ and finished the night with ‘I am Australian’. Incidentally Bruce Woodley from the Seekers was one of the co-writers of this wonderful song. The other co-writer was Dobe Newton from the Bushwackers, and I saw and heard Dobe Newton do this song with the Bushwackers on New Year’s Eve at Woodford Folk Festival,

It will also come as no surprise that we did a couple of Slim Dusty songs – ‘Pub with no Beer’ and ‘Love to Have a Singalong with Paul and Linda’ (I just modified that to see if anyone reads this). To round off the Aussie theme, we also did Peter Allen’s evocative song from afar ‘I still Call Australia Home’, and James Blundell’s ‘Living and Working on the Land’. Some of these songs strike a poignant note with the hardships of drought and heatwave conditions in the bush that we have now.

What makes a good selection of songs for a jam? Well, there surely has be variety and Paul and Linda put together a mixed bag of songs for a singalong: Some Rock ‘n Roll – ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ (The Beatles), ‘Rocking Robyn’ (written by Leon Rene), “Da Doo Ron Ron’ (The Crystals). Some pop with ‘Loco-Motion’ (Originally co-written by the inimitable Carole King), and ‘Ring, Ring’ (ABBA).

Linda & Paul leading the jam. Note the chord charts on the wall behind them.

And they also included a range of songs that test the tonsils: ‘Mull of Kintyre’ (Wings), ‘Top of the World’ (Carpenters), and ‘I Only Want to be With You’(Dusty Springfield). You could test if you could reach high notes in ‘Una Paloma Blanca’ (George Baker), particularly right at the end of the song where it goes up yet another level to Nitrogen giggle level (for me).

There was also a couple of more challenging songs, including ‘Logical Song’ (Supertramp). This is a personal favourite of mine, but the original recording has lots of keyboard from Roger Hodgson and orchestration in the British rock tradition. It worked out a treat, which goes to show you can do just about anything on a uke if you know what you are doing. Donna and Derek Farrell also stretched themselves, both vocally (Donna) and finger-picking wise (Derek), with a cover of the Jazz standard ‘I Can’t Give you Anything But Love’ (John Lloyd Young) during a break. Singers of the pedigree of Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Frankie Valli have recorded this song.

Derek & Donna Farrell

It was a good night. I’m sure everyone who was there enjoyed themselves.
By the way, Linda’s Uke’n’Sing classes at the Ferny Grove Bowls Club will be beginning shortly. To find out more information, call 0431 391 888.

Off to a flying start … mastered C, F & G7 and looking for more?

Build your strength and confidence and master a new set of chords at Brisbane Ukulele Bootcamp’s free beginners’ course on 13 & 20 March 2019 at the Bulimba BCC Library.

The chords we’ll in this course are A,  A7, Am, Am7, C, C6, C7, Cmaj7, D, D7, Dm, E7, F, G, and G7.

Please register via Trybooking. Registrations close 7:00 pm on Friday 8 March 2019. Bookings are for two sessions. Only register if you are available for both sessions. The group size is limited to 24 participants. If you miss out, please add your name and contact details to our waiting list in case of cancellations. Find out more.

Linda Gough and Paul Morris present their annual Free Ukulele Beginner Night.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 6 February
Ferny Grove Bowls, Sports & Community Club
20 Tramway Street, Ferny Grove.

The evening is sponsored by Morris Brothers Music Store & Linda’s Uke ‘n’ Sing. Ukuleles will be for sale on the night.

No bookings required, just turn up with your ukulele and tuner. 

AND to follow on from the free night …

Linda’s Uke ‘n’ Sing
6-week Beginner Course $100

Monday Nights 7:00-8:00 pm
Starting on 11 February 2019.

or

Tuesday Afternoons 1:00-2:00pm
Starting on 12 February 2019.

Please ring Linda on 0431 391 888 to book into the 6-week course, or find out more.

BUMS Summer Raffle

Oh, what fun!

All you need for a ukulele

day at the beach.

  • Clear Waterman ukulele
  • Black gig bag
  • Neck strap
  • Hat
  • Beach towel
  • Carry bag

Tickets $2 or 3 for $5

Tickets on sale throughout January at BUMS
Coorparoo, Ferny Grove, Northside & Toowong Daytime jams.

Value: $70

Drawn Saturday 2 March at BUMS Trivia Night, Coorparoo Bowls Club.

 

Trevor Gollagher is kicking off 2019 with this exciting project to promote Australian ukulele musicians around the country and overseas and has invited BUMS members to take part. Is your dream in 2019 to record a CD? Being included on the The Australian Ukulele Volume 1 CD will be a fantastic way to get your music out to a greater audience.

Many BUMS know Trevor as half of the Gollagher Ross duo who have recorded many CD’s and performed at SPRUKE Festival. He is also a ukulele teacher, specialist and author of a couple of ukulele instructional books.

***UPDATE 30 Jan 2019***
ATTENTION ALL POTENTIAL ARTISTS !!!!!
we are closing application on 15th Feb all songs have to arrive at our post office box by then to be considered for inclusion on album All songs need to be posted on a USB stick and in correct format – WAV file 24bit 44.1htz Please also send artist agreement with usb (if you dont have a copy of agreement contact me and I will send one asap) and once posted please send a Bio and pic to my email If your song is picked you will be listed on facebook page
If you have already applied and have not yet sent agreement now is the time
Thanks all Trevor

Trevor was happy to give us a few more details of how you can be involved in his new project.

“First up we will be choosing a selection of submissions that we think will match the theme of the album covering a diverse selection of styles of ukulele music.

• Due to copyright issues your song submission will have to be a song you wrote and not a cover version of someone else’s song.

• Song needs to be submitted in a Wav. file format and recorded to a professional standard. Our aim is to produce a high quality professional product so recordings done on your phone or IPad will not cut it. If you need to record your song and are able to get to Sunnybank, Brisbane we are offering discount studio time at Little Room Studio to all applicants to record your song at $25 per hour. Our usual fee is $35 an hour. Otherwise seek out a studio in your area to record.

• All submissions need to be in to us by 3 week of Feb and as mentioned in WAV file format with name of artists and songwriter.

Once we have final selection of songs we will then be engaging our graphic artist in USA to design album cover and CD. Back in the studio we will arrange running order and produce all songs then send them off to our mastering engineer for final sparkle. Once this is all done it will go off to be made.”

Trevor’s goal is to have project completed by the Sunshine Coast Ukulele festival in April which will be a great event to launch at.

Trevor added ” The opportunity will be there for you to buy copies of the CD to sell to your audiences and also to give to friends and family. You will also have your name and contact details listed on CD for any promoter wanting to book you.”

Trevor is planning on sending copies to all major ukulele events in Australia and overseas to let enthusiasts know about Australia’s fine ukulele acts. Who knows what this kind of promotion could lead to…. you may get some gigs or even a tour out of it!

Contact Trevor Gollagher for more information

LINKS
https://www.trevorgollaghermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/trevorgollaghermusic/

2018’s been a great year for Linda’s Uke n Sing, and we’re looking forward to 2019. There’ll be lots on for ukulele players at the Ferny Grove Bowls, Sports and Community Club, on the corner of Samford Road & Tramway Street, Ferny Grove.

Uke n Sing Regular Classes

Uke n Sing regular classes start back the first week of February 2019.

  • Tuesday Tuners (Easy play & sing as you learn and improve) Tuesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Nightriders (Ukestration performance group) Tuesdays 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Daytrippers (Ukestration performance group) Wednesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Uke n Sing Beginners Courses

There’ll also be two 6-week beginner courses.

  • Monday Nights 7:00-8:00 pm
    Starting on 11 February 2019.

or

  • Tuesday Afternoons 1:00-2:00pm
    Starting on 12 February 2019.

For more information please ring Linda Gough on 0431 391 888.

 

Strummin’ the Rhythm, Pickin’ the Tune

If you’re ready to expand your basic ukulele strum and start creating vibrant, beautiful music with exciting rhythms and captivating melodies, then this whole-day course is for you.

Join Cathy Welsford and Angie Smith (The Wild Women of Anywhere Beach) on 14-18 January 2019 at Bellingen Public School Creative Camp to learn how to add musical texture through emphasis, tempo and expression to achieve diverse musical styles. Bring your playing to life by adding off-beat strums and cool riffs while making new friends. Develop your strumming and rhythm-picking skills, and improve your ability to pick melodies and play riffs

Participants should be aged 16+, and have at least a year’s ukulele experience be able to move confidently amongst a few more chords than just C, F and G7. You will need to prepare for the course by practising the C scale. The course will involve finger picking and reading tabulature and sheet music.

You’ll also learn tricks of the trade like how to:
• transpose a song’s key to suit your voice
• use cheat chords to progress to increasingly complex songs
• make your ukulele ring with a sweet, confident ton
• play the twelve bar walkin’ blues
• improvise during instrumental breaks

Visit the course web page to learn more.