Frivolity. Fun. Friendship. Feet — and thinking on them. Just a few of the words I associate with Hypnotonics and the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival.

Hypnotonics has been around for about a year, and is made up of some familiar BUMS faces: Amanda Allwood, Mark Bradshaw, Salli Chmura, Cath McCourt, and Trish Rodwell.

Salli, Cath, Mark, Amanda & Trish


We all met through playing in other BUMS groups, and realised fairly quickly that we had a great time rehearsing and performing together.

For the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival this year we decided on a set with a difference to highlight the versatility of our newest member Salli! As well as ukulele, Salli plays a mean clarinet, flute, recorder and saxophone.

With 12 weeks to go until SCUF Salli showed her musicality and grit when, having broken her arm, she re-learned all of her solos one handed on the keyboard! (Remember that bit about feet and thinking on them?).


Hypnotonics is made up of some extremely talented musicians that I am proud to call my friends. We always have a great time and the audience does too. Come and check us out around the place.

Hypnotonics performing at SCUF 2019. Photo by Julie Minto.

BUMS Big Band members, Amanda, Maggie & Phil, enjoy catching up at SCUF.

For me, personally, part of a band has always been so much more about the friendships with the music as an added bonus. If anyone is thinking about taking their playing further I highly recommend getting involved in a performing group!

None of what we do would have been possible without BUMS! I’ve been a member now for 9 years and the one thing that never alters is the joy the ukulele brings! Friendships forged stand the test of time.

There was even an impromptu reunion of a few of the BUMS Big Band members — Amanda, Maggie, Jack, Phil, Mark, Cath and John H!

Get amongst it! Live large! Sing and play with others! Find your groove, and you could be the next one having the time of your life with a group like Hypnotonics!
By Amanda Allwood

NUMB BUMS was the second community band formed by BUMS. Established in 2013, and the group made its debut festival performance at SPRUKE that year. In case you’re wondering, the name stands for Northside Ukulele Musicians Branch of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc. BUMS Inc members who are interested in joining a community band are welcome to come and ‘test the water’ at the group’s weekly sessions on Monday evenings at the Zillmere Community Hall on Murphy Road. Band members arrive at 6:30 pm to set up for a 6:45 pm start. If you want to know more, please email the Gigmeister (). One of the band’s lead singers, Peter Grace, tells us about the bands activities for 2018.


For me, it’s been another entertaining year as a member of NUMB BUMS. We are the BUMS community band based on the Northside of Brisbane.

As with other groups, the membership of the band varies due to a range of factors including work, travel, health and family. This year, there have been 13 ‘regulars’ who have formed the core for our practices and performances. We lost some of our female singers during the year, and were delighted to welcome two newcomers just in time for Christmas.

We have a very talented team. Several of our members branched out and complemented our performances with instrumentals on other instruments.

John F on didge

Marg R on spoons

Peter G on jug

Salli C on flute.

Andrew H on drums

Zoe W on recorder







Over the year, we have performed at 13 functions including BUMS jams, retirement and aged care facilities, for Christmas functions and charitable groups. Also, ten NUMB BUMS members were part of the BUMS Festival Group (BFG) that performed at the Newkulele Festival in Newcastle in October.

Ken Carter runs an improvisation workshop at band practice.

Developing our skills and confidence is a key aim of NUMB BUMS. Being in an enthusiastic group of players means all sorts of opportunities come up to perform at jams, opens mics and in other groups. When I glance down the list of our members, I note that all of us have performed publicly in other settings this year. Ahh – the ukulele can take you anywhere. Peter Grace

Fun behind the scenes.

By the end of their second year playing together, the chUKES were ready to take on the world! Well, Bulimba Ukulele Festival and QPAC’s Bands on the Green anyway. Which they very succesfully did. Setting the bar high, with repertoire from recent charts hits, favourites of individuals in the band and a few classics thrown in by their director, the challenge was to memorise! And just as well they did, as the stage at Bulimba barely fitted them all with no room left for music stands, and the storm that blew through Southbank on the night they played there in December made that step forward very worthwhile as they kept right on playing while the wind whirled leaves and banners around the stage and stage crew ran to catch equipment.

Earlier in the year, sucessful gigs had included leading a set at Cooparoo Jam night, playing for the Oxley Community Bands on the Green,  and Graceville UC and Milpera’s Art Exhibition.

Oxley Community Bands on the Green

The chUKES were proud to sing in the Indigenous Yuggera language while on Yuggera country. This new song which was co-written by Gaja Kerry Charlton and local school students, seeks to acknowledge our Frist Peoples, a very important step in reconciliation and celebrating 2019 as a year of Indigenous Languages.

And of course, finishing the year alongside the CAGE at the Pajama Foundation Christmas Party and the Oxley Community Carols were a great way to get into the festive season.

Oxley Carols Evening

As member grow older we’ve had a couple of people ‘retire’ from chUKES to concentrate on their high school studies. We are looking for some new members to join us this year. You’ll need to audition – a very casual audition – by playing and singing a song of your choice including at least 3 chords. Contact Megan on for more information.

Rehearsals are held 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sunday’s of each month (except school holidays), at Corinda State School.

Free Range chUKES play at the Green Jam at QPAC, South Bank


The chUKES are looking forward to performing a set at the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival in April 2019, and playing at local school and community events throughout the year.

Wow, what a tremendous year for The CAGE!

With a slow start performance wise, we put our heads down to work on new pieces. We were fortunate to have a CAGE member by the name of Becky Lochel to put her hand up to co-lead with Ian Phillips. What a wonderful job she has done.

The CAGE at Oxley

We have ventured to, and participated in, a variety of events this year: QPAC on the Green, Oxley Bowls Club for Neighbourhood Watch, Music on the Porch Day, Performing with the Ignite Choir, PJ Foundation Christmas gig, Brookfield Christmas Bash , the Oxley Christmas Carols as well as leading sets at a couple of Coorparoo jams.

Brookfield Bush Christmas

We rest for now and return on Australia Day to perform at the local Australia Day gig at the Oxley Bowls Club. We officially start back for band practices on Sunday 3 February at Corinda State School. Players of all abilities are welcome. We hold beginners’ classes from 1:00 pm. Singing lessons will be introduced for individuals from 1:30 pm with The CAGE rehearsals starting at 2:00 pm.

With 2019 being a SPRUKE year, we will preparing hard for this. If you wish to start a new venture on the uke, give us a try. For more details about joining The CAGE, email Ian Phillips at .

Flukey banner on display

Well, our second year together has passed, and what developments we have seen …

Our ukulele group, now called “Flukey”, has focussed on developing individual and ensemble skills as we work together to present to the wider public some wonderful music on this beautiful instrument the UKULELE! We now have our own logo, promotions blurb and thanks to Daphne, Grace and William’s daughter Olivia, Denis and the generous funding from BUMS, our own “Flukey” banner to display at performances!

This has been utilized at community events: Bardon Markets – twice; Gaythorne Bowls Club – twice; End of Year BBQ at Regina Caeli Catholic Church; Brookside Shopping Centre Christmas Carols; Paddington Christmas Street Markets and one performance at the BUMS Coorparoo Jam!

Through these performances we have been asked to perform at other venues which is great!

If you have a desire to sing harmonies or lead vocals we would love to see you come along to rehearsal with the view of joining our group, as we are looking to expand the vocalist role. You can get in contact with Charmaine on 0407 671 625 for more details.

Flukey rehearse every second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at Coorparoo Bowls Club from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Thanks to all our members for their efforts in rehearsals and performances, to Grace, our Events Coordinator, and Olivia, our publicist. We will see all enthusiastic people on Wednesday 13 February 2019 – some … with spectacular new instruments!

Flukey Christmas performance group, December 2018

Volunteers Free Concert

I was first asked 2016 if I could arrange some (free) motivating music to entertain the volunteers at the Brisbane Basket Brigade Packing Day, for about 5 hours, but was given no brief.

The performance slots filled with little difficulty, including Mick Angeles, The Cage, Bec Hull, Duke Ukem and Vic Kena. Daylight Moon also made an appearance. And then there were some guitarist/singers that joined the list – Steve Elbourn, Rick Young and Dan Nebe from Team Utopia. – Dan is the heart behind Rockin’ for the Homeless 4.0 from Redcliffe, which has now expanded to other major cities.

2017 saw a new venue, across two indoor basketball courts at Cannon Hill Anglican College. Suddenly there were 2 days and 8 hours to fill. Steve Elbourn and Mick Angeles confirmed their slot the year before, Duke Ukem were in the show and Kine Kool (3 piece) made a mark. RCUS took a slot and David Hethorn courageously took the closing slot and played every song he knew. Vic Kena and Keith Pavy and outstanding performer who includes several years with Ol’55 in his CV were the feature acts.

By 2018 grew to be a full two-day event (8 & 9 December 2018) with 13 hours of entertainment to be delivered. Steve Elbourn, Mick Angeles, Duke Ukem and Vic Kena celebrated their third participation (and have reserved their slot for 2019 already. Kine Kool played a couple of songs as a duo, and David Hethorn, undaunted by 2017, took a set.

Newcomers Budgies (BUG) played a creditable second public performance, soliciting Vic Kena on ukulele and myself on percussion to add a little colour. Hypnotonics, and Adrian Board completed the ukulele line-up. Paul Seils Jnr, John Donnelly (who drove down from Bribie), Erwin Zerbe and John Lindsay (1969) delivered an entertainment experience including original works, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Rolling Stones and so much more!!

Los Angeles, or the LA Bros & Trish Rodwell

A special experience was the Los Angeles, or the LA Bro’s…. Mick wasn’t quite sure what to call them, but it was Mick and his brothers in a unique line-up. The LA Bros were joined on stage by Paul Seils Jnr and Trish for a few songs. And Auntie Marg was also spotted dropping a few bass lines with Paul earlier in the day.

And as if this wasn’t enough there was the Ukulele Supergroup “HypnodukeAngeles feat Adrian Board”! Obviously, all of the performers had an amazing time.

“HypnodukeAngeles feat Adrian Board” at Brisbane Basket Brigade, 2018

Sorry, but it’s unlikely that there will be vacancies in 2019 as reservations were confirmed by every player before they left.

Brisbane Basket Brigade shouts out a huge THANK YOU to the 26 performers over the two days that kept the volunteers motivated, and I thank everyone for making my job so easy ??

Brisbane Basket Brigade is a self-sufficient program of Magic Moments Foundation of Australia. Run completely by volunteers, 98-99% of all funds raised is distributed to the community. There are similar programs on the Gold and Sunshine Coast and in other capital cities.

Some 900 or more volunteers pack and deliver family baskets, homeless baskets and baskets to rural families at Christmas. Recipients are nominated by a variety of organisations and the deliveries are anonymous. Over 5000 gifts were wrapped, about 900 families have a better Christmas with the food hampers, and about 250 homeless were also gifted for delivery by other major charities.

The audience is dynamic, constantly varying, full hall to almost empty and then full house again. It is a unique performing experience where the audience has their hands too full to clap … but they do engage, sing and dance.

Supergroup at Sister Festival

Last April, a call went out for BUMS members to join a ‘supergroup’ to play at the Newkulele Festival in October 2018. Newcastle is our ‘sister’ festival – we run SPRUKE in the odd years and they run Newkulele in the even years. We each support each other’s events.

Initially, 17 people volunteered and committed to attend rehearsals and to travel to Newcastle. In the following months, some people dropped out and other players joined us – so, we had a band of 15 by the time the festival came around. We chose the name BUMS Festival Group (BFG for short) so it clearly says we come from Brisbane and we were formed to play at festivals.

We wanted our performance to be a ‘show’ not just a series of songs. If you saw the NUMB BUMS put on a Motown show at SPRUKE 2017, you will get the idea.

We eventually developed a 30-minute show, dubbed a ‘ukulele opera’ because it told a story.

President, Max Borchardt, was our narrator and the show comprised 11 songs which told the tale of a love-struck couple who meet at the coffee shop on the top of the Goodwill Bridge.

The real Cafe on the Goodwill Bridge.

Of course, their relationship has to overcome many obstacles before the story reached a fitting conclusion with the peaceful influence of the ukulele playing a part.

At Newkulele, we promoted the show as ‘Australia’s first ukulele opera’, and it went down well with the large audience in the Concert Hall.

BFG performs on the main stage at Newcastle City Hall.

Once we all got home, the BFG put on the show again for BUMS members and family and friends. We incorporated the show into the November Northside jam at Wavell Heights. Over 70 people came along to play in the jam and experience the second performance of the show.

BFG at Northside

The members of the BFG were:
Amanda Allwood and Trish Rodwell from Hypnotonics, Lesley Allen, Frank Buckley, Salli Chmura, John Fitzgibbon, Peter Grace, John Henderson, Andrew Hunt, John Low, Chris Slater and Zoe Watson from NUMB BUMS, Darrell Reeve from the Redland City Ukuleles, and Peter Ransom who had a solo spot at the festival. And, of course, our President, Max Borchardt.

Max Borchardt, ukulele opera narrator.

Special thanks to John Henderson who coordinated the band’s establishment, rehearsals and performances, Ian Phillips who coached us at rehearsals and Mick Angeles who did a brilliant job mixing the sound at the Northside Jam.

The final question is ‘What happens to the BUMS Festival Group now?’ Is this a one-off or will it resurface to put on shows at future festivals?

If you missed our Newcastle and Brisbane performances, you’re in luck. We’ve applied to take the show to Kenilworth in April 2019 for the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival.


Derek & Donna Farrell, Oct 2018

Neill Florence, book launch, Oct 2018

Our talented BUMS performing members, Donna and Derek Farrell, of the duo Totally Insane, featured this week at Neill Florence‘s launch of his new novel “Out of the Shadow”.

This book is the sequel to Neill’s first novel, “The Pursuit of Happiness”.

In period costume, Donna and Derek performed a themed set at the launch of Neill’s first novel.

The couple so delighted the audience, that Neill invited them to help launch the second book in his trilogy about a German family’s migration to, and life within, Australia in the late nineteenth century.

The author, and former high school principal and English teacher, is also a ukulele player. Neill performs with Donna and Derek’s group CHUMS that is based at Compton Gardens, Aspley.

Mick Angeles went out again to the Bony Mountain Folk Festival to teach Ukulele and spread the BUMS word. He also did a few performances out there as well.
Mick had a total of 16 students of which 12 performed on the Main Stage in the Sunday Farewell Concert. Unfortunately, two participants had to leave camp earlier than expected, one student could not continue with her arthritic fingers and another was in the Warwick Hospital after suffering a mild stroke. “No, I didn’t work them too hard!” stated Mick when questioned by investigators.
Mick was accompanied by fellow BUMS Inc members Cath McCourt on UBass and “The Neighbour”, Gerry Orr on Ukulele.
The students were all basic beginners but were filled with enthusiasm and then fear when Mick informed them that their goal was to perform on Sunday on the Main Stage. Two practices a day were organised but some evening classes were deferred due to shows on the Main Stage. In that timeframe however, they played 8 different songs and learnt 7 different chords including Diminished and Major 7ths. The students performed without the aid of chord shape boxes, only the chord names. After telling them about BUMS Inc, they decided to name themselves the “Bony BUMS”.
For their performance, they played four songs that showed their versatility and prowess. They started their show with a ballad by Simon & Garfunkel, “El Condor Pasa” followed up by the diversely distinct Chuck Berry Rock’n’Roll song “You Never Can Tell”. Then to prove their adaptability, their next song was a Hip Hop number by Will I Am called “I Like To Move It”. After taking their bows and thunderous applause, they walked off playing “Tequila”. What a great group of students. Mick was so proud of them all. After the show they were as excited as schoolkids and smiling and laughing and loving their moment in the lime light.
During the week, Mick and Cath did a walk-up to clear the Bony Mountain dust from their tonsils. Cath also performed with Mick when he was asked to perform in the “Opening Ceremony” and in Mick’s spot on the Saturday afternoon program. Mick was also asked by festival host, Norma O’Hara Murphy, to perform in the “Closing Ceremony” on Sunday night.
This is a fabulous festival and if you get the chance, get yourself along to it. Norma has been running this festival for 8 years now and it keeps getting better every year.

Mick Angeles

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Mick Angeles and Michael Willimot have just returned from the Pilbara, teaching and performing. I asked Mick how such a great opportunity came about and what they’ll be doing.

Michael Willimott and I were running the Ukulele Jams in Coopers Bar at the Woodford Festival.

We were approached by a couple who were impressed with our performance and ease with crowds and they asked if we would be interested in playing at their Nameless Festival in the Pilbara at Tom Price. We both agreed it would be fun but never thought anything would come of it.

This couple were the organisers of the festival along with their commitee. They contacted us again around March to re-inforce their request to have us perform at their festival.

To make it worthwhile as it is a long way from Brisbane to the Pilbara, and through conversations at Woodford, they discovered that we taught ukulele and added a further proposal. They asked us to teach the kids ukulele at Paraburdoo Primary School, Tom Price Primary School, Tom Price North Primary School, Tom Price High School and at the Wakathuni Community.
We will also be doing performances for the sponsors, a gig night and at the festival on the weekend.

Sunday we are being treated to a day long trip around Karijini National Park and gorges.

We’ll fly home Monday morning, leaving Paraburdoo at 9.00am and arriving in Brisbane around 11.30pm. Apparently the trip back is quicker … but not by much!

Mick won’t be home for long, he hits the road again early in September to represent BUMS Inc teaching Ukulele School and performing at Bony Mountain Folk Festival- 2018. More info here.


” What a great week we had Mick Geoff Angeles! It was more than a pleasure to have you with us in our amazing slice of heaven tucked away in the Pilbara. You have truely earned your red dirt passport and a way into our hearts!” Pilbara Geddes (Facebook)