BUMS has four community bands, three based on Brisbane southside and one on the northside. They are open to all financial members. You don’t have to audition to join. You just have to be a member of BUMS and be keen and willing to learn and contribute.
• Out On Bail started up earlier this year at Rocklea.
• NUMB BUMS has been operating at Zillmere since 2014.
• The Sublime Ukelectics started up earlier this year at Corinda State School.
• A group using the James Hill learning method started earlier this year at Corinda State School
Here’s an update on what the bands have been doing.
Out On Bail
This band is an initiative of Darrell Reeve and meets at his private studio in Rocklea. The current focus is developing a set list of Australian rock classics. They are currently working on 10 songs from artists like Daddy Cool, Brian Cadd, Skyhooks and the Radiators.
They’ve had an awesome start with 18 people getting involved in the band with an average of 10 to 12 turning up each week. Anyone who misses a rehearsal can catch up with what went on via the band’s YouTube channel. The channel has songs from rehearsals as well as tricks and tips to help with individual’s own practice.
Darrell’s private studio has capacity for 20 people at current COVID guidelines. This makes it a bit tight at the moment and if more members join, they made need to find a larger practice space. Anyone wanting to join “Out On Bail” can contact Darrell at "> or phone on 0408 632 930.
The last year has been especially challenging for the band because traditionally they got their greatest pleasure from public performances. In 2019, for instance, they had 18 gigs. These were for community groups, charities, child-care centres and virtually anywhere we were invited. Over the last few years, they performed at City Sounds, QPAC Green Jam, SPRUKE— Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival 2015, 2017, 2019, Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival, Newkulele 2019, SunPAC 2020, and various local community festivals from Caboolture to Redland Bay.
Not having upcoming performances has meant the band has lost the anticipation, excitement and focus that a gig provides. In addition, they meet on a Monday night at the Zillmere community hall and a number of practices were cancelled at short notice due to COVID restrictions.
The band has had to revise the way it operates. They are re-jigging their set lists and introducing new songs. The regular agenda now includes short skill improvement sessions and regular open mic opportunities for individuals or small groups to ‘strut their stuff’.
Practising regularly with the same group encourages friendships and musical collaborations. Many members of NUMB BUMS get together as small groups outside of the normal practice sessions. The smaller groups have developed their own song lists and played at jams and open mics. Smaller groups are not impacted to the same extent by COVID restrictions as are larger groups playing in public facilities.
For more information contact NUMB BUMS coordinator John Low on ">
The Sublime Ukelectics
The band is an initiative of Becky Lochel. In case you wondered, the name means Southside Ukulele Band Living In Musical Ecstasy! Thanks to Scott for the fantastic logo!
The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month (excluding school holidays) from 2-4pm at Corinda State School. It’s had four rehearsals so far this year, with about 20 attendees each time, who have enjoyed working on a variety of songs from Old Dan Tucker to Mother Nature’s Son and more.
Our arrangements combine various strumming techniques as well as melody and harmony singing parts.
Grace and William have started a tradition of an open mic performance after the mid-session break, which is exciting. This will hopefully help members with their confidence and mic skills.
Here’s what one of the band members had to say about The Sublime Ukelectics. “Joining the BUMS group has improved my playing heaps. I love the music choice and being introduced to new songs.” – Gail
The band is excited by an upcoming performance for the Montessori Teachers conference in June. It will be great to have a performance to work towards.
For more information on The Sublime Ukelectics contact Becky on ">
James Hill Group
This group is an initiative of Ian Phillips. It meets once a month at Corinda State School. So far, they have met twice with about 25 to 30 people attending.
The band’s aim to is learn music through the traditional methods of music theory for note reading, plucking, scales, arranging and improvising and two-part singing. They also will develop skills on the ukulele itself, for example, hammering, slides, combining strumming and plucking together and moving further down the fretboard.
The band has a private Facebook page where players can post their achievements and others can learn and be inspired from what is posted. Meeting once a month means regular practice at home is essential.
Has it been an easy ride so far? Not at all, but members are enjoying the challenges and the reports of “Wow I have just achieved this” is what makes this group exciting to be in.
Initially, the group is theory based but as the skills improve the group will turn into being creativity based. This is what we are on about, having the skills to be creative in music making. For more information about the group, contact Ian on ">