My name is Lauren and I’ve been playing with BUMS for around six years now. I was only fifteen when I moved to Brisbane from Wetherby in England – it was a big change in my life. I had to give up all my clubs and activities in UK and start again.
I had played ukulele in my school music club, but my new school in Australia didn’t offer ukulele. I missed it a lot so I did some research online to find somewhere in Brisbane I could play. I came across the BUMS website and saw the opportunity with local groups and jams. The first thing I came across was an ad for a new band in my area of town so I emailed to express my interest.
I have to confess, I was a little intimidated the first time I attended a band session with the Cage. There was about twenty or so people there and I was the youngest. I wanted to give things a try though, so I joined in. Even though I was a little out of practice, it ended up being really fun.
From that point on, I attended every Sunday. I learned more techniques, more chords and made new friends. When we began performing at concerts and events, I had the best time. When the audience joins in with us by singing and dancing and I can see everyone having a good time it makes me really happy. BUMS events are always exciting, especially when everyone sings and plays together and just has fun.
Life as a ‘leftie’
My playing style is a little unorthodox. I write left-handed but my fingers are more comfortable playing the ukulele right-handed. However, I didn’t realise this until I’d already bought a left-handed ukulele. So, I play it right-handed but the strings are the opposite way up so I have to read chords backwards. It’s something other ukulele players find hilarious. Thankfully it doesn’t cause me any difficulties, in fact some chords, such as D, Bb and E7, are easier to play upside-down.
The Sublime Ukelectics
I was sad when I heard the Cage would be ending. It had been one of the constants in my life since coming to Australia. The end of an era I suppose. As they say, ‘when one door closes, another one opens.’
I became a financial member of BUMS and joined a new BUMS-affiliated band the Sublime Ukelectics led by Becky Lochel. Many former CAGE members have come across so there are familiar faces. I am happy to be with the Sublime Ukelectics and really enjoyed their first gig in June at the Sky Lounge of the Ibis Airport Hotel.
Our practices are run a bit differently to the Cage. As well as practicing for our concerts, we have open mic during breaks so anyone can play their favourite songs for everybody.
My time with BUMS over the past six years has been wonderful. Through BUMS I’ve made friends and had lots of great experiences. I look forward to all the fun BUMS events in the future.