As part of the countdown to the festival we are going to feature some of the acts that are performing.
We asked them 3 questions:
1) Why are you excited to play the London Uke Festival?
2) Why do you think the ukulele has such universal appeal?
3) What 'special' are you laying on for the festival?
‘Stop the Calvery’ number three in the UK Singles Chart in December 1980, at one point only being kept from number one by two re-issued songs by John Lennon, who had been murdered on 8 December. Jona has 5 Albums to date
1) Because its fresh and exciting and the first gig I've done for about 10 years.
2) The adaptability of the instrument and the people that play it.
3) I'll be doing a set at the festival including "Stop The Cavalry" "Seaside Shuffle" and Chuck Berry's classic "Sweet Little 16", all on the ukeleles.
PLAYERS FROM THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the Ukulele.
1) Because it will be a great day for the Ukulele. Let's hope the London Ukulele Festival is the first of many!
2) It’s small, portable and friendly, like a small yappy dog.
3) We shall be playing only guitars (only joking).
KaraUke (Yes! That means live Ukulele Karaoke)
1) Because it is set to be a 'who's who' of the UK ukulele world that has grown tremendously in the 2 years that we have played together. We are also excited about the chance to be Guinness World Record Breakers, we'll tell our Mums, they'll be proud!
2) It is an easy to play small stringed instrument, usually good looking, and played by the friendliest of people you could wish to meet!
3) We are bringing a showcase of our finest singers along with us to show you what we do. We'll be bringing our Klap-O-Meter for an audience singalong at the end too!
THE SUGAR SNAP SISTERS
Close-harmony ukelele girl group "The Sugarsnap Sisters" includes songstress and Ukelele Cabaret host Tricity Vogue, celebrated banjolele-toting jazz singer Cousin Alice, and the beautiful honey-voiced Dorothy Shelley. Together they perform mischievous arrangements of much-loved tunes with a splash of glamour.
1) I love my ukelele-toting friends and it'll be brilliant to hang out with so many them in one go. Plus I've never been part of a world record attempt before - it's a historic moment.
2) It's not a scary "serious" instrument. Anyone can pick it up and have a go. I went into the bank the other day carrying my uke, and the cashier asked if he could have a play on it. Plus it brings back the tradition of the troubadour. I often get asked to do a song when I'm travelling on the tube, and also once serenaded a bus driver in Hackney.
3) I'm really excited about The Sugarsnap Sisters, the new ukelele girl group that three fellow uke-lovers and I have formed together, including that goddess of the banjo ukelele, Cousin Alice - and it is a great privilege to be doing one of our first public appearances together at the London Uke Fest.
We were the first all inclusive, community uke club in London and over the past couple of years we have divided our time between playing together and playing local festivals in North London.
1) Because it's Brian Wilson's birthday and we will celebrate by murdering one of his songs live on stage!
2) Because it doesn't diddle it's expenses.
3) We are rehearsing songs made popular by the Brotherhood of Man.
Be Cuckoo are a combination of Bishops Stortford and Cambridge Ukulele Clubs that have a joint membership covering all ages, both sexes, and all abilities. The two clubs have been in existence for around 18 months and have already performed live at various venues, music festivals, and on BBC local radio.
1) It’s the biggest event we have ever been involved with. What a fantastic idea for a charity event – excited to be part of it – wide appeal to everyone and FUN FUN FUN
2) It’s an instrument that brings a smile to everyone’s face, it’s simple to play and a wonderful introduction to music
3) We would like to present 100 years of popular music in 5 songs, which underlines the versatility of the ukulele: Sweet Georgia Brown, Mr Sandman, Putting on the Style, I Don’t Like Mondays, Five Years Time
MR B THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER
Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer is here to reconnect Hip-Hop to manners and the Queen's English- he brings you Chap-Hop.
1) For one to be considered as a performer at an event so central to the Uke community in our fine country is the highest accolade a chap could wish to achieve.
2) Because the ukulele is the key to the door which flings open onto a world of musical possibility. And they're an absolute ruddy piece of cake to play. Hurrah!
3) I shall be laying on a special lesson in the history of Hip-Hop using merely beats, rhymes and, of course my ukuelele.
Karmadillo grew from a South American folk instrument called the charango - one of the few instruments ever made from armadillo's. Their strong Divine Comedy meets Noah and The Whale songwriting mixes heartfelt ballads and plain silliness, leading one reviewer to call them 'Hawaiian beach music gone wrong'. Karmadillo will be part of the UkeyLove Open Mic time slots.
1) We love the fact that it has grown so much
2) Its easy to play, portable and instantly brings the sunshine out in people
3) A sing along song about pornstars!
HISSING AT SWANS
Hissing at Swans are a ramshakle ukulele and 80's keyboard demo collective, with accompanying films to rival the back catalogue of James Cameron.
1) So many ukes in one place?! Brilliant!
2) It’s compact and easy to take on planes as hand-luggage. We’ve saved hundreds on storage charges.
3) We’ll be helping to break a World Record.. that’s definitely a first!
The Marauders have been championing the humble ukulele in the Croydon area for a few years now and they once recorded some stuff that you can listen to here. Their collective interests include going to the theatre, watching too much Derren Brown, and avoiding work.
1) I have never heard a thousand ukuleles playing at once before. I can only assume that the sound will be so wonderful that the heavens will open and the second coming will occur, so I definitely want to be around to see if that happens.
2) Because it's so quick and easy to buy and to learn. Like any instrument, it still takes a while to become a brilliant player, but the difference between the uke and, say, the guitar, is that it takes much less time to become at least a decent player.
3) Good grief, I haven't really thought about it. I could wear a nice dress?
Planetzim is a state of mind with moshing rhythm, melody n hooks, sardonic witt, cheekily conjuered up with sound psychological and philosophical precepts. Nuff said.
1) Because i'm booking the acts and so at least i know one acts gonna turn up...Plus it'll be a rave.
2) It wouldn't hurt a fly. Also it has great sex appeal.
3) I'm gonna rock the house.
Uke backed up with ace backing tracks all from a Nintendo gameboy!! Oh yes it nice to know we can jack in Gameboys to the Main and Grassukes (roots) stages. Now that is how I like to play Donkey Kong!!
1) because ukes are fun and I like to play
2) because ukes are fun
3) GAMEBOY!!! And some fun And the other things,
Lisa is a brilliant singer and the lyrics she writes are so edgy and relevant a true young star!
CAROLINE "FOURSTRUM" GRANNELL
Fourstrum Durch Technik! Once my Ukulele and I met, there was no looking back. Although I do sing 'nice' songs sometimes, if there's a murder in it, you can bet I'll sing it. If you're having a party I'll generally lull you into a false sense of security with funny songs, nice songs and familiar jumpy happy songs before eventually hurling myself into a murder ballad or seafaring revenge shanty. People have unanimously loved that formula so far, so I'm sticking with it.
1) shouldn't that be obvious? it's a festival! it's got ukuleles! I'm playing in it! (hang on, I just have to sit down for a minute, it's getting a bit too exciting!)
2) Because it's portable, sexy and awesome. oh, and quite easy. (not like that.)
3) I shall be singing to you all about how I killed an awful lot of people and ended up in the loony bin. and so on.
UKEYLOVE OPEN MIC
UkeyLove is a ukulele open mic in North London. It gives people the opportunity to learn their stage craft
There will be an opportunity to do open mic at the festival
please indicate on arrival that you would like to do this
This is subject to time so please be prepared it might only be one song... but what a song
Check out the songs and keep coming back here for more Acts
Please continue to spread the word...