Welcome to Ukulele Bedford
We are a community ukulele group based (oddly enough!) around the Bedford area. We meet weekly at The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS) on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. On occasion, we 'play out' for charity events. We are always delighted to see new members - so come along one evening and give it a try!
Always wanted to play an instrument? Try the ukulele! We welcome anyone, with any level of experience or expertise.
Just learning? Come on in. Been playing for years? Welcome - we'd love to benefit from your talents.
All you need is enthusiasm - we can even lend you a ukulele for the evening!
The short answer to that is "Anything the members of the group want to!". From 1930's tin-pan alley to jazz standards. From 60's novelty pop to 90's rock to last year's hits. Admittedly, when we try them we find that some things work better than others on massed ukuleles - but just trying to play the seemingly unsuitable can be great fun. And sometimes surprisingly successful.
Members old and new are always encouraged to select songs they'd like to try playing.
From the last meeting:
"It would be interesting to see whether, given a list of 15 songs selected from our songbooks, you could work out who chose them. Last night, Dave Shiers was our curator and some of the choices definitely reflected on him – in a good way. We had Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, 21 Pilots, Kraftwerk, U2, Katy Perry and many others. There was a good mix of the familiar and the rare and, as might be expected, some good challenges. One song, for example, suddenly sprung a Dmaj7 chord on us at the end. The volume of playing noticeably dropped for the duration. Another, Pin ball Wizard, that we have been astutely avoiding for years, proved a bit much, but it is certainly playable, especially with barre chords up the neck. One advantage of publishing a list in advance is that people can practice some of these trickier tunes, and I tip my hat to Dave for making us have a go.
For next week, Joy has come up with a list, and we have an offer from Trevor and possibly Kathryn after that. It doesn’t make sense to plan this too far in advance or you’ll find your choices have already been used up – not that there is anything against playing the same song two weeks in a row.
We have a few more details on forthcoming gigs. On 30th June, we’ll be at The Sun pub in Felmersham once more, this time celebrating the 200th anniversary of the village bridge. Like you do. It looks like we’ll be the filling in a morris dancer sandwich, playing from around 3.30 for 45 minutes and then completing our set for perhaps an hour more after the dancers have hung up their bells and put their sticks safely out of reach.
On 15th September, we are looking to play for two hours with a 15-minute break at Sutton Village Hall. This is likely to be between 2-4pm. Last year they had two other musical acts (loosely speaking – no one was quite sure when warmup ended and performance began for one of them), but this year we rule the roost. This is the same date as Strum Like a Pirate Day and we will be working out how we can have a presence at both events.
The next open mic will probably be on 27th June and our next learning session is likely to be on 4th July. Details to follow.
Finally, I think all 20 of us present last night should thank Dave again for a fun, interesting and challenging evening last night. If any of you would like to be our curator soon, let us know. All we need is your list of 20 songs. Surely most of us have spent an idle moment wondering what our song choices would be if we were cast away on Desert Island Discs. This is just the same but without having to suffer awkward questions about your childhood and the highs and lows of your career from Kirsty Young.
I look forward to seeing you all next week.
Regular meeting: Every Wednesday at: The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS)
7.30pm - 10pm.
All very welcome.