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, and 'play out' quite regularly. 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:
"Twenty or so of us braved the possible exposure to 'Captain Trips' (Stephen King's name for a global pandemic in 'The Stand') to get our weekly musical ukulele fix and I am hoping it was the pub that was very warm last night and not something I am coming down with!
To continue with the coronavirus theme, Trevor, David and I have decided that as of now we should continue running the group every Wednesday evening. This virus could be with us for months, so we'd like to keep going as long as we can before we have to suspend things. We will review that on a week by week basis and take note of what is being advised by the health powers that be. Obviously, if you have symptoms please consider others and stay at home and as always you can attend as frequently or infrequently as you like - so not coming if you are worried or have an underlying health condition is fine as well. As of the time of writing there have been no confirmed cases in Bedfordshire. Apart from Nadine Dorries who is the Health Secretary. Is 'Ironic' in any of our songbooks? Nope.
Anyway - on to the music that we DO have...
We started off in the gig book, with Oliver's Army, Space Oddity and Wagon Wheel - which all went fine. Mind you, we have been playing them for a good long time, so if we can't make a decent fist of those we really are in trouble! Brungstrum 1 followed, with Country Honk, Have I The Right, Material Girl, Mr Blue Sky, Walking on Sunshine and You Say you Don't Love Me. Of those, we managed to keep a (relatively!) constant pace through Mr Blue Sky, but keeping together through the fast strumming in 16ths of Walking on Sunshine proved more problematic. As with some other songs throughout the night, the bass was missed. Martin was not with us, selflessly self-isolating at home after taking his dogs to Crufts in case he gave us all distemper. He was also knackered after winning a bronze in the agility class ('old dogs, new tricks section') which really took it out of him!
Brungstrum 2 came next. Losing My Religion (nice intro from Dave S), a raucous You Never Can Tell and a version of You're So Vain which went well but produced a discussion on the merits of the transatlantic pronunciations of 'ay-pricot' or 'app-ricot'. For accuracy to the original, the latter I suppose. Tomayto, tormarto!
In a depressing nod to numerical conformity, on to Brungstrum 3. Take Me I'm Yours has always been one that we rather struggle with and this was no exception. The choruses went well, the verses were more 'abstract' - suggestive of the original without actually being very recognisable! Chelsea Dagger is one we don't often have a go at, but it was a good one, Jammin' really missed the bass (it is difficult to play off the beat when there isn't one!) and Rhinestone Cowboy was it's reliable self.
Where do you think we ventured next? Yep - Brungstrum 4. 'Almost' is another that doesn't get much of an airing. We did it competently enough - there are some bits where we could do with single strums etc. Perhaps we could try it again soon? That's what we did with Happy. Tried it last week and it was OK. This week's attempt indicated that might have been a fluke! Let's blame it on the lack of a bass and move on swiftly.
On to 5.3. Drift Away, And She Was, After Midnight, Dance Tonight and the rather interminable American Pie were the choices here. Again, nice to play some that don't get picked every week.
Finally we went back to the gig book and ended the evening with Ukulele Lady and Galway Girl.
Another nice mixture of choices, thank you folks. We do have a selection from the Bumper book still to go through next week, plus some more from BS 5.3 - we don't edit the selections as they come in, but sometimes we have a few too many for one evening. So we have about ten songs lined up for next week - another three lists of five would see us through! If you aren't a regular list contributor, please consider jotting down five tunes you particularly enjoy playing (in which book and on which page is a help) and passing the list to Trevor or myself at the start of the evening.
We will keep you updated via email and on the FB page if the situation regarding holding the meetings changes - but at the moment it is as normal.
Right - it's a Saturday afternoon and the football has been suspended. But never fear, I have found something else to do. I am off to Aldi to queue for toilet paper I don't need...
Until next week, stay well"