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:
"Sometimes when we have a low turnout, the music suffers, but even though we were only in the high teens last night, we did really well and had a good run through the Fs and Gs of BrungStrum5, as well as most of the Esquires Gig Book.
The Gig book practice showed that we know our songs well, but probably not too well. We proved that we can tighten up a bit on the strums for Ex’s and Oh’s and Lola, for example, but I have every confidence that we are going to storm Esquires on Saturday!
Details for the gig: We are on the main stage at Esquires, that’s at 60A Bromham Road, Bedford, MK40 2QG, on Saturday 16th March, whatever their website says. It’s a licensed premises, but expect club drink prices. At least there is normally plenty of free parking on Greyfriars Road after 6pm. We meet for the sound check at 7.15pm (yes, it’s proper). So far as I know we are then kicked out until doors open at 8pm, with us playing our set from around 8.45pm for 30-40 minutes. Because the sound people will have tweaked and twiddled our sweet music to perfection, don’t just turn up for the gig. If you’re not there for the check, don’t expect to be able to slip in after 8pm. After that, we are free to enjoy Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq as the headline act. I am looking forward to it all.
If you can’t make the gig to play with us, but would like to come with a coachload of friends as audience, we’d love to see you. If you buy tickets from Lisa on the door on the night, £3 of the entry fee (price is under £7, but I can’t quite remember the exact figure this morning) comes to Ukulele Bedford, so please tell your friends. If you buy online, we don’t get a cut. If there are any more details to be passed on, Lisa will try to post them on our Facebook page.
Back to last night. The Fs and Gs of BrungStrum 5 started with a Fade to Grey/The Model mashup that just seemed like an easy and natural combination. Despite a certain hesitance on hearing the electronic introduction to the original, it works well and I am sure we will return to it. Feel it Still proved to be a bit harder to sing because of the timing, but people were positive about wanting to persist with it. Find My Love was new to me and, again, had some difficult and contradictory timings, but we will certainly bring it back with clearer instructions because it sounded really good. The old Five Foot Two instrumental was harder for many people and sounded out of place to my ears. I am sure we could get back to playing it well, but whether it gets requested often is something only time will tell. Flaws, especially for a three-chord song, was great and we know that Galway Girl is lively. We had a slightly simplified version of Golden Brown in, effectively, 12/8 timing rather than the original’s odd 13/8. It works well enough, and it is a measure of our collective confidence in the new songs that people immediately wanted to complicate it by reinstating the background harmonies towards the end. For the last new song of the night, I think that shows impressive stamina.
Next week we have a list from Dave Shiers that I’ll post after the weekend, and we’ll be running through the H songs from BrungStrum5.0. The next open mic will be on 10th April and from then on we’ll do our best to keep them to the second Wednesday of every month.
I look forward to seeing you at Esquires on Saturday or in the pub next week. BrungStrum5 is proving its worth. Come along. You’ll enjoy it.
All the best"
Regular meeting: Every Wednesday at: The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS)
7.30pm - 10pm.
All very welcome.