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-five brave souls joined us on Wednesday night at the Kings Arms for a few hours of ukulele therapy. Over the last few weeks we’ve been starting with a few songs we know very well, followed by quite a few songs ‘in development’ and finishing with one or two crowd pleasers. It might catch on, at least I’ve been enjoying it, so many thanks to everyone that provided this week’s song choices (you know who you are).
So, what did we actually play – from the Gig Book (2018 beer festival, corrected edition) we started our strumming medication with Ghost Riders in the Sky, then we had It Must Be Love, Love Potion Number Nine, I’m a Believer, Sway and It’s My Party. Having got the party started, we switched over to the Bumper Book and had a nearly perfect performance of Folsom Prison Blues. We played it slightly slower than usual but sang it particularly well, so we might try it at 45 rpm next time. In good voice, we worked our way through Friday I’m in Love, Half the World Away, Happy Together, Hotel California, I Can See Clearly Now, Maggie May and finished with Mama Don’t Allow.
Time-out was awarded for good behaviour and we recharged our glasses before returning for more medcine. We started back, after the nine o’clock watershed, with two new songs (thanks to Marion). We had I Will Survive (from www.burpmusic.com) followed by You’re My World (from www.scorpexuke.com). I Will Survive was an instant hit and has potential to become a future Gig Book selection. It’s fair to say, we were less familiar with You’re My World, but for those who knew the song it's a lovely tune, and with a bit of application I’m sure the rest of us could get to love it too.
Having dabbled in the unknown, we moved on to the slightly more familiar BrungStrum 5.3 playing Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Bus Stop (where my pronunciation was challenged), Dancing Queen (for absent friends), Downtown, Venus and Video Killed the Radio Star. It was at this point that my list of provided song choices ran out and I’m sure we played something else before finishing the evening with City of New Orleans (from the Gig Book). The details of exactly what we played before our crowd pleasing finale is eluding me, but that’s this week’s quiz – no prizes for the first person to tell us the answer next Wednesday, other than the gratitude of anyone like me, whose memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
As is often the case, the health-giving benefits of Ukulele Bedford would not happen without those of you that turned up, so thanks to this week’s participants, especially those of you that brought song suggestions (hint for next week) and particularly Marion for bringing us a couple of new songs. We’ll be doing it all again on Wednesday this coming week (5th), starting at 7:30m in the Kings Arms, Bedford. On a closing note, we were missing Mark and he will be greatly missed, now that he’s moved, but we can take some comfort in that, in the same week the UK exited Europe, Ukulele Bedford entered Norfolk. We wish Mark and Chris all the best for their new life in the principality and look forward to Mark’s guest appearance the next time they’re visiting Bedford.
Have a great week - see you soon."