Summer is officially here and with a full moon on the wane I notice some
wonderful summer madness in the June night air. Our usual variety show was
definitely not short on variety!
Btw. A shout out here to the two lovely women who drove all the way up here
from Hood River Oregon just to visit the Vancouver Ukulele Circle. We’re
nothing if not internationally known!
NEWSFLASH: Uncle Bob has been in talks with Tapestry Music at 3607
W.Broadway. The owner is giving all Vanukes members a 10% discount on all
ukulele related items (ukes, strings, books etc.) until the end of the
summer. That’s nice eh!
Performance time began with April singing Sympathy for the Devil. No not the
song by the Stones, a totally different one that was originally done by The
Indelicates. A young first timer called Nic had walked in the door and said
she’d like to perform. She did an awesome job of Rock Around the Clock (she
said it’s “an old song from the ’70s” I told her it’s twenty years older
than that my dear!) And how people can perform while reading lyrics from an
iphone is beyond me but she did it easily.
Brenda sang an Old Man Luedecke song called Early Days. A very touching song
about how quickly young children grow up. What was really neat was that she
learned it by listening to the recording and figured out the words and
chords herself. How often does that happen anymore! Johnny sang Bertolt
Brecht/Kurt Weill’s The Alabama Song. This darkly brooding yet tuneful song
about finding the next Whisky bar has been covered by Bowie, Marianne
Faithful and The Doors.
Craig, Vanessa and Ronin bravely took on The Beach Boys Good Vibrations.
Listen to that song and imagine 3 people doing it! It was wonderful to hear
the harmonies and the sounds and rhythm changes. They even vocalized the
ghostly refrain of the electronic Theremin. Wonderful stuff. I saw Marianne
Buechert and Steve perform as a warm up act at my Deep Cove concert recently
and it was lovely to welcome them to the VUC where they sang Temma Harbour a
1970 hit for Mary Hopkin (she’s the one who also did Those Were the Days).
Jennifer performed a medley of bluesy songs in the key of A. I don’t know
what the songs are because she made the unusual move of not giving an intro
– she just got straight on with singing. Hmmm refreshing! Boaz sang a
hilarious song called Inflatable You by Australian Tim Minchin. (I’m pretty
sure I heard the song while in Australia last year). It’s one of those
clever bits of wordplay that tackles a rather rude subject and does so with
humour and in a (more or less) family friendly way. Tom and Jason then did
an equally offbeat song they wrote for a friend of theirs who once worked as
a mascot called Bucky the Beaver who got attacked in a way that no animal
(or vegetable) ever should.
Ronin and Jennifer brought some sanity back to the concert with Leather and
Lace (Stevie Nicks and Don Henley). Tom Moody did a fabulous solo ukulele
instrumental of On Green Dolphin St., How High the Moon and The Man I Love.
We then went from the beautiful simplicity of a single uke to the big sound
of seven voices and 2 ukes. California Dreaming was sung by Vanessa, Tomi,
Bonita, Boaz, Karen, Magda and Craig. Taking on such a vocal number with all
those parts and people is a huge undertaking and it’s all too easy to notice
the occasional moments when it doesn’t quite work but there were many more
moments when the sound really came together and when it did you just went
The work you did was so worth it and I hope you all keep doing it! It
thrills me that this uke circle I started so long ago continues to bring out
so much creativity in so many of you. I applaud you all. In fact, I’m
standing up right now: Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap
clap clap clap.
Keep Strumming and Smiling and I’ll see you in July.
Mark your calendar!