Vancouver Ukulele Circle Meeting – May 17, 2016

Hello Strummers,
It’s so neat when people travel halfway around the world and make a point of
dropping in to see us. We had two of those tonight and, while both are here
to take the Alaskan cruise, they made it their business to come and strum
with us at the St. James Hall:

Les from Australia is someone I met when I last played the Blue Mountains
Uke Club. He did a wonderful job of singing Plastic Jesus. And Beverley from
New Zealand (She teaches uke and performs on the North Island) sang a
beautiful Maori song called Hine e Hine. Her rendition of that song in its
original language was very moving.

Other performers included Rhona who, for her first time on the St James
stage sang Fever. (Note to nervous first-timers who are a little afraid of
the stage, the mics, the lights and all that jazz: Rhona came early (6pm) to
stand on the stage and try out the sound system right after soundcheck and
it gave her more confidence to perform. If you’re a 1st-timer who also wants
to do that, you can, but please let me know ahead of time).

We had some fun with Tom Moody who sang Bring Me Sunshine. His uke picking
was fabulous but he came apart with the lyrics. Even though he’d brought
them onstage he couldn’t quite read them. His performance while trying to
rescue the song with half-remembered words was highly entertaining. Possibly
a lot more so than if he’d played flawlessly. It shows that even when the
worst happens it can still make for a great show. And that’s what it’s all
about I think. Thanks for the laughs Tom!

Craig is warmly welcomed back from Halifax and he sang Bowie’s Life on Mars.
As usual Ron did an ‘obit’ song (as he calls ’em) singing one of Prince’s
songs: I’ll Never Take the Place of Your Man (Ron was inspired by the
Wellington Uke Orchestra version). Johnny sang Ghost Riders in the Sky and
we all joined in with Yippie Hi Yo!!

Jennifer did a very touching performance of Little Bird by Jonathan Bird.
Maureen, who has become a regular performer, sang Blue Moon. Ronin and Tom
sang the Beatles’ We Can Work It Out. (btw. Earlier in the evening they
helped lead a kickass Hey Jude along with Craig and Vanessa).

Ed reworked Neil Young’s Heart of Gold and did a fine job of performing it.
And finally we were treated to a terrific finale by Boaz on clawhammer
banjo-uke along with: Tomi, Bonita, Vanessa and Tom. I’m a fan of vocal
harmony singing and what they did just blew my socks off. The song was Seven
Bridges Road by the Eagles and they really nailed the harmonies.

I love the fact that the Uke Circle allows and helps new players but it
gives me an even greater thrill to see how even experienced players are
developing their music and their sound. It’s a fabulous journey which I hope
you’ll take with us again soon!

Next meeting is June 21 – see you then and bring your friends!

Keep Strumming and Smiling,
Ralph Shaw

PS. And in case you didn’t hear….The St James Hall has been saved thanks
to the City of Vancouver and the United Church congregation, and is
guaranteed to keep on running for at least another 10 years. Good news for
all of us!!

Thanks to Ruth Raymond for these photos.