16th August 2012
If you are not in possession of a Ukulele this will mean very little to you. But Ossett has a Ukulele Club, YES a Ukulele Club, we meet on the third Wednesday of every month at Eller Coffee and we are a ramshackle band of ne’er do wells, waifs, strays but in the main very good humoured types. We meet for fun, there are a few advanced players who come to the club and they manage to put aside their aspirations to be Jake Shimabukuro for long enough to join us in some jolly playing of simple tunes. The aim is to come together, make music, have a sing, drink coffee, make new friends and generally feel better about life.
We’ve been gathering now for 8 months, the numbers vary, I think 30 was our limit, we had to leave the door open lest someone fainted and there was little room for elbows or the windmill.
Thus far in our short but illustrious history we’ve played at Holmfirth Festival of Folk. Featured in the Flock To Ossett programme, and a couple of sub-groups, break away factions have sprung up and little Ukulele Bands can be heard plinking and a plonking as you walk the streets of Ossett. In the dead of night all you can hear is the Town Hall Clock and the strains of ‘My Dog Has Fleas’ emanating from living rooms across WF5.
When we started Ossett Observer, we hoped that the activities we initiated would be owned by the people of Ossett, that having set the ball rolling, folks would take the responsibility for their own creativity, lead their own workshops, club nights, making and doing classes. Last night made me beam with joy. The very lovely and able Kylie Tilford stepped up to the plate and offered to lead Uke Club, she prepared a song book for us and led us all in song for over two hours. She encouraged folks to show and tell and do their own performances and the whole atmosphere was one of joy, support and mutual encouragement.
And do you know what? We don’t sound half bad either. There are some cracking voices in the club and in my humble but not inconsiderable experience, you can get away with an awful lot if you’ve got a good voice The spirit of Uke Club appears to be infectious, we’ve got some bookings coming up for Christmas Gigs and Festivals, it appears that our particular brand of Ukulele fuelled joy is in demand.
This little film ‘OSSETT UKULELE MASSIVE ON TOUR’ was made by Beverley Addy about our trip to Holmfirth Arts Festival, have a look at it, see if you can catch the Ukulele Bug.
If you want to join us, you’d be more than welcome. We don’t have room for observers at present so if you do decide to come along, bring a uke, borrow one, someone you know will have one if you don’t.
If you want to get playing, here is KYLIE’S SONGBOOK.
If you search for Ukulele Tags in the blog you’ll find other songbooks too. Have Fun!