How are we going to playing before full lockdown is lifted?

I’ve been reading the advice on the Musician’s Union website and the advice on from the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport).

This is what I’ve boiled it down to:
– We are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 6 – unless the larger group splits into smaller groups of six – basically 6 people in a group on a table with social distancing between groups of 6
– We are not allowed to sing indoors

How do we practise ukulele under these circumstances?
1. If there are more than 6 people, we separate into tables of 6. NO switching or mixing within groups
2. Music will be passed out or projected onto a wall
3. There will be no singing. We will play along to a backing track. We did this to learn a new songs in the past before COVID and we have been doing this via Zoom since COVID started
4. Masks should be worn until sat down and whenever stood up to get drinks/ visit the toilets
5. No hugging, hand shaking or close contact
6. No sharing of equipment (don’t try someone’s new uke)

It’s basically the rules for going to a pub, but we are going to be holding ukes and playing along.

What’s good about this?
1. This is a massive step in the right direction
2. This is a social event
3. We will be actually playing the ukulele together – something that is impossible via zoom. We might be in sync
4. We will start with simple old tunes that experienced players will know and learners can pick up

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Emerging from Lockdown.

This is all subject to change – dependent on govt advice.

Most of us have had two vaccinations and we are heading in the right direction as far as infections are going.

I am keeping a close eye on the following guidance:…/working-safely…/performing-arts
Once we are clear to actually sing in a room together, we will be.

I have been contacted by new players and old faces asking what we’ve all been asking the Govt. : “When do we get back to normal?”.

Recently I visited a pub that was not only open, but bustling. They have a room that we can use and seem happy to let us in. The other day, the landlady rang me to confirm when we would like to start and how she can help with publicity. A very positive start!

(There is a small catch – but I’m not telling anyone yet).

So, on Monday 21st of June 7:30pm – with the usual caveats of the rules changing (watch this space) I’d like us to meet up.

Highway, Willerby Rd, Hull HU5 5LH

Monday 21st June
I propose that you arrive between 7:30 and 8pm.
We play 8pm to 9pm and have a break
We restart 9:15pm and go on until 10pm – 10:15pm

What will happen?
I want to promote this as much as possible. I want to encourage rusty players, beginners and complete newbies. As such, I want to go back to basics with the first Uke songbook. I want it to be fun and I’d like people to treat it as a social night. If there are few of us, we should be able to keep a small distance. We’ll have to “play that by ear”.

What will it cost?
We have to support the pub by buying drinks. As long as we buy a couple of drinks, that should cover electricity, cleaning and any staff costs. Beyond that, there might be a cost for music books for people to keep and take responsibility for.

I know some players will be travelling from afar. I’d like to get people to arrange car shares as we progress. This is “green”, makes parking easier and allows some people to drink and have a designated driver.

The first meeting should be treated as an AGM and we decide what the future will be.

We might not even get to sing a song as the government guidance currently doesn’t let us. I’m hoping guidance changes soon.

Having said that – bring a uke and your singing trousers.

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During Coronavirus Lockdown

Hello everyone.

During lockdown the group is still “meeting” via “Zoom” as a virtual meeting- at 8pm.

Zoom give people 40 minutes free to try out their service. We are meeting for that 40 minutes free time.

If Zoom extend that we go on for about an hour. Zoom cut our first meeting at 40 minutes exactly and the second meeting was extended. I can’t tell if Zoom are going to extend the time each week.

We’ve been using Jim’s Songbook to a pretty good degree.
It allow scrolling and searching so I shared the webpage, hit scroll and we set off.

So far we’ve had a go at :
John Prine – Please Don’t Bury Me (we played this for months before John’s passing and as a tribute to him he day before the news broke)
Things – Bobby Darin
Happy Together – The Turtles
With a Little Help for my Friends – The Beatles

We then just picked random tunes to play.
If you want suggestions to practise – have a go at the above and below).

This week I have proposed:

Take it Easy – Eagles
Daydream – Lovin Spoonful
Stuck in the Middle With You – Steelers Wheel
After Hours – Velvet Underground
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – Beatles

The songs are simple and hopefully we can all play.
During the singing, the meetings are muted so you can only hear me (I’m a terrible player and singer, but I’m there to play along with).
We socialise and have a chat before we start and in between each song and after the session ends.



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Meeting dates for 2020


The most often asked question to this site is when is the next meeting.

We avoid the confusion of Bank Holidays so here are the dates for 2020.

  • 13-01-20
  • 27-01-20
  • 10-02-20
  • 24-02-20
  • 09-03-20
  • 23-03-20
  • 06-04-20
  • 20-04-20
  • 04-05-20
  • 18-05-20
  • 01-06-20
  • 15-06-20
  • 29-06-20
  • 13-07-20
  • 27-07-20
  • 10-08-20
  • 24-08-20
  • 07-09-20
  • 21-09-20
  • 05-10-20
  • 19-10-20
  • 02-11-20
  • 16-11-20
  • 30-11-20
  • 14-12-20

We meet at the Old English Gentleman every fortnight from 13 January at 8pm until 10pm.

Music is provided.
Beginners are welcome and some tuition can be offered to anyone needing support.
We are happy to accept suggestions for songs.

It’s a friendly atmosphere and there are no solos or performances expected from players.
Just turn up and play what you can.



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Hello lovely people.

I’ve been busy organising a different practice space. This one is better for learning and practicing together. The pub is great for a social night, but if we need to go over a song several times and actually hear ourselves the “other Monday” night is at a much better venue. It has various facilities that can help us.

The question I get asked a lot is when is the next meeting in the pub – check out here : CALENDAR

New players are always welcome and we love to have new faces around. We are a friendly, non-judgemental group of people who simply like the Uke.

Next meeting is (in the calendar link above) and Monday 18th February 2019

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GNUF 2018 – Grand Northern Ukulele Festival report.

It’s about time I wrote this down. It’s been a month and I keep putting it off. It’s rather a big job. This is why I was putting it off. Although I was only there for two days, ther eis just too much to cover.  (I missed Friday night, Satruday Cabaret, fringe events like the pubs, cafe and bar.  I missed all the workshops and Mim’s stage etc)

Strap yourself in – this is a long read, but I urge you to watch the videos. These people are great.


We arrived just before lunchtime it was well underway.
We headed downstairs to the “Unplug the Wood” – a small stage with big talent.

Hedge inspectors – the hosts of the weekend on the Unplug the Wood stage.

Check them out of Facebook
They were brilliants hosts, having done this for years. Funny, entertaining and talented. They filled in between acts and joined in with acts. Brillaint. Bought Krabbers Album on my way out.


3 Part Split – Great lads from Scotland. Mixture of punk and “just great songs” sung with gusto and a smile.

Dawn and her Uke – There was an ethereal quality about her covers. I expect great things in the future from Dawn.

Fake Plastic Tigers – this was the second time I saw Fake Plastic Tigers. A collection of Radiohead songs  played with ukulele, bass and vibraphone – What could be better?

I love the Fake Plastic Tigers. Check he out here

Then we decided to have lunch and wander to the main stage for the afternoon

Katy Vernon – great way to star the afternoon. We missed the start, but caught the end.

Her website: HERE

Ooty and the Cloud – trio of talent here

Bryan Tolentino & Asa Young – actual Hawaiians playing ukulele and guitar. The playing!! The voices!! Heavenly. They travelled from Hawaii tpo play here and there were superb

Andy Eastwood – here’s talent. Andy is a great traditional Formby style player, but at GNUF he treated the audience to a composition with athe Didsbury string quartet.

The Water Gypsies – I LOVED THESE!! They are a group that lives on canal boats and play great music.

Mim’s Showcase – Mim comes from the US every year and is a major contributor to GNUF. She’s a remarkable lady with masses of talent. Mim has a stage outside and the best of the stage were up on stage giving it their all.

Bad Mouse Orchestra – all the way from Germany this trio of talent burst onto the stage with tunes from 1920s and 1930s. Utterly brilliant and another CD purchased.

Plastic Jeezus – a great fun band with their own songs to make to smile

Natasha Ghosh – all the way from the Netherland, this tiny lady was heart-breakingly good. She is petite and I didn’t realise she was 20. We sat next to her parents who practically fizzed with pride.

Kiki Lovechild – break from Ukuleles with a bit of cabaret. Kiki Lovechild reenacted a spy story.
Here’s the full show:


Andrew Molina  -another MASSIVE talent all the way from Hawaii. I’d put this young man in the same bracket as Jake Shimabukuro. His father played along next to him. Both were so cool and talented.

Hot Potato Syncopators – Utter madness!! UTTERLY BRILLIANT!! If music ahll still existed – I’d be down there weekly watching this hysterical act of juggling, ukulele, saw, ventriloquism and just pure madness. The finale was a tribute to the Dam Busters with thousands of paper aeroplanes being thrown and a bouncing bomb going around the auditorium. So funny.

Lucky people managed to get to the cabaret after this, We went to Tess’s house. See about more about Tess and her husband, Sam at the bottom.


Again, we started downstairs at Unplug the Wood.
Grab it and Bang – an absolutely great start to the day with this cracking group.

ANDYDAN – this was remarkable. Forget Comedy, punk, Formby and Hawaiian music for 15 minutes and soak yourself in seriously good original music. This was 15 minutes where you could feel the cold of the mountains as Andydan took us up the Himalayas and onto Everest.

Dave and the Isaacles – proving that you don’t have to be old enough to buy a pint to take to the stage, Dave and the Isaacles gave their all in a performance that was warmly welcomed.

Findlay Napier – what a voice! All the way from Scotland, this brilliant singer songwriter played a selection of his songs for us. I loved it, bu couldn’t find a CD  at the merchandise stand.
Listen to the song, smile at the content and then (God bless him) learn how to play it

Jonathan and his 4 String Fiasco – all the way from the US, Jonathan showed us his talents. Great voice and played like a god. Well done that man!

Sadly I cannot be in two places at once and the main stage was calling.

Amelia Coburn – to my utter horror we missed Amelia. Thank God for youtube. If you can listen to this without goosebumps, hand in your ukulele, you are already dead. This diversion to youtube made writing this very long. Who is she? Where is she playing next?

Follow her here

Percy Copley – Percy is one of those that make the GNUF possible. He teaches workshops, write music, comperes the main stage, performs at unplug the wood, plays the main stage, travels the world spreading ukulele love and is an all round great fella. Search for him on the internet and you’ll find tutorials.


Robin Evans Esq. – like Tom Waits? Like Slide guitar blues? like Beastie Boys? You would love Robin Evans esq (world record holder).
He did a wonderful cover of Chocolate Jesus

Astraluna – she has inspired me to buy a loop pedal (when I can decide which one).

Peter Luongo – one of the worlds best ukulele tutors. Having taught a class or two over the weekend – they took to the stage and performed like pros. His infectious enthusiasm was electric. He never stops smiling, dancing or walking. Truly a great advert for the ukulele.

This is part of this group made up from the workshop attendees on Sunday.

Mr B The Gentlemen Rhymer – the last big act on Sunday before the finale, Mr B brought us the history or rap as only he could – Chap-style with a uke.


The finale was every act that could up on the stage for a strum along

That was it. One thing left to do and that was a group photo.

Another brilliant GNUF. Too much to take in. I’ll be back next year!



Click here





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Good Riddance Tutorial

The twiddly bit can be daunting – especially if only shown them once a fortnight. So here’s the song broken down.

The entire song in a PDF Good Riddance
The plucking Good Riddance Picking

Youtube clip:


My hand closest to the tuners:

My plucking hand:

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Restart After Easter Break

Hi everyone,

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow night  (16th April 2018) is the Hull Ukulele Group get together and strum along.

8pm- 10pm Old English Gentleman.

I look forward to see you all.


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Easter Break

Hi everyone,

In January we decided to skip Easter Monday – so the 2nd April meeting to not happening.

This gives everyone extra time to practise all the lovely new songs.

Next Monday night meeting will be 16th April, 8pm Old English Gentlemen.






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2018 Events

Yorkshire Dales Ukulele Weekender

Poster 2018

Where: Victoria Hall, Settle, North Yorkshire, UK
When: March 23-25
Featuring: Dead Mans Uke, Hedge Inspectors, League of Ukulele Gentlemen, Dani and Liam, Elisabeth Pfeiffer, Unplugthewood

Big Boat On The Thames


Where: London, UK
When: April 7
Featuring: TBC

Lincoln Ukulele Festival

Where: Bishop Grosseteste Univerity, Newport, Lincoln, UK
When: April 15
Featuring: Opera-lele

“Lincoln Ukulele Festival Sunday 15th April 2018 doors open 10am, musical fun right through to 5pm.
Cafeteria on site, access for wheelchairs, free home – made cakes at teatime,  singarounds, workshops,
songbooks, all completely free of charge!
Bishop Grosseteste University campus Newport, LINCOLN LN1 3DY”


Ukulele Takeover – Mossley Hill Beer Festival

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Where: Mossley Hill, Liverpool, UK
When: April 28
Featuring: Splintered Ukes, D’Ukes of Hazzard, Secret Ukulele Band, Ukulele Club Liverpool, Summer Strum Band

Ukulele Festival of Scotland

Where: Crichton Estate, Dumfries, Scotland, UK
When: April 27-29
Featuring: TBC

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2018

Where: Huddersfield, UK
When: May 11-13
Featuring: Winner of the 2017 Best Ukulele Festival prize in the Got a Ukulele/UKE Magazine awards – Andy Eastwood (GB), Andrew Molina (US), Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (GB), Peter Luongo (CA), Bad Mouse Orchestra (DE), Amelia Coburn (UK), Elisabeth Pfeiffer (AT), Natasha Ghosh (NL), Fake Plastic Tigers (NL+GB), Matt Griffo (US), The Ukelites (DE), Oli Mansell, Iain Glencross, Opera-lele, Andydan, Belfast Ukulele Jam, Rag House, Plastic Jeezus, Astraluna, Marc Gallagher, The D’ukes, Matt Hicks, Professor Chris, Ooty and the Cloud, Belfast Ukulele Jam, Dawn and her Uke, Isaac Hughes-Dennis and David Collins, Pitsmoor Ladies Ukulele Chorale (and more!) are performing and offering new workshops and experiences.
– My personal favourite.

New Forest Ukulele Festival

Where: New Milton, Hampshire, UK
When: May 12-19
Featuring: Opera-lele, Plastic Jeezus

Meet The Ukulele Maker Festival 2018


Where: Snowdonia, Wales, UK
When: May 18-19
Featuring: Andy Eastwood, Paul Tucker, Zoë Bestel

“The Festival will start off with an open mic session on Friday evening in the Oakley Arms hotel at the bottom of Plas Tan y Bwlch’s drive. On Saturday morning ukulele makers will be available to answer questions and have samples of their work on display for sale. In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to attend workshops on various ukulele building techniques and song writing and more. After dinner there will be concerts held in the library and in the theatre with headline players Andy Eastwood,Paul Tucker and Zoe Bestel. Support acts include Liz Panton.”


Skipsea Ukulele Festival

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Where: Skipsea
When: 21st April
Skipsea Ukulele Festival aims to bring together Ukulele players and enthusiasts from all over Yorkshire and beyond.

UKE Power

Where: Drax Social Club, North Yorkshire, UK
When: May 26-28
Featuring: Phil Doleman and Ian Emmerson

Winchester Ukulele Festival

Where: Winchester Rugby Football Club, Winchester, UK
When: June 1-2
Featuring: Manitoba Hal, Andy Eastwood, Tobias Elof, Zoë Bestel, Remco, Plastic Jeesus, League of Ukulele Gentlemen

Ukulele Festival On The Beach

Where: Oddicombe Beach, Babacombe, Torquay, UK
When: June 9-10
Featuring: TBC

The Forest Ukulele Retreat

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Where: Harts Barn Craft Centre, Forest of Dean, UK
When: June 15-17
Featuring: Phil Doleman, Samantha Muir, Peter Moss, Steven Sproat

Upton Ukulele Festival

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Where: Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, UK
When: June 15-17
Featuring: TBC

Haworth Ukulele Group Extravaganza 2018

Where: Haworth, Yorkshire, UK
When: June 16-17
Featuring: TBC
“HUGE 2018 will be on Saturday 16th June.  On Saturday 16th June we’ll be in the Old School Rooms, Haworth for the usual mix of ukulele mayhem and fun – with a few new tricks up our sleeves.  There’ll also be a flash mob during the day.  More details coming soon!!”

Biddulph Ukulele Day

We've got the BUG - the Biddulph Ukulele Group

Where: Biddulph, Staffordshire, UK
When: June 23
Featuring: Samantha Muir, Manitoba Hal, Amelia Coburn
“A great line up of ukulele officionados for BUG day. Including Sam Muir, Manitoba Hal, Amelia Coburn and not forgetting our own Peter Moss. There’ll be the usual ukulele entertainment throughout the day with performances from individuals and groups from far and near. There’ll be workshops put on by some of the top performers above, and an opportunity for everyone to improve their skill and technique and have fun doing so.”
Website: TBC

Ukes In The Sun

Where: Farmers Arms, St Merryn, Padstow, Cornwall, UK
When: June 22 -23
Featuring: TBC
Website: TBC (Contact )

Ukulele Festival Of Wales

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Where: Gower Heritage Centre, Wales
When: June 29 – July 1
Featuring: Georgia Mae, Hedge Inspectors, Ukoholix, Sarah Kelly, Madison Martin, Ben Rouse, Fflip Fflops, Manitoba Hal, Gaudy Orde, Elderly Brothers, Amigos Gypsy Jazz Orchestra.

Tees Ukulele Festival

Where: Redcar UK
When: July 7
Featuring: Dead Mans Uke, Mersey Belles, Peter Moss, Workshops

Box Ukulele Festival

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Where: Queens Head, Box, Wiltshire, UK
When: July 14
Featuring: The Mighty Lemons, The Mother Pluckers, Whispering Pauline and her Pleasant Pluckers, The Strumming Birds

Ukulele Hooley by the Sea

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Where: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
When: August 25 – 26
Featuring: TBC

Highland Ukulele Gathering

Where: Scotland’s Hotel, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland
When: September 14 – 16
Featuring: Samantha Muir, Cera Impala, Nigel Gatherer

Uke East 2018

Uke East 2018

Where: Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, UK
When: September 21-23
Featuring: Tricity Vogue, Phil Doleman and Ian Emmerson, Dead Mans Uke, Ukulollo

Bracklesham Bay Ukulele Festival

Where: Eastbourne, UK
When: October 26-29
Featuring: TBC
Website: TBC

Uke Express Steam Train and Uke Weekend

Friday, November 2, 2018 7:00 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2018 11:00 PM
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
12 Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ
The Uke Express returns to Pickering on the weekend of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of November!

With options to include:

Friday Night Big Strum & Open Mic
Specially Chartered Steam Train on Saturday
Saturday Night Triple-Header Concert
Specially Chartered Steam Train on Sunday
Sunday Night Big Strum & Open Mic

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The Big Christmas Ukulele Party – Blackpool

Saturday, December 9, 2017
2:30 PM 11:00 PM
Hilton Hotel (map)

A fantastic way to get in the festive mood, our Big Christmas Ukulele Party promises fun, learning, music and bright lights!

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