Mother Ukers

I recently went to see a band called the Mother Ukers. They are the UK’s top ukulele band and I feel privileged to have been able to see them more than once. I was standing at the very front this time, so I have some lovely pictures to share with you, although the photos are terrible quality as I took them with my phone.

The support band were called Plastic Jeezus and they were also a ukulele led band.I had never heard of them before, but any band who does a cover of ‘Creep’ by Radiohead (My current favourite song) even for a few seconds, is a winner by me. They have a self titled song and a mini plastic model of Jesus on the drum kit, so you should listen to them. 

The Mother Ukers came on next, and they performed wonderfully. Introducing each song with a joke or a story and having the most enthusiastic bass ukulele player ever certainly does keep things new and exciting.
If you haven’t previously heard of the Mother Ukers I suggest that you check them out as they have probably covered one of your favourite songs ( Everyone loves Fire Starter don’t they?) and if you ever thought that ukuleles were boring you will realise your mistake.

5 songs that shaped my 2013

If the title wasn’t self explanatory, this is a list of the songs that meant a lot to me throughout 2013, for various reasons.
1. ‘Panic’ by The Smiths
This song was important this year because it was the first song that my band did a cover of. Admittedly it was a cover very different to the original song, but we were proud of ourselves, and it was the first moment we really got lost in the music, or performed in front of anyone
2. ‘Handwritten’ by The Gaslight Anthem
This is a song that I have cried to and celebrated to, if someone asked me what my favorite song was I would probably say this one. I fell in love with the song as soon as I heard it, I related to it immediately and use the lyrics as mottos to live by.
3. ‘Desolation Row’ by Bob Dylan
The lyrics to this song are what really interested me, I love long songs with lots of verses each flowing perfectly into one another and this is the perfect example. The way the story is portrayed in this song is so imaginative, and can be related to so many different things.
4. ‘Diane Young’ by Vampire Weekend
After going to see Vampire Weekend early in the year, and getting to stand very close to the stage I haven’t been able to get enough of this song. I love the fact that Diane Young is used instead of (spoiler alert I you haven’t yet figured it out) dying young, and I love how different it is to the rest of the album.
5. ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Thin Lizzy
Everyone knows this song, and I was never particularly interested in it until my dad played me this cover version which made me think of the song as having a different meaning. I then felt as though I could relate to the lyrics and appreciate the cover and the original.

The Family Rain

I went to see Jake Bugg live, and he was fantastic! He played a lot of songs from the album he’s making as well as favourites like ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Lightening Bolt’ which both had everyone singing and dancing.

Don’t cheap cameras just work so well in dim light?
However the real highlights of the show (sorry Jake Bugg), were the support acts. There were two support acts, one of which was a band called ‘Honey Honey‘, they were so lovely, and they signed my ticket and gave me hugs.
 The other support act shocked me beyond compare, they are a band of brothers called ‘The Family Rain‘ and they are honestly fabulous. Within seconds of them walking on stage I knew they would be a new favourite of mine, in choruses of songs I would find myself singing along even though two minutes ago I couldn’t have know any of the lyrics. We met them after the show and had a picture with them, and got them to sign our tickets too. They were a *little* bit drunk, but still lovely guys.

The Family Rain’s new single ‘Feel Better (FRANK) was also x-fm’s song of the week, and songs another of their features in a recent advert. They have a new album coming out very soon, which you can pre-order on iTunes *here*. Whilst you’re there check out some of their other stuff too, you won’t be disappointed.

Wonky Donk 2013

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Wonky Donk festival with my dad, my sister and some other family. Wonky Donk is a small roots revival festival in South England; it started a few years ago to raise money for a nearby donkey sanctuary and has been successfully running every year since.

The Tickets were pretty lovely on their own really.

We arrived at the festival on Saturday missing the first night of bands much to my dismay. We collected our wristbands in the heat and headed down to the camping area. After setting up and drawing all over my legs in body paint it was time to head down to the festival area. We managed to see an amazing band on the main stage before there was a power cut and the next band were sent to do an acoustic set in the bar area. As the bar tent was completely full we sat on the side of the stage and were appropriately deafened by various Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash covers (not that I’m complaining!). 

The first band during the power cut, taking a walk around the grounds whilst playing.

After two bands in the bar tent the power was back so we headed outside again to enjoy the next set of bands. Two bands later and we decided it was barbecue time. 

We didn’t realise you weren’t allowed barbecues on site but luckily all the food was cooked before we got caught so we still got our meal.
After eating we headed back down to the stage area to find it completely full, as it was still sunny we placed our mat in the shade and enjoyed the next band. After a beautiful cover band it started to get dark which meant that we started to dance. The song I remember most vividly was ‘Anarchy in the UK’ by the Sex Pistols and how everything felt complete as the entire crowd jumped and danced sending massive clouds of dust into the air. The first band I remember seeing during this time were called Milk Machine, and they had such a great stage presence. Whilst they were on the crowd formed into an arc shape around the stage leaving people room closer to the stage to dance  (which I of course had an embarrassing attempt at).
Milk Machine (sorry for the poor quality, its a video snapshot)

The next band was on a smaller stage to the side of the main stage and they were called The Doghouse Boat Boys, in my opinion they were the best band of the evening and the crowd loved them. Everyone was jumping and singing and they threw glow sticks into the crowdOne of the main things I remember about The Doghouse Boat Boys was that they stuck band stickers everywhere, and it was this idea that made me so excited to see them as it meant that I recognised the name! I peeled one off the side of a pole and it now lives proudly on my guitar.

In prized place on my guitar.
After The Doghouse Boat Boys, came the band everyone had been waiting for, Quins Quinney. I had heard people talking all day about how good they were, and having never seen them before I was pretty excited. We made our way to the centre of the crowd and gradually edged towards the front. The music was amazing and everyone was singing along. During one song my friend lifted me onto her back and all of the people around us put their arms up towards me. They played a version of ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls as well as the four-chord song which was all made even better by their outfits.

Quins Quinney (sorry for terrible quality but I had to show you the outfits)

The evening was finished back in the bar tent with The Doghouse Boat Boys doing an amazingly energetic set, before we all headed back to the camping area realising we were much more covered in dirt than expected (this is what happens when you’ve got hundereds of people jumping on dry ground causing dust clouds…).
A small price to pay for one of the best nights ever.

The Doghouse Boat Boys: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Doghouse-Boat-Boys/167029163331844

The Beginning

This is my first post on my new blog, and I’m hoping this will be a new start. It’s just a short introduction, but I’m hoping to post more for you soon.