The Triple Birthday Double Ukulele Bash.


Well what can I say I thought Kath had excelled herself when I arrived at The Swan to find a Bevy of beauties ensconced in the room by the fire, I thought she had arranged a massive stripper party for Gloria, Steve, and myself who all celebrate birthdays this week. Sadly it was just some group of women having a meeting and being the type we are we abandoned our usual perches and moved to the side room.

This is normally considered big enough for us all however not tonight as some spectators not knowing what they were letting themselves in for came to listen.

Having spread ourselves around the room we began the night with yours truly starting as per. With a Peter Sarstedt song “Where do you go to my lovely” circa 1969, A song about a fictional girl who grows up to become a member of the jet set, the rhetorical question of the song suggests her glamorous may not have brought her happiness or contentment. This was followed by “John Williams” a sorry tale of a newly wed couple who travelled on the Titanic. Misery abounds.

Moving swiftly on and going clockwise around the room Graeme Morrell was next up. Graeme had just been to see his Bobship at Manchester I believe with Mark Knopfler and was more than disparaging about Mr Dylan’s Performance, that being said apparently Mark was very good, so lets have a Dylan song “The times they are a changing” was brought forth with some aplomb by the dexterous Mr Morrell. Staying in the “Oldie” section we then had a crackin version of the Rolling stones “Angie”   No Michael Chapman but the night was young. Great stuff Graeme. Steve Hulme the birthday boy was next up and had managed to smuggle his ukulele past whoever by stuffing it up his jumper. I know I have been missing for a few sessions but have we morphed into some sort of underground ukulele terrorist group and no-one has told me. Shady or what? Steve playing his guitar (obviously waiting until we were given the all clear to break out the Ukes) gives us a dramatic version of “Mad World a la Gary Jules from the film Donnie Darko. Steve then baffled the hell out of me with a French song done almost as good as monsieur Chevalier called I hope “Com Tu Dance” by Jean-Jacques Golderman, Steve did give a full explanation but it definitely sounded great in its natural language.

Len Harvey next having ensconced himself in the far corner of the room then sang a song in another foreign language “American” Len gave us his best country voice with Shell Silberstein’s “Lullabies, Legends and Lies” and then warned us all that the next song derived from a poem had 40 or so verses normally however Len was only doing Ten of them. Apparently it is a microcosm of American through he eyes of the writer based in an American diner, and the song was called “Rosalees Good Eats Café” and incorporated a first for S.A.S  a key change that was deliberate and intended. Great song, though Pam did mention how high you would be singing if you did all 40 verses with a change each time? Great entertainment as always Len.



Pam Johnson next and another Ukulele smuggled in under the ever watchful eye of Ian the landlord Sssshhh!  Pam did a Lucinda Williams number “Am I too Blue for you” with the blogger accompanying when he found the key, and her next song was a treat for Kath as it is one of her favourites “The Cliffs of Dooneen” great stuff and again the Uke was waiting for the all clear to come out.

Ian Wingate complete with entourage was next in line (No uke though) obviously not a fully paid up member of the S.A.S Humph!  Ian having realised that I was struggling with song titles and artists tonight gave me the longest title of a song ever “I’m absolutely fed up  and tired of waiting for our lass while she goes shopping” a.k.a “Waiting for Women” although without a Uke you will be waiting a long time! Ian then had everyone laughing with a scat version of that Tom Jones  classic “Delilah” now given the Wingate treatment this was excellently delivered and approved by all. My particular favourite was the scat verse with percussive guitar. Great stuff Ian and a shame you had to leave early.

Gloria next to round up the first half having come in half way through Lens song and trying to find a place to sit, had a couple of new songs tonight, all done in her own inimitable style. The first was a Donegal version of “The old woman of Wexford” learned I believe from someone in Buncrana. And this was followed by her version of an old traditional ballad “Lord Randall”

It never ceases to amaze me how Gloria can play the tune and a chordal accompaniment excellent as always and the first half came to a close.

Round Two Ding Ding. As previously mentioned Gloria mentioned Buncrana and The Bloggers next song was all about America and Buncrana, see and they think this is thrown together. “The Flower Seller” by Harry Donoghue was followed by a self penned song “Gotta get the monkey off your back”.

Graeme then followed the seamless continuity by doing “Sam Stone” a John Prine Classic which talks about the monkey on your back Seamless! Graeme then finished off with a one of his own tunes called “Lincoln Rag” impressively enough I thought it was a Michael Chapman tune so there you go the pupil becomes the Master. Excellent Graeme.

Steve was next with his Pocket Bazooka “THE UKE” and sang a great song of his in the style of the great Mr. Formby called “Awkward little Bugger” and he kept staring at me all the while he was singing it, I will have to make sure Kath never sits next to him again. We then had a ribald tongue in cheek song entitled “Tuning up your little Ukulele” with every innuendo you can imagine. The man has far too much time on his hands but great songs none the less.

Now that the UKES were in the open (we were obviously passed the watershed) Pam not to be out done gave us her rendition of “No telling what a love song can do” a la Linda Thompson before rounding off with a Waking the Witch track entitled “You are my Rock and Roll”( I Hope)

Gloria then to round the night up with a song for Kath “Tracks of my Tears” a long time fav of ours and then a hiatus halt with Constable le Clock which sparked a short debate on the cosmos (it all happens at S.A.S) As a result of several people not being around at the end it was felt there was still some music so as a group we hammered out “Rollover Beethoven” “Johanna” I’ve just seen a girl” and  ending with a classic “Jolene” a very pleasant evening was had by all and thanks to Ian for the Birthday drinks and to Kath, Anne and Steve for the Nibbles and to everyone for turning up see you all on the 1st of November. BCW

Posted on October 19, 2011 .