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Bristol, Burgers & a Blooming Lovely Wedding

Ahoy there TTWUke fans!

We have been rather quiet of late and for that we can only apologise. Life really does seem to run at 312 mph most of the time for us Ukulele ladies leaving little time for us to sit down & do what we enjoy most, have a little sing-song in the sunshine!

Lucy now has a wedding to plan (sooo exciting!) and I have been getting up to all sorts of mischief with my wonderful Rock Choir among other things.

As May is upon us we are now in wedding season. We love all of the seasons but wedding season most of all. We love the dresses (of course), the dewy eyes, the nervy groomsmen, the fussing relatives, the fresh flowers….I could go on but it is always a real privilege to be asked to provide the music for a couple’s special day.

This Saturday we journeyed to Bristol to perform at a church ceremony, singing for the entrance of the bride, during the register signing & for the Bridal march. We learn whatever the couple wants & we always relish the interesting challenge to learn brand new pieces & adapt them for our set up of 2 voices and a ukulele.

This time we sang the love theme from Twilight ‘Turning Page’, ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, ‘A Thousand Years’ and the joyous ‘Your Love Keeps Lifting Me’ to end.

After the service we put my new selfie stick (don’t ask!) to good use & recorded a little snipet of A Thousand Years from our makeshift studio – Lucy’s car!! Here is that video… a beautiful song I hope you’ll agree.

Singing is hungry work & so before heading back to our home in Dorset we set Google the task of finding us somewhere for a good feed and BOY did it succeed!! (Thanks Google!) We travelled down the road to The Burger Joint in Bedminster to get our Burger on… now I would go as far as to say that myself & Lucy are burger connoisseurs having sampled an epic burger or 3 in our time (I’m thinking DJ BBQ & The Dorset Burger Company to name a few!)

However, our interest was peeked instantly after entering a cute, kitsch, unassuming establishment with a diner vibe. The staff were super friendly & the atmosphere relaxed, perfect for a Saturday afternoon bite. On perusing the menu the saliva glands kicked in as as did the panic of not knowing what to pick, we quickly realised this was no ordinary burger joint!! The options are endless – beef, chicken, venison, veal….toppings, sauces, sides, extras, dips, sweet potato chips….I am getting hungry just recalling it!! You get an options menu & a pencil and fill your order in (N.B this would be the point where ones eyes could DEFINITELY become bigger than ones belly!)) You can see here how my eyes have already taken on a dreamy quality and I haven’t actually SEEN the burger yet…..!

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Anyway, I realise I am “making a meal” of this lunch date (hahaha) but seriously you haven’t seen this burger yet! I opted for a beef burger on a glazed brioche bun with sauteed mushrooms, smoked, streaky bacon & cheddar on top with a side of onion rings & sweet potato fries with burger relish & dijonnaise on the side and a fresh elderflower & mint presse to drink…. drooling here! All of this cost me about £12 and was delivered with friendly banter & a smile. Winning! And if this hasn’t wet your appetite then the fact they source all of their produce locally may seal the deal :-)

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If you want to visit (we haven’t been paid we just genuinely LOVED the place and are considering driving from Weymouth to Bristol JUST to eat here!) then here is the website http://www.theburgerjoint.co.uk/

I have one request…if you decide to go then please take me with you!

So I’ve rambled on & made myself very hungry in the process but thanks for reading & we won’t leave it so long next time,

With love

Stacey xx

(TWUKEs resident lead singer)

A Cracking Bank Holiday Weekend!

Hello!

We hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday weekend? We put ours to good use and had a great time which included playing some gorgeous gigs, here’s how our weekend went from start to end…..

Friday night the festivities began when we had my (Lucy) Birthday meal and pub piano sing along night. It all took place at the Kings Arms pub in Portesham where I run my Monday night ukulele group. After eating a delicious meal, I got myself settled down at the old Joanna and we had a right old sing song! It was lovely to see so many friends, fellow ukers and pub goers having a blast belting out some favourite songs old and new. Looking forward to the next one!

Saturday was a super relaxed day, we enjoyed pottering about and having a bit of time off after a busy half term at work.

TTWU in car

Sunday came with excitement as we were due to play at one of our favourite places – River Cottage. Situated deep in the beautiful Devon countryside in Axminster, they were hosting a new Food Fair and we were booked to play three sets throughout the afternoon. And what a lovely time we had! The rain held off for us and we had a great reception from visitors and staff alike. The afternoon flew by in a haze of music, food, beautiful views, happy faces, more food and good times.

TTWU river cottage

Monday came along too soon but we weren’t sad as we had been booked to open the proceedings at Quayside Festival on the harbour side in Weymouth. Again we were fortunate that the rain held off for our set. We had a great crowd come along, so good to see so many familiar faces – friends, family, students and an excellent contingent of ‘Rockies’ from Stacey’s Rock Choirs (who had the best moves!)

TTWU quayfest

Thank you to all of those that came along and supported us this weekend, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves we hope you did too. We’re now looking forward to our first wedding of the summer and our first cruise port session of the season next week. We just hope the weather continues to be kind!

L x

Coaxed out of hibernation…

Good day you ukeing lovelies!
You may have noticed a fair amount of white noise and tumbleweed coming through the airwaves of late….I am afraid us TTWUKE ladies do not suffer the Winter well…However, do not fear!! The sun is back and so are we! :)

We have the incredible privilege of living on the beach in Weymouth so what better way to while away an afternoon by rehearsing in the great outdoors!! While having our rehearsal on the pebbles we thought we may as well do some recording so here is the first few videos from our “Beach Sessions”… we have a couple of our faves for you to feast your hungry eyes on!

Both songs are by personal favourite artist’s of ours The Beatles & Ray Charles.

First up is a cheeky, soulful ditty ripe with everyone’s favourite ‘Til There Was Uke trait; harmonies!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCne4gAtTaY

Next up is a number we like to kick off our live sets with as it really sets the TTWUKE tone….ENJOY!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b0O3AUBqXI

We hope you enjoy watching these vids as much as we enjoyed recording them and we promise to be back very soon, just as soon as we’ve fully thawed out ;)

KISSES,

Stacey & Lucy

 

Guest Blog: Bored of the guitar? Uke can say that again!

We are absolutely delighted to have our first ever guest blog entry! Written by Sam Butterworth we have a great piece about discovering the wonders of the ukulele. Thank you very much Sam, we hope enjoy reading it as much we enjoyed receiving it!:

“I’ve played guitar for around 12 years, and when I first started I was excited every time I picked one up. Even when I was clumsily strumming my dad’s old classical guitar, trying vainly to play a single chord cleanly, I felt like I was on a musical adventure. Then as I managed to learn a few basic tunes and chords a whole world of possibilities opened up.

I quickly move onto the electric guitar – a bright red Squier Stratocaster – which I thought was pretty bad-ass at the time. A couple of years later this was replaced with another red axe, a Musicman Silhouette, which was even more beautiful and sounded even better. This instrument spurred me on to start my own band with a few buddies and we gigged for a couple of years at various Yorkshire haunts, from deserted working men’s clubs to thronged city centre festivals. And it was fun. But then I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up my guitar anymore.

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In moments of boredom at home I’d look over at my lonely guitar, which used to call to me daily. Now it held no appeal. When I did pick it up I couldn’t think of anything to play and I found myself flicking on the TV instead.

This lack of passion for something I’d loved so much troubled me and I thought to myself, what if I’ve fallen out of love with music? But it wasn’t that. I still loved playing records and seeing bands. I was just bored of the guitar.

A couple of weeks later I went for dinner with some friends and after some food and a few beverages the host got out a tiny guitar-shaped hard case, from which he pulled a soprano ukulele. He played a few covers of The Beatles, Radiohead and Elvis Costello and it went down a storm. I was amazed by this little uke, an instrument I’d previously considered a bit of a toy, but which could evidently kick out the jams. I had a strum on it and found that, despite chord shapes being different from guitar, I could pick it up quite easily. And it was exciting and I was having fun again!

I subsequently treated myself to a fairly inexpensive Mahalo soprano ukulele in a soft case and I haven’t stopped playing it since. Learning is a little frustrating as I don’t know many chords, and the tiny fretboard is a challenge to my spidery fingers, but my passion for playing is back.

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I’ve started jamming with friends and learning a whole catalogue of songs, and the temptation to get back on stage is definitely growing – though maybe not just yet. I’m clumsily strumming again and I don’t quite know what I’m doing, but I love every minute of it and feel like a new chapter in my musical life has begun.”

The Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair

This Saturday sees us venturing Devon-wards from our Dorset home to perform at The Decidedly Different Vintage Wedding Fair at Exeter Castle. We will be playing at regular intervals between 11am – 3pm alongside many other talented acts.
We really enjoy getting to meet excited Brides, Grooms & their families while they browse the plethora of gorgeous wedding related wares on show from over 60 exhibitors.

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This is the first vintage event being held at the stunning Exeter Castle & we are honoured to have been invited to be part of it! The website for more info is http://www.bluefizzevents.co.uk

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This is especially exciting for us as the lovely Lucy got engaged to her fab fella Dave at the latter end of 2013 so as well as performing we will be perusing the many exhibits ourselves!!

Hope to see some of there, come and say hi!

Stacey xxx

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year folks! We hope you all had a wonderful festive season and are looking forward to the New Year ahead. We are currently hatching plots and planning for the spring. Keep your eyes peeled for blog changes, gig announcements, new songs, videos and maybe a guest blogger or two…. In the meantime if you are feeling the January blues and need a bit of uke action to cheer you up, do come along to my all inclusive ukulele group at the Kings Arms pub in Portesham. Starting back up again on Monday 6th, 8:30-10:30pm, all abilities and ages welcome!

http://www.kingsarmsportesham.co.uk/

Love Lucy xx

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Dressed in our 1920’s finest for an ultra glam New Years Eve!

 

A Big Old Catch Up!

Hello Dears,

How are you? It’s been a while, I’m sorry. I think the lack of posting over the summer reflects what a super busy time we have had of late! But now it’s time to catch up on what’s been going on. It feels strange to still be feeling quite summery at the end of October, but summer never really ended down our neck of the woods. Although the nights have been drawing in, we have been fortunate enough to still have more than our fair share of glorious sunshine most weeks and we haven’t stopped playing since.

Over the ‘actual’ summer months, we were lucky enough to be pretty gigged up with an array of different events. Stretching our memories all the way back to July, we started the season playing at a wonderful Birthday party in the most beautiful English Country Garden in Beaminster. We are country girls at heart and to be playing in such surroundings was a real treat.

At the end of July our sessions at The Portland Port began. We were to sit on the side of the dock and play to the passengers re-boarding their ship after a day out on the south coast and then play them off as they left. It was quite a surreal experience sitting right next to some of the biggest cruise liners in Europe, some ships were so high up that the passengers looked tiny waving at us from their balconies. We always got such a warm reception though, our music must’ve carried well as we got lots of them singing along and dancing. A few amusing highlights that we will remember include; the engine crew opening their side door to do a call and response sing and dance with us to Tina Turner’s ‘Proud Mary'; being honked at by the ships captain with the line ‘Baby you can drive my ship!’ (having just done our version of the Beatles ‘Drive my Car’); playing from inside an upturned shipping container when the weather was bad and jumping out of our skins every time the Nothe Artillery let off their canon as the ships left. We had so much fun, we hope to be back again next year!

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Throughout the summer months, we played a number of great pub gigs in Weymouth at the Royal Oak on the harbour side and at Boho in town. We love playing both of these places, they have such friendly staff and customers and such a relaxed happy vibe. We were also lucky enough to have local drummer and all round hitter of objects David Hackett sit in with us on his Cajon a few times. We always enjoy mixing it up a bit and love playing with other musicians so this was a real treat. We look forward to more gigs at both places over the following winter months and perhaps more collaborations with who knows….?!

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A massive highlight in August for us was playing at the brand new Forever Sun Festival in Dorchester. Although this was the only weekend of the summer is really rained, it did not put anyone off. It was a fantastic weekend of music put together by some great people, who ensured that there was a good selection of local talent on the bill as well as many well known acts. Our slot took place early on the Friday in the Curiosity Lounge, we had a good response and it was great chatting to the people who came up to us at various points over the weekend to say how much they enjoyed it.

At the end of August, we took ourselves off on a mini road trip to Brighton where we were booked to play a wedding. We travelled up the day before so we could enjoy a day/night there. We had such an amazing time exploring the vintage shops, record shops and music shops, as well as taking in the pier, some chips and doughnuts (anyone would think we’d never been to the seaside before?!) Finally topping off the night by finding the most excellent swing DJ – playing dance music from the 1920’s to the 1950’s – including so many of our favourites records! The wedding the next afternoon was a real treat too, set just outside of the city in a beautiful countryside barn. We really do get to visit some gorgeous places on our ukulele travels.

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The first weekend in September started with two gigs at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage in Axminster. We loved this gig last year and were so happy to be invited back for both days of the Autumn Fair this year. The weather held out for the most part and everyone enjoyed the days activities and the definitely the food!

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Mid September there was a very special gig for us when we played at my sisters wedding. We played her down the aisle (managing not to cry!) and during the signing of the register. It was such a wonderful day for all concerned and I felt honoured to be able to play the music for my beautiful big sisters big day.

At the end of September we played and did a workshop at a big Community Family Fun Day put on by Stacey’s dad for the Baptist Church in celebration of their anniversary. We love to be involved with our local community and there was such a spectacular turn out, we hope they make it an annual event and invite us back again!

So here we are at last to October. With already a few gigs under our belts this month and another three to come this weekend, we show no sign in slowing down just yet! Our first gig tomorrow morning is at a ‘Pretty Nostalgic Magazine’ gathering taking place in Bristol. We are super excited about this one, it’s always lovely to meet other vintage minded folk and with a day packed full of vintage entertainment, food, shopping and talks – what more could we want? Take a look at the event and our write up here:

http://prettynostalgic.co.uk/blog/til-uke/

Then finally Sunday night we are back at Boho in Weymouth again, from 5-7pm. Please do come and join us, we’d love to see you all there!

I promise the next post will be sooner (and shorter!) We are already getting excited about the lead up to Christmas! If you want us to play at your venue or your event do get in touch.

With love for now,

L x

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