Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aloha from UkuleleHooley by the sea

Stephen Cummins
Proof that a ukulele revoultion is underway was apparent when swarms of people carrying this small stringed instrument invaded the People's Park in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday last. My daughter and I joined the throng and arrived just in time to join Stephen Cummins guide beginner ukuleles through a basic strum and the 3 chord trick to the perenial favourite Wimoweh . No Ukulele ? -no problem as Stephen, also known as  @Ukegnome had an assortment of brightly couloured ukeleles to lend to wannabe George Formby's. The programme of acts kicked off with Paul Moore who had a great appeal for younger listeners and we followed him to the marquee for his children's workshop as he led the ingenues through Michael Row the Boat Ashore. Particular highlights among the plethora of acts  were the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra who displayed some influence of the popular Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain in their set mixing old songs with quirky renditions of modern pop songs . We also enjoyed the wittily named Ukeristic Congress. I wonder will they get a gig at a similarly named forthcoming event.  Andrew Robinson, the Ukulele Bass player in this group, well known in Baroque music circles also featured in a very charming trio Aisling Out Walking with a set list of golden oldies beginning with a Ruby Murray hit from the 50's, Real Love.  Andrew tells me that he began his string playing career on the ukulele before moving to viola de gamba. The deep sound made by the bass uke was quite extraordinary and a very satisfactory substitute to the much larger double bass and so much easier to lug around. The platform was situated at the coastal side of the park and spectators could admire the sea view while taking in the entertainment.

Paul Moore leads childrens workshop

Loren with her first ukulele and sister Megan

balancing baby and ukulele

Alice centre gets to grip with her uke

Aisling out Walking

Spectators and sunshine
There was a good range of food and craft stalls and if so inspired, one could buy a uke from the busy Dublin Guitar Centre Stall.  This fun filled festival demonstrated what a very accessible instrument the ukulele is .  Inherently gentle and inoffensive, it is impossible to resist a smile when one sees grown men walking around with one even before they begin to strumming the diminuitive lute. We say bravo to Tony Boland , festival organiser on organising a very enjoyable event.  We can say that we officially launched our ukulele career at the UkuleleHooley by the sea.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that Cathy! Have a look at what's going on in the ukulele world at