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Archive for the ‘ukulele’ Category

Jim ‘Django’ Gritt fellow Night Owl and Tweed Cyclist (Raleigh Superbe) has just posted his latest film creation. I appear in the film on my Pashley and of course Jim demonstrates his ukulele skills.  Hope you enjoy it!

 

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Nipper

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Today on my way home from school I met Nyomi, who is cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End on a bamboo bicycle.  We talked a little about bicycles and then of course I mentioned ukuleles and there tucked into the top of her trailer was a soprano uke!ImageGood luck to Nyomi and her ukuklele on the rest of their adventure…

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Nipper

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Hello…It has been a long time without a post! So to kick things off again here is a little film of The Night Owls Rehearsing. The band has changed with Ian now on bass and Tom on drums. No bicycles in this film but I hope you still like it.

To any readers waiting for the songbook link I have had some problems with downloading but will have a new link up soon.

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Nipper

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Last weekend The Night Owls decided to busk as a band. The idea was to hand out lots of cards, make some beer money and have some fun.  I have been busking many times but almost always alone and always without amplification; the ukulele is not a very loud instrument and in our noisy modern world we decided we would need small battery amps to increase our sound.  Being keen roadster riders Jim and I decided to travel to the busk by bicycle.  Jim strapped his amp, stand and ukes to his rack; I on the other hand, having a bigger ukulele and microphone stand decided to travel in style and use my trailer.

The day before the busk I tried to fit  everything in the trailer and found the microphone stand to be just a little too long to neatly fit in.  Twenty minutes with a hacksaw and I had adapted it it fit.  Packed neatly in were an sm58 microphone and stand, Night Owls Mic Façade, Vox DA5 battery powered amp, various leads, spare batteries and of course my trusty LB baritone ukulele in hard case.

So dressed in full Night Owls black 3 piece suit and correspondent shoes I trundled  into town to meet up with the boys.  The bicycles made a good backdrop to the band and as usual drew a few comments.

The busking went well and we have resolved to busk some more.  Rob has bought himself a battery powered bass amp and I (with some help form Yorkshire Pete) have pole mounted my  Vox amp. I may even try some solo bicycle busking, I could easily carry the equipment in my panniers and perhaps using a train/bicycle combination visit some interesting busking towns.

And so dear readers in a break from the usual 78s I leave you with The Night Owls and a rather cracking rendition of  The Sheik of Araby / Caravan.

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Nipper

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It has been a long time since my last post, so I decided it was about time I caught up a little. I have continued to bicycle everyday despite some pretty awful weather over the winter and I have continued to play my ukuleles at every opportunity.

The weather has really picked up in the last few weeks so Jim and I finally got together on our Raleigh Superbes for a quick ride in the park and some photos for the band.

And so dear readers I leave you with Duke Ellington and his 1933 recording of ‘Bundle Of Blues’.  This was transferred electrically using a Lenco Turntable and Quad preamp.

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Nipper

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If you were to ask me who my favourite ukulele player is , I would have to say Cliff Edwards, AKA ‘Ukulele Ike’.  During the 1920’s Cliff was one of the biggest stars in the US, he sold millions of records and appeared in many films.  He was the first to sing many famous  songs, indeed his biggest hit was ‘Singing in the Rain’ which he recorded in 1929 long before the film of the same name.  He sang the Disney theme song ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ and was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the film adaptation of Pinocchio.  Sadly he died a penniless alcoholic in 1971 forgotten by all but a small band of ukulele aficionados.   Today I got rather excited when I found a picture of him riding a bicycle on the MGM lot and carrying Buster Keaton on the handlebars.

(Picture from http://www.acertaincinema.com/)

And so from my 78rpm collection here is Cliff at the height of his career with the song ‘You’re My Weakness Now’ recorded on the 7th December 1928.

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Nipper

PS. I have updated my ‘About’ page and added a ‘Gramophones’ page to explain how I make my 78rpm transfers.  Click on the tabs at the top to take a look.

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It’s been a while so here is a little post about ‘The Great British Tea Party”.  This is a new venture from a couple of my tweed cycling/ukulele friends.  In there own words…

The Great British Tea Party offers the genteel experience of afternoon tea from the back of a beautifully restored Morris Minor van. The simple pleasure of a cup of tea in a china cup and a slice of cake made with love. GBTP provides a tea and cake service for weddings, parties and events.

http://thegreatbritishteaparty.co.uk/

The Night Owls played the launch party and a marvellous time was had by all.

Tea and Fezes

The Night Owls serenade the guests

The Night Owls

For more photos visit the Flickr set HERE

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Nipper

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