For the past four years Stu and Amber have been re-inventing themselves for the monthly uke night at Mullumbimby’s Court House Hotel. Thursday 30 July sees the humble gathering of uke worshippers celebrate four years of 4-string magic.
You’re about to turn 4 – To what do you owe the success of your uke night?
Our uke night in Mullum is unique and something special! We have a solid core of regular ukesters and fans who show up on the last Thursday of every month knowing they will have a fun time. We mix it up with local performers – singers and instrumentalist backed by a seriously good rhythm section that love to get their teeth into a completely differently themed repertoire each month. We work hard at making each night better than the last.
How do you keep re-inventing yourself? What are some of the ideas you are running with at the moment?
We have little flashes of inspiration that gestate and are worked on sporadically. There’s a mix of uke-playing ability and experience in the audience so it’s our challenge to find a bunch of popular tunes that are easy to play that work in with the theme. One day I want to do tunes from the famous musicals, then there’re movie themes… still haven’t done punk rock and we will definitely be doing a Rolling Stones night one month…
What have been the highlights of the last four years?
Our first Christmas Uke-Tacular with Mae Wilde and Santa (Stan Ceglinski) packed out the place. All the birthday celebrations have been huge and hilarious. Joel Salom’s attempt at the uke-juggling world record, Elvis and the local Mana Aloha Hula Dancers headlining our second birthday was very memorable. We have had some of our best nights yet in the last six months such as the gospel night in March with the 50+ Raise The Roof Choir. Our Beatles night was incredible – so popular we did it twice to an almost completely different audience of the same size. A measure of a good night is when there is spontaneous dancing… um… soul, Motown and disco went off… Raku O’Gaia always brings down the house.
Why are we all so in love with the uke?
Ukuleles are affordable, relatively easy to play, portable; they sound happy and are great for large groups of players as they are quiet… what’s not to love?
Can you be a serious musician and a uke player or is it just for fun?
There are some amazing ukulele players who are seriously good: Jake Shimabukuro, James Hill, Taimane Gardner. AJ Leonard is one of Australia’s finest… though there is something about the uke that evokes fun – they tend to make you smile.
What have you got in mind for the fourth birthday party?
Well, the theme is TV Themes. Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island plus heaps of surprises – The NRUO (Northern Rivers Uke Orchestra) have an amazing TV mash-up instrumental to unleash. We welcome back special guests Three Little Sisters the amazing Cecelia, Bridget and Monica Brandolini, and for the first time ever our own local AZO BELL, who is considered one of the world’s best ukulelists… loads of fun and even LOVE.
Miss Amber and Stukulele’s Uke Night celebrates the fourth birthday with TV Themes – Thursday 30 July from 6.30pm.
Join the mailing list at ukemullum.com for the link to the songbook. $10 adults; kids under 16 $2.50.