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Blog: Ukulele Cabaret

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Last night I was due to play at Tricity Vogue's Ukulele Cabaret, a night which I'd had a GRATE time at during Edinburgh and was very much looking forward to playing closer to home. However, I was worried about running a bit late - the gig was billed as starting at 8pm so I'd planned to get there for seven o'clock, but wasn't going to make it - so emailed Tricity to apologise. She emailed back to say she wouldn't be there herself until 8pm, so not to worry. Comedy/Cabaret Gigs: they are DIFFERENT to ROCK gigs!

I thus rolled up just after eight o'clock to find a full pub, with a healthy proportion of the occupants carrying a ukulele under their arm. I was a bit worried about playing my planned set on the UKE as it featured at least one song I'd not done that way before, so when Tricity arrived and asked if I'd be OK to go on first I said "YES PLEASE!"

Before that though the show opened with a singalong of "Santa Baby", which was MARVELLOUS. More ukuleles were handed out, as were song sheets with the words and CHORDS on them, and the whole pub joined in. It was LOVELY, and I was also MOST impressed with Tricity's MC-ing skills. She spoke kindly but firmly to people talking (both whilst on stage herself and while other people were playing), involved everyone, told us what was going to happen, and then stood at the front THROUGHOUT other people's sets laughing, singing along, and generally being Encouraging. TOP COMPERE!

Anyway, it was then time for me to play, and I did THIS:
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It wasn't what I'd planned to do - I'd learned up "It's Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas", for instance, but thought it might not be sufficiently JOLLY for a pub audience, so ASKED them if they'd prefer Indie Christmas or Some Hip Hop (it IS hip hop, sort of), and they went for the latter. I'd also thought about doing Come On Pussy, as it'd gone down well when I did this gig before, but again thought it might not go down so well here. Thus I STARTED with the song i usually FINISH with, which felt weird, before doing a ukulele version of It Only Works Because You're here for the first time EVER. It sounds LOVELY on the uke, but the problem is a) it has some chords that are Slightly Difficult and b) I was nervous, so i did make some errors, but it seemed to all go OK. Once I got into my stride I must say i REALLY enjoyed it - I love doing these sort of gigs, where the audience isn't specifically there for you, or anyone, and you can enjoy getting them on-side. Good times!

    There were several other acts on, though my favourite was Stuart Bowden, who we'd seen in Edinburgh doing his show She Was Probably Not A Robot. It was a LOVELY show, huge chunks of which came flooding back to me as he was on stage, and I think I just about managed to tell him how much I'd enjoyed it WITHOUT coming across as a LOONIE when I spoke to him later on. PHEW!

    The NICEST bit of the night, however, was the start of the second half, when we did another singalong, this time of "Walking In A Winter Wonderland". The ENTIRE pub sang with ENORMOUS gusto, everybody played along, Tricity did HARMONY BACKING VOCALS and the whole thing just sounded BEAUTIFUL. It was MEGA CHRISTMASSY, and when i set off for home later on I found myself singing it all the way to the station!

    posted 11/12/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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