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Three members of CUkes were recently interviewed by Stephen Blease of the News and Star and here is a selection of what they had to say.

Phil Tattershall: “if it’s Hawaiian melodies or George Formby comic songs you’re expecting you might be surprised.

“I’ve heard Led Zeppelin on the ukulele and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain do a version of Anarchy in the UK. My party piece is Won’t Get Fooled Again by the Who.

“You can play classical music too. I heard a duet doing Pachelbel’s Canon. I have an ambition to score a Mahler symphony for the Ukulele.

“It’s a wonderfully versatile instrument.”

Jenny Wright: “The ukulele fell by the wayside when all the rock and roll came along but in the last few years it’s been absolutely phenomenal. You see it taught and played everywhere.

“It’s wonderful being able to get up and perform in front of an audience. You enjoy it and they enjoy it.

“You can just learn a couple of new chords each week. And like anything else, practice makes you better. But it’s not a bore or a chore.

She points out another important aspect of the ukulele: “You can carry it around with you, you can put it in your bag and sling it over your shoulder, and take it out and play it anywhere.”

Terry Kirton: “With three basic chords you can become a musician. When you play in a group you find that it lifts people’s mood. There’s something about that jingly-jangly sound that makes people happy. Frank Skinner has called it ‘a little happiness machine’.

“It’s a great way of introducing children to music. Young people want instant gratification these days and within an hour they can be making music. It can lead them to investigate other instruments although you can do everything you want to on the ukulele.

“There was the George Formby, cheeky chappy factor, but now the instrument is taken seriously as well. Artists like Joe Brown have recorded ukulele albums, there are professional players and groups seem to be breaking out all over the world. People are realising that it can be as attractive and versatile as an electric guitar.”

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CUkes in the Media