Friday, December 16, 2011

Ukemania in New Cross and Brockley

Way back in early 2008 Corrie, a then barista at Broca cafe in Coulgate Street (SE4), invited a few regulars to join her for a ukulele jam session in the cafe. Who could have predicted then that before long the uke craze would sweep like wildfire across the area?

From that session came Brockley Ukulele Group, spin-offs like Post-Puke and more. Among the early strummers was a teacher and a couple of parents from John Stainer Primary School. Before long the school had acquired its own set of ukes and children were being initiated into the mysteries of the one finger C chord.

Edmund Waller Primary School in New Cross has followed suit in arming its kids with those affordable and accessible stringed instruments.

In another ukeist coup the newly appointed vicar of St Catherines Church (junction of Pepys and Kitto Roads SE14), Rev. Sheridan James, is also of the four stringed persuasion.

It was at her instigation that last night there was a mass outpouring of ukemania at the Hill Station Cafe (next to the church) for the Ukulele Carol Jam. Over 100 kids and their parents squeezed into the cafe for the afternoon children's session, followed by about 20 adults in the evening strumming and singing along to Silent Night, Good King Wenceslas etc.

Meanwhile back at BUG...

Brockley Ukulele Group is having an open practice day this Sunday, 18th December at the Amersham Arms (just over the road from New Cross station). If you are over 18 (sorry, pub has strict admissions policy) and fancy joining in with some songs all you need to do is bring yourself and a ukulele. They'll be there from 5pm until 7pm in the upstairs room (stairs lead up from the corridor between the front and back rooms).

BUG also report: 'Due to an ongoing baby boom in the band, we are looking for at least one new female band member - ability to produce tuneful sounds from mouth more important than ability to produce tuneful sounds from uke (though willingness to work on the latter is desirable...)'. For more information email

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