Next Saturday a special train leaves Dublin for Castlebar. but this is no ordinary train, it will be filled with happy & enthusiastic ukulele players who have been invited to Castlebar to play at the annual “Dancing At The Crossroads”. There is a great buzz in Castlebar about the Ukulele Train and the visiting ukers.
The ukulele train has been organised by Sheilagh Fox of RUGS ukulele group in Rathfarnham and founder member of the Flukey Ukes who will also be playing at “Dancing At The Crossroads”.
There is a special Ukulele Train Songbook so there will be lots of strumming and singing aboard the train.
Over the weekend there are a number of ukulele workshops to cater for all levels of playing and of course there will be lots of jamming and performances by the Flukey Ukes. So if you’re looking for something exciting and fun to do this weekend then grab your uke and join the Ukulele Train.
All the details can be found on the Ukulele Train Facebook page:
Ukulele player Brendan Byrne is the force behind the Ballyroan Ukulele Club and last October he set himself the goal of running the Dublin City Marathon whilst playing and singing with his ukulele.
Now the Dublin City Marathon is 42 kms so running it is no mean feat – never mind while playing the uke! But having set himself this challenge Brendan managed to pull it off in fine style, a heroic achievement by anyone’s standard!
This is Brendan’s own account of his experience.
At 9:00 am, with my ukulele hanging around my neck by a cord, I warmed up, while jogging on the spot, at Fitzwilliam Square with Molly Malone in the key of C. Some of my fellow participants thought I was just going to play a few songs at the start and then go home. I quickly assured them that I intended to go the distance, all 42 kilometres, whilst playing the ukulele.
At 9:20 we got underway and I persuaded the naysayers that I meant business, giving them the “The Wild Colonial Boy”. I repeated “Molly Malone” as my audience was constantly changing.
By now we were coming to The Coombe and sure what more appropriate song for The Coombe than “Biddy Mulligan, the Pride of the Coombe”. Fellow participants were joining in as best they could between their laughs of incredulity.
“The Dublin Saunter” brought us up the Quays and in nearly no time at all we were into the Phoenix Park. While passing the Dublin Zoo I played the first verse of “The Zoological Gardens”. Half way up Chesterfield Avenue somewhere close to the Áras I came across a participating French couple, d’un certain age, from where else but France. So out of my repertoire I plucked “La Mer”, en francais, from start to finish, which they very much appreciated.
Out of the top of the Park and into Castleknock I came to the best audience of the day. Hundreds lined the roads and I played “Heartbeat” for them and lots of them joined in. Back into the Park and around by the Furry Glen I had to play “Take Her Up to Monto”, “They say the Duke of Gloucester, the dirty oul’ imposter, he took a mot and lost her in the Furry Glen”.
UkuHooley in Dun Laoghaire is really pleased to welcome a group of 28 members of the King’s College London Ukulele Society to a special “hands across the water” meetup on Saturday next 28th March. To accommodate our visiting ukers as well as our own members this special meetup is happening at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.
So welcome to James Chong and all his friends from King’s College and wishing you a happy and enjoyable trip to Dublin this weekend.
(ps: This week’s meetup is fully subscribed as we had to let the hotel know the final numbers attending in advance- sorry!)
We constantly get enquiries for ukulele lessons so if you know anyone who wants to learn the ukulele then this is the course for them. Its run by Nora Artola a very experienced ukulele teacher. Nora has been giving lessons for some years now under the title “Ukulele Lessons In Dublin”.
Ukulele Lessons in Dublin Facebook page:
This new course starting on Monday 2nd March is being held at the Carmelite Centre in Aungier St. (just off Grafton Street.
It’s Ukuhooley Christmas Party Time!
Saturday Dec 6th at Foley’s Bar & Restaurant on Merrion Row
Yes folks, it really IS that time of the year again. Time to grab your Santa hat and trusty ukulele, brush down that song you’ve been practising before heading into town for the Ukuhooley & UkeIreland Christmas Party.
If you’ve been to a Ukuhooley Christmas Party before you will already know it’s going to be a rootin’ tootin’ blast of ukulele fun & frolics. There will be finger food, plenty of time for ukulele sing-alongs and a chance to perform that song you’ve been quietly slaving away on!
There will also be a chance to win a ukulele in the raffle along with many other Yuletide party highlights.
It’s a perfect opportunity for us ukulele lovers to get together for an annual reunion of all those who have attended any or all of our Ukuhooley events over the last eight years. Even if we haven’t seen you recently, you would be more than welcome so come on down! We’d love to see you again, have a chat and play uke together.
Especially for the festive occasion that’s in it, Shay (Zefferelli) Bagnall has created one of his classic videos and our beloved Honorary Hawaiian Dan McNulty has designed a brilliant Hawaiian Christmas party poster, thanks guys!
So join us at Foley’s of Merrion Row on Saturday December 6th from 7.30pm ’til late.
You know you want to!
Yes, it’s that time of the year again – Ukulele Hooley time!
Over the weekend of August 23/24, Dun Laoghaire will again play host to Ireland’s 5th international ukulele festival Ukulele Hooley. Over the past five years the Hooley has become one of the biggest ukulele festivals in Europe and last year nearly 20,000 people attended the 9 hour long concert in the People’s Park.
The festival features :
Ukulele Workshops (chance to improve your playing skills)
Big Ukulele Open Mic (an opportunity to perform in front of an appreciative audience of uke lovers)
The Ukulele Bus Busk (what could be more fun than joining an open topped bus of ukulele players as they travel around the Dun Laoghaire playing and busking?)
The Big Ukulele Event: Nine hour concert in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire featuring some of the world’s best ukulele players. This has turned into a great family day out with people coming and picnicking with friends and family while chillin’ to the strains of the ukulele.
There’s something for everyone at the Ukulele Hooley-so don’t miss it!
On a beautiful sunny Bloomsday (the recently christened) 64 Wine Ukulele Ensemble played an hour of songs that were straight from the original Bloomsday period. The suitably attired audience (it WAS Bloomsday!) seemed to enjoy it so much the ensemble were asked to play again the following day.
The ensemble were Dan McNulty, Nicola Reeves, Nuala Dempsey, Pat Connolly, Tony Boland, Julia Fox, Sheilagh Fox, Jill Siddall and finally thanks to Maestro Tommy Sheridan for his hard work.
A good day was had by all.