Cairns Ukulele Festival: Friday Links

The Cairns Ukulele Festival seems to have been turned into a political football. It looks like local politicians became involved (always bad news) – and Bosko and Honey are no longer involved in organising it. Understandably, the prospect of funding a ukulele festival didn’t go down well with the uke-ignorant tax payers. This article in the Cairns Post, complete with mocked up photo of the mayor of Cairns, attracted plenty of uke-bashing comments from people with an obvious axe to grind:

“Do the investors in five star hotels, restaurants and first class tourist facilities really want the town to be inundated with combi vans, floral shirts and ukeleles complete with eskies of mung beans, coconuts and happy weed?”

“Now come on everybody what is this woman on ??? we’ve voted and paying for a complete Idiot with the imagination and common sense of a dead cane toad.”

And it ruffled a few pro-uke feathers – as you can tell by the subsequent comments. The counter insurgency obviously worked as the paper then printed this article and this was the front of the magazine. And now the mayor has gone on a publicity offensive. All this entertainment and the festival still an entire year away.

Jimmy has launched a Bobby McGee’s competition where you can win a t-shirt and a special edition of the album.

New Re-entrants CD: The Good, The Bad and the Ukulele.

Preview of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain documentary.

Halifax Ukulele Group has a pdf of camp fire songs.

I’ve only just noticed that Mark Occhionero is offering ukulele lessons by Skype. Seems like an excellent way to do things.

Ben Harper gives the gift of uke (via James Hill).

Video of the Vicenza Ukulele Festival and one of Ukelear Meltdown II including the quite brilliant Cat Green Bike.

A song for those of us in the small Venn diagram crossover between ukulele players and WordPress fans.

If you live outside the UK you can find the UOGB’s Ode to Joy tutorials here.

Zoe finds a simple solution to her ukulele storage problem.

Ukulele fever spreads to Thailand.

How to steal a ukulele in 10 easy steps.

The ukulele vs recorder story is doing the rounds in the UK press again. Here’s what the Telegraph said this week and here’s what they said two years ago. I hope that’s not a typo and the headteacher’s name really is ‘Barabara’ – I hope the kids taunt her with this song. Although when your school is called ‘Rood End’ you’ve probably got all the fun you need right there.

And so ends a rather cynical and world-weary edition of Friday Links. I think it might be due to reading Flat Earth News.

View Comments


  1. Iain July 3rd, 2009 6:10 pm

    The people of Cairns are having to swallow the egg of an angry, political goose.

  2. todd July 3rd, 2009 6:28 pm

    what hair-brained municipality wouldn’t want a ukulele festival
    pssshhhhtfffft !!!? whatever :)

    ben harper excerpt was excellent…..i’m in need of a ‘player quality’ tenor uke do you think he could help me out?

    will be checking out ‘cat green bike’ fo sho….

    yeah, i read the school/uke/git rid of the recorder article via ukulelia and what was the first comment i noticed? Somebody immediately assuming this program was gonna convert the students into a bunch of ‘formby-esque’ buskers….you have the “f-bomb” (though I like him all right) and we have Tiny Tim (i finally crossed the threshold and downloaded tip-toe ha ha)….and so old stereo-types are hard to break i guess….



  3. Joe July 3rd, 2009 7:35 pm

    Phewf, I thought Ben Harper was Steven Harpers kid…. that was a close one =D

  4. Dan July 3rd, 2009 9:40 pm

    So I’ve seen Zoe before on your blog but do you know who all those other ukulele players are in that photo set?

  5. Ukulelezo July 4th, 2009 12:33 am

    I’ll take this one Al.

    Dan: The photos are of the great ukulele players of the Corktown Ukulele Jam in Toronto, Ontario. The photos were taken by Margaret Mulligan who is an amazing photographer and a fine ukulele player. They meet every Wednesday and I join them as often as I can. for more info.

  6. Jim Tranquada July 4th, 2009 5:21 am

    2010 will be the 99th anniversary of what is believed to be the introduction of the ‘ukulele to Australia. Ernest Ka’ai, the great
    ‘ukulele player and musical impresario, led a troupe of Hawaiian musicians on tour of Australia in the spring and summer of 1911. It’s the earliest known tour of a Hawaiian orchestra Down Under. Cairns will have a lot to celebrate!

  7. Isaac July 4th, 2009 10:48 am

    I hope Cairns does have a festival, I travelled 3-4 hours north just to go to the Uke club once because of the lack of ukuleles in Townsville. The ukulele store in Cairns (Music City Cairns I think its called) is the best stocked ukulele store I’ve seen in the country.

  8. Woodshed July 5th, 2009 12:42 pm

    Iain: I guess it beats having to swallow an ostrich egg.

    todd: It’s impossible to get away from F***by. It’s one of the downsides of being a UK uker. He was an excellent player, but eventually you end up recoiling at the mention of his name.

    Joe: Or it could have been this Ben Harper.

    Zoe: Thanks for clearing that up.

    Jim: Thanks for the info.

    Isaac: I’m sure it will happen. I hope it’s a good one.

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