Save Duke of Uke, Arrested for Ukeing: Friday Links

London’s chief ukulele floggers, the Duke of Uke are being chucked out of their premises. You can help them out by buying a t-shirt or donating on their website.

While we’re in London, good friend of the blog and all-around fantastic person, Lorraine Bow is running two ukulele courses from early June – one for ‘absolute beginners’ and one for ‘advanced beginners’. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend signing up.

Amsterdam may be famous for its legal laxity but Amanda Palmer got arrested for playing her ukulele in public. You can read her side of the story here.

Listen to Eddie Vedder’s ukulele album on NPR.

Stephin Merritt is releasing a new obscurities album and you can grab a free uke track from it on Merge Records.

Make your own felted ukulele gig bag (thanks to Herman).

Lil Rev is raising money for a new album.

Religious cult’s ukulele band.

Playable lego ukulele (thanks to Emily).

Ukulele minimalism and songs with one chord.

I intend to steal this pun next time the Bushman slow-delivery issue crops up.

Photos: a tour of the Kamaka factory (via Ukulelia), 3 neck ukulele and others (also via Ukulelia)

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  1. Fraser May 27th, 2011 4:32 pm

    Hi Woodshed, Just to say thanks for a great site, I bought the Strums and the blues books the other day, really nicely put together. Got a Rocktile Frame Electric uke as a therapy thing after having a tumour removed from my spine 4 weks ago, I’m slowly getting use of my left hand back and need to work those fingers.

    A request for some tab how about Santana’s Samba Pa Ti intro. My uke sounds great through an amp with some effects dialled in.

  2. byjimini May 27th, 2011 7:11 pm

    I hadn’t read much good about Duke of Uke before I took a long train journey down from North Yorkshire to visit them; impressed, I was not.

    Sure, there’s a lovely range of instruments and it’s a bit cooky with all the furniture sitting around with ukes on, which I loved. But there was too much stuff in the way in the shop, meaning you were having to stretch to pick things up and knocking stuff over.

    The one thing that really did annoy me was the bald chap that worked there – most condescending tone I’ve ever experienced. He might as well have said “Right, get the **** out everyone because you clearly aren’t going to buy anything. And get a haircut.” Extremely unhelpful, telling me that the Makala Dolphins were wooden backed when they were so obviously plastic, when I eventually reached one down from the ceiling hook (and I’m 6ft 3!).

    So yeah, overall I can’t say I’m surprised nor saddened about their supposed demise. They should go and visit Eagle Music in Huddlesfield and learn what customer service is like; I’ve got 10 years experience in retail myself, from supermarkets to small hardware shops, couldn’t believe how unprofessional DoU were.

  3. Hello Jodi May 27th, 2011 8:23 pm

    I stopped knitting when ukulele took over my hands, but that would be a fun project. I feel I should point out that Amy Singer, the editor and creator of, is a ukulele player as well as a cohort of Zoe’s:

  4. Ron Hale May 28th, 2011 6:54 am

    Al, is there a connection between the shop and the guy performing as the Duke of Uke? I like him, especially with his Novelty Orchestra.

    Perhaps elderly Dutch matrons didn’t appreciate being yelled at by Amanda to “Show me your map of Tasmania!” Perhaps she showed them hers.

    Now, if the budget had been up to it, I’d have donated enough for Tricity Vogue’s album to have her come over for a personal performance. But Lil’ Rev ain’t in that category.

  5. Woodshed May 28th, 2011 8:05 am

    Fraser: Thanks! Very glad you’re enjoying the ebooks.

    byjimini: You’re not the first person I’ve heard give an account like that.

    Jodi: Indeed she is. There does seem to be a very large knitting/ukulele crossover.

    Ron: No connection as far as I know.

  6. Bossarocker May 28th, 2011 8:29 am

    Daniela of Wukulele fame has just made a rather spiffing uke case too:

  7. claudio May 28th, 2011 1:47 pm

    Know what you mean about the Duke. It’s like Black Books but I like it for what it is.

    Lorraine’s classes are great fun. I now uke with many ukers because of her.


  8. todd May 28th, 2011 5:08 pm

    felt uke bags for the win!

    gonna ask my sweetie to make some for me…for sure…she enjoys sewing/creating…i enjoy uking :)

  9. Woodshed June 2nd, 2011 11:35 am

    Bossa: Very nice case too.

    claudio: I miss Black Books. That was a great show.

    tood: I think I need more protection than felt. I’m very clumsy.

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