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Ukuleles at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Ukuleles at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011

A healthy crop of ukulele acts, as always, at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Here’s a quick rundown of the acts I’d be going to see if I was there.

Helen Arney – Festival of the Spoken Nerd and Alchemy

Comedy ukulele nerd and star of Uke Hunt podcast #8, Helen Arney will doing a whole bunch of shows at Edinburgh including a two-off show Festival of the Spoken Nerd with Blue Peter spod Steve Mould and maths stand up Matt Parker.

She’ll also be doing AlchemyEH1 (“new sketches and songs in a secret off-Fringe venue”) and gigs with MJ Hibbett, Tricity Vogue and, fellow uncaged monkey, Robin Ince (who you should definitely catch if you’re there – I saw one of his preview shows and it was hilarious).

You can find everything Helen is doing on her website.

Tricity Vogue

Tricity Vogue is going to have a busy time at the fringe. She’s doing both her Blue Lady Sings Back show and her free, bawdy and guest-packed Ukulele Cabaret. Guests so far have included Ria Lina, Helen Arney and Amanda Palmer.

Jo Stephenson – Can You Dig It?

Jo Stehpenson is teaming up with Dan Woods for vegetable-based songsmithery in their show Can You Dig It?.

Book tickets here

Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer

Mr B will be chap hopping the fringe in his show How I Invented Hip-Hop and Other Faux Pas.

Buy tickets here.

Emily Scott

I was completely unaware of Emily Scott before seeing her Edinburgh listed. But after seeing a few of her videos I’m very interested in hearing more. And her Edinburgh show will feature a classical string trio.

Book tickets here.

View Comments


  1. Carol aka Uke Gal August 15th, 2011 6:42 pm

    I missed Tricity Vogue but caught Helen Arney when I crossed the pond with my family and went to the Fringe last year. Helen was a hoot and a holler as well as an inspired ukulele player. My daughter and I are now addicted to her CD and its social commentary!

  2. J-Hob August 16th, 2011 9:09 am

    I was gutted to learn that Mr B was doing his first solo show at Edinburgh this year now that I no longer live there!

    I did Tricity Vogue’s cabaret last year which was great and featured both Mr B and Helen Amey – both were great.

    Emily Scott definitely sounds like she would be worth a listen.

  3. Woodshed August 16th, 2011 10:29 am

    Carol: Helen is hilarious. She’s going to be huge!

    J-Hob: Serves your right for moving! You’ll have to make do with the Bakewell Arts Festival.

  4. Lindy Danny August 16th, 2011 2:16 pm

    I’m still unsure of how I feel about Mr. B… Maybe I’m just not British enough to appreciate it.

  5. Woodshed August 17th, 2011 8:11 am

    Lindy Danny: I can understand that. The chap thing in general wears a bit. But I think Mr B does it so well he gets away with it.

  6. Lindy Danny August 17th, 2011 4:04 pm

    That’s exactly my thought. Of course, I believe the same thing was said about Carrot Top.

  7. Beth August 17th, 2011 4:27 pm

    I can honestly say that Edinburgh is hoaching with uke’s. (If you don’t know the term hoaching, urban dictionary says; To teem with. To have a plentiful supply of. Scottish in origin) Seriously you can’t move without falling into a circle of ‘artistes’ who are having a whimsical jam session in the street. Half of the shows I watched one day contained a ukulele… it really is so popular that the fashion will soon change. It’s already moving from ukuleles to accordions but I think to keep ahead of the artsy crowd one must pick up the humble penny whistle… it’s where it’s going (incidentally I did see someone playing one in the street soon after making this comment in the capital).
    I do love the charm of the ukulele but being at EdFringe made me feel like a desperate wannabe instead of someone who inherited their uke after asking their friends to teach them to play in a tiny hostel in the middle of nowhere in Italy and be utterly thrilled at the magic and bonding that happened during that time.

  8. John Bianchi August 17th, 2011 5:11 pm

    Thanks for hepping me to Emily Scott! I’m a big fan of Tricity and Jo; they’re both funny and a joy to see perform. Helen, I agree, is going to be bigger! She’s got great songwriting skills and is consistently witty and intelligent and really challenges her audiences. Just love her.

    Jim Burke (Mr. B) is just a force of nature. His latest work is amazing. As a banjo uke performer, he’s a constant inspiration, and – unfortunately – completely non-copy-able!

    I love what the UK Ukers are doing – just wish I could get over to see them more often.

  9. Woodshed August 18th, 2011 7:19 am

    Lindy Danny: I’m only familiar with Carrot Top from parodies on The Simpsons.

    Beth: Thanks very much for the report.

    John: You’re welcome! I’m glad to be hepped to her myself.

  10. Valerie August 27th, 2011 12:43 am

    Finally made it to the ukulele cabaret after misremembering the venue on my first attempt. Had a great time, wish I could see more ukulele shows, but am lacking in both time and money, and, after three weeks of performing, energy.

  11. Woodshed August 27th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Valerie: Glad you liked the show. Hope you’re enjoying the fringe.

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