Friday Links: Ukulele Court Battle

The Uke Hunt t-shirts have passed their goal. So they’ll definitely be printed. A massive thanks to everyone who has ordered already. Still plenty of time if you want to order one. You can find them on Teespring.

New Releases

James Hill’s new album The Old Silo is out now. You can stream it here and download the opening track free here.
– The Staves are working with Justin ‘Bonnie Bear’ Vernon on their new album and you can listen to the first track from it here.


Drawing of an exceptionally handsome ukulele player.
Marion Davies and Lawrence Gray.
Play a Bari, Wear a Boa (c.1960).


The Rather Wonderful World of Chap Hop (via HermanVDC).
Tina Fey on ukulele (via Things I Saw That I Love).


Tyrone and Lesley’s Gentlemen’s Songbook has chords for a bunch of their songs. Including the much requested Unaccompanied.

Courtroom Drama

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain failed to get an injunction against The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra’s UK tour. More court battles to come. And it won’t be hard for the UOGB to find evidence of people who are confused. Here’s an exchange from TUKUO’s own Facebook a couple of weeks ago:

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.06.24Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.06.24 copy

No prizes for guessing who has played Helsinki.

Don’t even get me started on the People’s Ukulele Front of Great Britain. Splitters!

View Comments


  1. Jotegr/Luke September 27th, 2014 5:04 am

    Not that I’m all about court battles and stuff, but that’s a bit silly. They couldn’t think of a different name?

  2. Woodshed September 27th, 2014 7:53 am

    Luke: But if they used a different name how would they leach of someone else’s popularity?

  3. Sarah Kelly September 27th, 2014 8:37 am

    I am a lover not a hater. I dislike conflict. Having said that, there is a time to stand up for yourself. The UOOGB really tried. I know, from personal experience, that laws on Intellectual Property are too WEAK. The court should not have been so gutless…. but whow KNOWS what forces and secret handshakes are at work…HA! The GB crew are such LOVELY people that I hope NOBODY will be mislead for long.

  4. Sarah Kelly September 27th, 2014 8:38 am

    PS… well said Woodshed! X

  5. Woodshed September 27th, 2014 10:02 am

    Sarah: I entirely disagree when it comes to intellectual property in general! But when it comes to trademarks I’m on board. And this seems to me to be a pretty clear case where there’s confusion created by TUKUO being much too similar to the UOGB.

  6. Phredd September 27th, 2014 11:09 am

    I think the Ukulele Orcas of Great Britney Spears would be a killer whale of a name for a UOGB tribute band.

  7. herman vandecauter September 28th, 2014 9:26 am

    Counter faction invites counteraction!
    Thumbs up for UOGB (I hope I did choose the right one)

  8. Woodshed September 28th, 2014 11:47 am

    Phredd: You should trademark that before someone steals it!

    Herman: You did!

  9. Art Crocker September 28th, 2014 3:05 pm

    Yes Phredd should trademark that amazing clever name!!.
    Sad that such a conflict exists..
    Almost uncomfortable. .

  10. RobNY September 29th, 2014 3:14 am

    I guessed correct on the drawing.

  11. Woodshed September 29th, 2014 7:24 am

    Art: Yeah, let’s hope it all gets sorted out.

    RobNY: You know me too well!

  12. Ron Hale September 29th, 2014 9:42 am



    Seems it’s high time for “Banned in Boston” to be replaced by “Banned in Britain.” The Puritans have come home.

    What’s this, Al, the Finn Test? Some long-
    established British legal doctrine?

    Pass the Finn Test or your arse doesn’t cross the border? And, of course, if someone claims to
    be confused on the Internet, it must be true.

    (If Brits claim to be confused, then it definitely
    is true.)

    The band handled that with tact and grace, neither of which are being displayed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in this instance.

    You cannot pay for pre-tour publicity like this.
    It’s priceless. Even better, how about a protest?

    Fans of the Ukes can parade around outside TUKUO
    show venues with slogans printed on their instruments – in tiny lettres – and said noise makers held high ala the Ukulele Hunt logo, whilst slogans in support of the pure British band are chanted.

    And, then do what the politically intolerant do over here: shout those on the stage down and make so much noise that no one can hear anything.

    Boo after songs. Perhaps some especially outraged
    fan can rush the stage.

    George and Kitty will bless one and all of their children from on high.

    Of course, if no one had said anything, what would happen? Nothing, that’s what.

    TUKUO would come, play their shows, and then leave.
    That’s it. All rather ho-hum, in fact.

    The attendant epidemic of mass confusion (and mass
    hysteria) would eventually pass into history.

    But, now? Now the tour is an Event. A Phenomenon.
    Even those not usually attuned to things ukulele
    are tuned-in now.

    Those who laugh at the instrument and those who love it, what do you think they’re doing now? Laughing even harder, do you suppose?

    Does anyone believe the ukulele’s reputation is
    being enhanced by all this? I know you don’t care, Al, what non-ukers think about the instrument, but others might.

    TUKUO are now the band that another band (and its
    fans) tried to keep out of the country. Is this
    supposed to hurt them?

    And, not just any band, but a much bigger,
    more powerful, and more popular band.

    It’s like the Beatles suing a band calling itself
    the Beetles because people might be confused.

    (Finns might be. Some Brits, as well.)

    TUKUO are, once again, cast as the rebels, and the Ukes are the Establishment. The old, set-in-its-ways, never-going-to-change, let-them-eat-cake,

    This is our country. Keep out.

    We ARE the ukulele rulers of Great Britain.

  13. Jotegr/Luke October 3rd, 2014 12:21 am

    well that escalated quickly.

  14. XK50 October 4th, 2014 2:10 pm

    Am I permiited to ask why their Facebook Notes page is all in German, if they are a UK orchestra? Nigel Farage might have a field day.

  15. Woodshed October 4th, 2014 7:58 pm

    XK50: They were formed in Germany and have done most of their touring there.

  16. John October 5th, 2014 11:35 am

    Having been unfamiliar with the conflict, when I browsed Al’s mention of it, I thought the UOOGB was suing itself.

    Yes, we should read more carefully, but we frequently don’t, leading to quick (and wrong) conclusions. See Iraq War 2003.

  17. TonyS October 19th, 2014 9:28 pm

    @Ron Hale
    For someone who obviously knows absolutely nothing whatsoever about the issue, you don’t half go on. I look forward to your 500-page book on 12-dimensional string theory :-)

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