The Melbourne Ukulele Kollective
Sunday 4th March, 6:00pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Since bursting upon the televisions of the nation in February 2006 with a 50 strong group of ukers of all ages performing a rousing rendition of "Long Way to the Top" by AC/DC, the MUK has helped the ukulele rise like a musical tsunami! When they began planning the first MUK Big Band shows back in 2004 there were no other ukulele groups in the country and it was hard to find a decent uke for sale in any local stores. Of course it's a different picture now!
As in the beginning, the MUK is an open ukulele group and has no restrictions for membership. They play at festivals, weddings, community gatherings, charity events, pubs, schools, chicken sheds, etc. Like most uke groups, their repertoire is a mix of old and new. They have free beginners classes at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, 681 Sydney Rd Brunswick, every Wednesday from 6-7pm. Participants are encouraged to stay on for the MUK rehearsal which follows.
MUK is very proud to be a major financial supporter of the Melbourne Ukulele Festival since its inception in 2010 and many of its members give greatly of themselves to make the festival a reality!
Black Orchid Stringband
Sunday, 4th March, 7:00pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Black Orchid Stringband is comprised of West Papuan asylum seekers and activists now living in Melbourne. They were established in 2011 as a string band to continue the legacy of great musicologist Arnold Ap in the sustaining of cultural music and identity. The ten piece string band plays traditional bass, ukulele, tifa and sing beautiful three part harmonies in maintaining the spirit of national unity in their struggle for freedom. Most songs are sung in various West Papuan dialects and also Tok Pisin (PNG language).
Band members have recently set up an office at 211/838 Collins St, Docklands as the Federal Republic of West Papua’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade.
Miss Wattle and the Panton Hill Ukulele Club
Saturday 3rd March, 12:45pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Miss Wattle and the Panton Hill Ukulele Club, also known as Miss Wattle’s Group Ukulele Class, hail from the bushy outer north east of Melbourne, and meet every Tuesday evening at 7 at Allwood Neighbourhood House, Hurstbridge. The inimitable Miss Wattle (aka Sue Arnold) is a colourful local character known for her yearly conquest of the Hurstbridge Wattle Day Beauty pageant (ever since 1910!)
Sue has a long history of ukulele love and has toured the world playing at Vancouver Comedy Festival, Glastonbury Festival, France, Holland, the U.K... you name it, she’s played there. She leads the Panton Hill Ukulele Club enthusiastically on their musical journey, using her many years of experience to impart quintessential ukulele-ness to many loved pop, rock, western swing, calypso and Hawaiian tunes.
Saturday 3rd March, 4:30pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Cat House was built upon a shared passion for the ukulele and added their own musical accents of accordion, fiddle and clarinet. With a repertoire as eclectic as the kitties themselves, the diverse voices of Cat House bring to the stage sassy songs and sweet harmonies. These Melbourne based felines aim to sound purr-fect.
Choo Choo Toys
Saturday 3rd March, 1:30pm - Tago Mago
Choo Choo Toys are Bee Peruscoand Alan Gannaway. They formed Wilde & Free to perform for events at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. They have also frequented markets and parties at the Rocks in Sydney and a plethora of corporate events as well as Beams Festival and Mountains to the Sea in Wollongong. They love to perform classic popular songs from the 1890’s through to 60’s with Alan’s trusty Baritone Ukuleles and Bee’s delightful vocals. They are always striving to add to their range of classic and popular songs in French, Spanish and Bee’s native Italian.
Tyrone and Lesley (Brisbane)
Sunday 4th March, 5:00pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Tyrone and Lesley play songs on the ukulele, double bass and U-bass, all instruments that must be held close to the heart. First meeting in 2000 in the show "Ukulele Mekulele" they've made music ever since, having released two albums Ukulele Heart (2012) and Bear with Me (2013), the soundtrack to the hit show of the same name, and performed to many audiences of the large and little kind.
Finalists in the 2012 and 2013 Queensland Music Awards for their songwriting, they've played the Sydney Opera House, New Zealand International Ukulele Festival, Melbourne Ukulele Festival, Cairns Ukulele Festival, Spruke 2013, the Brisbane Festival, and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Perth’s Awesome Festival, the Melbourne Recital Centre and many other far less reputable establishments.
Sunday 4th March, 12:00noon - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Since causing the Churchill earthquake in 2012 and too big to fit into one photo, Ukelicious is a great mix of music and ukulele fun.
Hosted by the Gippsland Acoustic Music Club, Ukelicious combines the ukulele lesson groups of Harry Harrison and Ariane Ramsay.
Based in Gippsland, they share their music in the community at a range of gigs.
Playing in styles and singing with courageous harmonies, Ukelicious displays every colour of the Ukulele's emotional anuenue (rainbow).
The Loveys (NSW)
Sunday 4th March, 3:45pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The Loveys are 6 feisty yet quite well-mannered women who sing luscious harmonies accompanied by ukuleles, bassoon, tea cup and cheese grater percussion, melodica and descant recorder.
We sing originals and covers of songs that tickle our fancy, tell a story, un - crease a furrowed brow, and celebrate the art of living large.
Direct from standing ovations at the Blue Mountains and Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festivals, the Loveys will have you laughing one minute and crying the next as we share our tales of love, loss, longing and pure bloody - mindedness.
“Fun and glamour, talent and professionalism.” Veronica Clarke
“We loved your performance and we are framing the tea towel” Helen Morley, at Sunshine Coast Uke Festival 2016.
Saturday 3rd March, 3:00pm - Tago Mago
Karin is a high-energy ukulele player with a unique combination of powerful heavy-metal, pop and rock songs. So if you need a strong dose of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Kiss, Patti Smith and Joan Armatrading, Karin is for you. Most recently, she was a lead act at the Sandringham Music Festival and performed at the infamous Bearpit in Berlin. Come and rock!
Jack and Jel (Newcastle, NSW)
Saturday 3rd March, 3:00pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Mark and Jane have toured the USA for the last six years to collect a variety of songs from folk music camps and sessions. They blend this rich tradition of music with their own originals which could be described as folk, bluesy, and a little bit weird but always funny!
Sunday 4th March, 3:45pm - Tago Mago
George O’Hara is a poet, musician and recorder of other poets and musicians. He has produced several CDs of poetry, ukulele songs and electronica over the last few years of his own and others work. He loves reading and listening to all types of music as well as creating music. He has performed with the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective and at a number of music festivals including the Australia Day Parade. He is also a member of The Bitter Disappointments and The Temporary Adults combining poetry, music and visual art. His ukulele songs of love, loss, biting social commentary and humour combined with his poetic electronica will make you laugh, think... and hopefully buy him a drink.
Sunday 4th March, 3:00pm - Tago Mago
"Oh, je t’adore", said the singer to the ukulele. Amie and her small stringed friend bring you fabulous songs in seductively vintage style. Recently spotted in Paris with her ukulele (that’s ukulélé in French), she sings an eclectic mix of French chansons, vintage jazz, and other tunes that cross her path and take her fancy. After a terribly serious music degree at the University of Melbourne, Amie has journeyed through classical, jazz and cabaret to discover an imaginative place where simplicity rules. What she really loves to do is sing great songs, tell interesting tales and have some fun with the audience. What else can you do with a repertoire that includes Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, 1920s swing, New Orleans blues, Cole Porter, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and flamenco?
Sunday 4th March, 1:30pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Dafka is a fun, vibrant duo performing on ukuleles and vocals who play what they call Cosmopolitan Mediterranean, a range of genres from Gypsy, Klezmer, Blues, Jazz, French chanson and more. David charms and enchants his audiences with his performances. He is a dynamic multi-instrumentalist, a member also of the bands Klezmania and Belle Musette and a widely travelled professional performing musician, composer/arranger and educator for lessons, workshops and ensembles. Rebecca combines her lifelong love of music with a strong and vital rhythmic approach to the ukulele, leading the audience along a magical journey through Dafka’s diverse musical styles.
The Brass Traps
Saturday 3rd March, 2:15pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The Brass Traps, featuring Bernard and assorted special guests, return to the Melbourne Ukulele Festival, having been hard at work in the studio. They're following up the debut album, "Shoulder Season", with a fresh new collection of catchy original songs; you will enjoy humour, pathos, infectious rhythms, some amazing ukulele party tricks and as much passion as a ukulele can hold... which turns out to be a fair bit.
The Brass Traps will put a smile on your face, a tap in your toe and a tune in your voice!
Two and a Half Wise Men
Saturday 3rd March, 3:45pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The Two and a Half Wise Men are a live jam duo based in Melbourne consisting of Edwin (ukulele, violin), Jan (ukulele, guitar, keyboard) and half a guest player of the day, whom we call Frank.
Edwin is a British former violinist who has performed in major concert halls around the world. He brings classical musicality to ukulele playing in order to create a beautiful ukulele voice and make every note he plays special.
Jan is a talented and versatile musician from the Czech Republic who always carries a soulful and jazzy touch with him.
Together they improvise and play a wide range of instrumental music on the ukuleles as well as other instruments.
Saturday 3rd March, 2:15pm - Tago Mago
Señor Quinn Classic tunes from the 60's through till today reinvented on the electric ukulele with looper, drum machine and fx pedals - a modern one man band!
Saturday 3rd March, 3:45pm - Tago Mago
Ma Petite is Melbourne born musician Indiana Avent’s solo project. After spending over a decade in the music industry playing violin for artists such as Bon Iver, Soko, Dan Mangan, Gotye, and Amanda Palmer, Avent decided to put her own originals out into the world. With guitar or ukulele in hand, Avent paints tales of her dreams, experiences and aspirations, the little stories within the songs are brought to life with charmingly honest song writing, which creates a whimsical tapestry for Avent’s stories to be told.
Avent moved to Canada in early 2011 to record her debut album ‘The road that led me to Fall’, an album written during her time spent in Canada in 2010. The concept was to create a cross collaboration project, encompassing Avent’s own unique Australian style, while capturing the essence of the Canadian independent folk/singer songwriter scene, which along with the vast natural beauty of Canada, influenced and inspired many of the songs on the album.
This vision came to life with the help of Vancouver based Producer Paul Beochler and a plethora of talented local musicians, including Aidan Knight, Kenton Loewen (Dan Mangan, Gord Gradina), Jordan Klassen, and Matt Kelly (City and Colour, Yukon Blond).
The road that led me to Fall was released in April 2014, followed by a Canadian/European tour. Avent returned to Australia in October for more performances in support of the release, and festivals.
Sunday 4th March, 2:15pm - Tago Mago
Di and Julie met through Gippsland Acoustic Music Club’s Ukelicious group and realising a passion for the ukulele joined forces and began workshopping a few songs. They explore the range of techniques that this fabulous instrument can offer and how it compliments the voice. They offer an eclectic collection of songs, a mix of folk, ukulele, original and contemporary tunes.
Emerald Primary School Ukulele Band
Saturday 3rd March, 12:00noon - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The Emerald Primary Ukulele Orchestra is 3 years old. In another 2 years, it will be old enough to go to school. Despite its youth, the band has a lot of experience at playing at festivals around the state and special events around the local community. We started playing for fun. Now we have fun being awesome on stage.
Below are a couple of links to a few videos of our last show as part of the Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival.
Sunday 4th March, 12:45pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
Young souls, old music.
The Bandits was born one Sunday afternoon on a veranda in a little country town. Gabriel had just picked up a mandolin and Lucie decided slap bass was her thing. Mary pulled out her fiddle and taught them some tunes, which left Amie no choice but to learn bluegrass ukulele. So while all the other kids are playing computer games, Gabriel and Lucie, with Mary and Amie (both old enough to drive to gigs), are playing bluegrass tunes, singing good old songs and writing a few originals.
Gabriel Mallinson – mandolin, voice
Lucie Mallinson – bass, voice
Mary Duff – big fiddle, voice
Amie Brûlée – ukulele, voice
UFO: Uke4Kids Family Orchestra
Saturday 3rd March, 1:30pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The UFO just keeps getting better. This 11-strong group of some of the most talented and enthusiastic students from the Uke4Kids program never fails to impress and entertain audiences with its contemporary repertoire, sophisticated arrangements and high energy performances. After playing at many previous MUFs, other national festivals, and putting out some impressive recordings and videos, the U.F.O. is ready to rock MUF '17! All ages friendly.
Someone Else's Wedding Band
Saturday 3rd March, 4:30pm - Tago Mago
They say the best of things can be formed in the ashes and swamps of other things. Like that bit at the end of Planet of the Apes about we all really know where we came from and now we just have to work out how we got there and consider changing our ways or resort to primitive calculators.
Such wonderings brought together the duo that make up Someone Else's Wedding Band. Their attempt to break the formula for soundscapes brings about a melodic wheel of fortune - sometimes a pop, sometimes a hum, sometimes a harsh electric shattering twang. We'd like to tell you who the influences would be, but those who turn to their influences for help have no legs to call their own.
Jason swears beautifully into the microphone and brings about the deathly hallows from the space inside the ukulele strings, humming your favourite into something only Rowland S Howard could love. But fear not - there is always time for melodies and choruses. Naf resides in a seated position, commanding all appendages at the same time. Like some crazy arachnid he flails upon bass and stomp boxes in brutal choreography of sorts. Both form some mad kind of unison that must be seen to be heard to be believed.
Sunday 4th March, 12:00noon - Tago Mago
Ukastle Ukestra (NSW)
Saturday 3rd March, 7:00pm - Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room
The Ukastle Ukestra is a cross between a ukulele orchestra, a choir and a musical theatre experience from "Hair"! We play original arrangements of songs taken from all genres (including pop, folk, world music and jazz) but send them to new places and back again by arranging them for ukulele and voice. We believe in giving a show, more than just a collection of songs!