Tuesday, 12 December 2017

An unusual gig.

Well it's not often that your audience is in a  lift!

We were playing in Ashton Art Gallery, the audience were members of Tameside Dementia Support Group.

After a successful first set, with plenty of audience participation - singing, shaky eggs, clapping and even dancing, everyone was ready for a short break to consume tea and mince pies.

We became aware of an intermittent alarm bell, which turned out to be the lift. Six members of our audience were stopped between floors.

The organiser asked us to resume playing in order to distract everyone else and we ended up playing on for an extra 45 minutes until the fire brigade arrived to rescue them and then used an evac chair to take the less mobile people downstairs.

As far as I can tell they were not particularly upset by the incident, certainly some considered it a great adventure, especially those who used the evac chair.

Apparently, they were able to hear us playing and were singing along to the Christmas songs.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Co-op Christmas Advert 2017

In the middle of August we were approached via our Facebook page by an agency who were "casting a major UK supermarket TV commercial and looking for music communities in the north west" and wanted to know whether we were interested.

The producer and director of Forever Beta paid a couple of visits to watch and listen to us in our Monday evening meetings and soon afterwards we heard that we had been selected to take part.

The next stage was for four of our best players (Ann, Geoff, Howard and Keith) to visit a recording studio and play the song Tender by Blur. Before this however was a lot of work for the players to familiarise themselves with the version required for the advert. This involved a lot of changes and many hours collaborating to make sure they got it right.

After a last rehearsal, they were picked up by a minibus and taken to the recording studio. Three of us accompanied them - after all someone had to help eat the delicious salads and sandwiches that were supplied!


The next stage was a day where members of SUP were filmed rehearsing in a local pub.

Before that, Geoff and Sue had an early start when they were taken to Mam Tor to be filmed walking across the fields carrying their ukuleles. Unfortunately this scene did not make in into the final cut, but it was a nice ride out on a misty morning.

Back in the pub we met the others for our "rehearsal" which was a lot of fun and we were fed well from the catering van in the car park.

During the day, some of the group (Bernie, Helder, Keith, Malc, Martin, and Nia) were taken off to be filmed in a car and then in a playground - playing ukulele on a slide was fun!


Then it was time for the big day - we were taken to Halle St Peter's in Manchester for the Christmas Party. Quite a bit of time was spent waiting around but we got to know members of the other groups and entertained ourselves and each other by performing some of our favourite songs.

Finally, after we had been fed (a nice choice of curry, lasagne, hotpot, etc followed by cakes) we were taken to the main hall for the filming.

It was hot (we were wearing Christmas jumpers and hats), it was busy but it was great fun.


You can see the result here:  Christmas Advert

You can also read about the groups who took part in the Advert and listen to or download the  Charity Single.

I had far too many photos to include them on this page so I made a Slideshow with photos supplied by members of Stockport Ukulele Players.

We received some more photos from Forever Beta so I made another Slideshow