Making a song and dance about UkejamBy Pete Bryant
February 28, 2012
A SOCIAL group that allows learners to play alongside experienced musicians has plucked itself a musical niche in Guildford.
Ukejam is a group of ukelele players who meet every two weeks at the historic Royal Oak pub, in Trinity Churchyard, for a sing-along and play-along session.
At the last meeting more than 70 players joined the group on stage, with some now bringing their own camp chairs to guarantee a seat.
Adam Wolters started Ukejam with Penny Fazackerley at the Red Lion pub in Godalming in January 2011, but it soon became evident that the club would need to move to a bigger location due to its huge popularity.
The music lecturers at Brooklands College, Weybridge, decided to relocate to the Royal Oak in November and have seen numbers double.
“It’s a real music pub and it’s lovely to have publicans who are so into the idea of having their pub as an entertainment venue,” said Mr Wolters.
“Ukejam has proved incredibly popular. People just keep coming back and there’s no pressure on people who are learning.
“This is just a big, fun, sociable orchestra with just enough organisation to make it work. It’s not too precious but at the same time we’ve done some great shows.”
Ukejam played at GuilFest in 2011, attracting a packed audience to the acoustic stage for a huge sing-along. As a result, the group has been invited back this year.
In addition to this, comedian and musician Al Murray joined them as a drummer for an evening at the Boileroom in Guildford.
A night of jamming and cabaret is being planned for the Royal Oak next month, where newcomers are welcome to join the group to play well-known pop songs using books and a number of house ukuleles provided.
There will also be acoustic sets from Charlie Khan and the Bullfrog Chorus, a retro pop and swing act.
It is hoped it will follow the success of the group’s recent Boileroom show which saw 23 musicians take to the stage.
Entry to the event on March 9, which starts at 9pm, is free. More information can be found at www.ukejam.co.uk.