Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Time for another World Uke Tube !

This should brighten your day in case the weather is as dull where you are as it is here today. If it isn’t, please send some sunshine !

We’ll start with Portugal with the return of the Portuguese Ukulele Orchestra, Voodoo Marmalade, who will not fail to brighten the mood.


Voodoo Marmalade in a medley Clandestino (by multilinguistic Manu Chao) / Chiclete

And since they’ve been silent for quite a while

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A little more than one month ago, while searching for ukulele videos from around the world,  I stumbled upon a video of Svavar Knútur, an Icelandic folk singer and songwriter who also happens to play the ukulele.

I couldn’t resist the combination of Icelandic language, folk music, ukulele, warm voice and bitter-sweet melancholy songs nurturing my emotions. I bought Svavar Knútur‘s latest album Kvöldvaka and enjoyed it so much that I decided to contact him and request an interview. Svavar very kindly accepted despite being busy touring Australia.

U&L : Where did you discover the ukulele? What appealed to you about it?

Svavar Knútur : I discovered the Ukulele for my own uses in december 2007 in a music store in Denmark Street, London. I wanted to buy a simple but elegant instrument to bring home to Iceland, one that would not require excess baggage, so I decided to try out an ukulele.

Soon after I came home, I had started using the Ukulele a lot at concerts and actually did a very stripped down cover of a beautiful song by one of Iceland’s most famous female songwriters at a memorial concert. The simplicity and elegance of the Ukulele really captivated me and also the beauty of its soft soundscape.

Here is the song Frá Liðnu vori that Svavar Knútur sang as a memorial to Icelandic singer songwriter Bergþóra Árnadóttir.

U&L : The cover of your latest album Kvöldvaka features a drawing of you holding a ukulele

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Today I have concocted an English-speaking-countries uke trip which I hope you will enjoy.

1. Ireland

A fun original song by Barry from Dún Laoghaire _ I swear, it rhymes! _. It’s such a long time since I left Ireland now that I have to double check the spelling. Time flies !

The song is called Anywhere The Weather’s Not Too Bad. Warning : some instruments shown on the video can be misleading.

2. United-Kingdom

UkeTubeUK does a cover of Minnie the Moocher

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I was starting to wonder why we didn’t get to see so many videos from Bosko and Honey’s Ukulele Safari 2010 until I found yogajenny‘s channel on YouTube. Jenny has uploaded many live performances from the Ukulele Safari crowd, as well as other live acts filmed at different ukulele festivals in Autralia.

Bosko and Honey, Gensblue from Japan, Yan Yalego from France and Jaynickel from Belgium set out in a safari bus (a motorhome) to travel around Australia and meet ukulele players along the way.

Let’s listen to them playing live in different cities along their safari.

Bosko and Honey’s theme song, performed in Canberra.

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This is the second post in the Beatles Ukulele covers series. The first post focused on The Beatles ‘ 3 first albums and today we’ll be looking at Ukulele covers of songs from the following Beatles albums : Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul.

Beatles For Sale (December 1964)

Let’s first travel to Australia for a cover of Baby’s in Black.

The lyrics of the song refer to Astrid Kirchherr, a German photographer who met the Beatles in Hamburg. At the time Stuart Sutcliffe, one of John Lennon‘s friends from the Liverpool College of Art, played the bass with the Beatles. Astrid Kirchherr was engaged to Stuart Sutcliffe but he died in 1962 aged only 21, hence the song Baby’s in Black.

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