Dear Ukuleleist / Ukist / Uke Player / Uker,
Welcome to the Beardy Keef website. Those of you who went to Bearded Theory in 2013 might know about the Uke Jam that I rashly agreed to do. Well, that was the birth of Beardy Keef and the Uke Ellington Orchestra and since then we have now popped up at several other festivals. 2016 was a stupidly busy year with Uke Jams at: The Something Else Solar Stage Launch, Cosmic Puffin, Something Else Somewhere Else, Gracetonbury, Bearded Theory, Bundle O Dubz, Something Else a bit North, Watchet, Something Else in the Dean and Star Bothering Friday at Dogfest...... They were all brilliant fun and so we are going to do it all again in 2017
I will be joined at all the Uke Jams with David O and and most of them with Technohippy and Collo playing his spoons ..... We will be doing a variety of Uke Jams, PuKe JaMs and Kidz Uke Jams at Elemental VW, Cosmic Puffin, SE Solar Party, Bearded Theory (we are back in the Woodland on Sunday ), Bundle O' Dubz, SE a bit North, Hobofest, Feralfest, Star Bothering on Sunday and SE in the Dean ....... I can't wait !!!
And the Puke Jams were great fun too and so they will be back in 2017 .... there might even be a bit of Puke Kaaoke ..... Last year we got through more bass ukers than Spinal Tap got through drummers. So we are letting David play bass this year and I'll make up some instrumentals on my kazoo...... We were also joined onstage with some fabulous musician like Ghosts of Men, Attila the Stockbroker, Les (Fruitbat) Carter, The Devil's Prefects and Gail Something Else ......and here's a little video clip from Something Else Somewhere Else back in July .....
There's still plenty of time yet for you to practice until your fingers bleed and for you to get thoroughly fed up with playing the same old songs over and over again. For 2017 though there will be some new son
gs and some of the old favourites. . I can't thank all of you who came along to a uke jam in 2016 enough ... some of the turn outs were incredible ... and the Woodland Stage crowd was beyond belief ... THANK YOU ..... BUT ..... Dust off your uke, polish your kazoo (that's not a euphamism) start gargling gin and let's do it all again at the 2017 BEARDY KEEF UKE JAMS
For those of you that are new to all of this, here's the cunning plan. I select some songs, I post them here and also bring some songbooks along to the uke jam. You bring your ukes and your lovely lovely voices and we have a jam and a sing, we smile and laugh a lot. It's good for people of any ability, or none, to be able to play along and so all the songs can all be played with just just a handful of chords..... By now many of you will be seasoned ukists and so new chords will hold no fear ... If you are new to the ukulele then try and master C,F G and Am, that way you will be able to play quite a few of the songs.
IMPORTANT FESTIVAL PACKING TIP: When you write your "What to take to the Festival" list, don't forget to put "my lovely uke" right at the top of your list (just above "spare pants") and don't forget to then pack your precious ukulele right at the bottom of your rucksack wedged between your bottles of skittles vodka and your cans of Tesco value lager. That way, when you get to the campsite and unpack eveything your ukulele will be in lots of tiny pieces in the bottom of your rucksack. If this does happen I am afraid that I won't have any spare ukes with me and so you will need to play "air uke" instead..... or kazoo. So, pack your uke carefully. If you don't have a ukulele and don't want to be a billy-no-uke, you can pick up a very basic one for about £30 . It will sound a bit "plinky" but that's not a bad thing for a ukulele. If you aren't sure what to buy have a look here at the guide I've written.
I think it's fair to say that the ukulele is a truely magnificant musical instrument but there is one thing that can improve it ... and that's a KAZOO. So, I will have a big bag of value kazoos to hand out. These are essential for playing the part of the usually unnecessary and often overly-complicated guitar solos or those towering, but rather tedious, keyboard arpeggios. They can all be replicated, and improved, perfectly well on a kazoo. Love your kazoo and your kazoo will love you back. I attach my kazoo to my uke with duct tape and garden wire. That way you can play hands free. A bit like internet porn. Kazoo professionals like Miser Bill from Hobo Jones uses a metal coathanger and Hattie Hatstar uses converted hair extensions. If you don't believe me click their names !!
Finally the setlist. Well the good news is that there will be one. Probably. The bad news is that I don't know what it will be yet. I will be keeping some of the songs that seemed to go down well in previous years but will add a few new ones. There will be a few mash ups and medleys as they are fun, and always have the potential to go badly wrong. Which is also fun.... The C G Am F medley will definately be back as It just has 4 chords ( C G Am and F !! ) that go round and round and round and round and round BUT we can sing lots of different songs to it.... The Police, Bob Marley, AHA, Half Man Half Biscuit and some others......
We like a challenge and so we'll try things like Blue Monday, Kiss, Inbetween Days and especially for Bearded Theory we will do a bit of Madness ..... ONE STEP BEYOND ,,,, It's only 2 chords and it was made for Kazoo ...... There will be a variety of songs in a range of styles but mostly it'll be songs that are easy(ish) to play and well known. To make some of them easy to play I will change the key so they may not be in the original key that they were recorded. That will mean if you try and play along to the original it will sound horrid. Sorry about that.The list may change a bit if I suddenly think of a stunningly brilliant song to add....I also think it will be fun if we can play a couple of songs by bands that are playing at the festivals. So watch this space....
I have also done some playalong videos which you might find helpful........They are just a click away. I will add more videos when I decide what we will play........ PLAYALONG VIDEOS OF SONGS WILL START APPEARING HERE
That's it then. If you want to ask any questions, post pictures of your ukuleles, share intimate secrets with me, email naked photos of yourself to me or just send me abuse I have set up a facebook page. Click on the giant facebook button below and wibble away.........
Hopefully I will see lots of you in various fields in the summer. Please come armed with your Ukes, Kazoos and/or lusty voices and we will all have a jolly old knees up. Remember it is impossible to play the ukulele without smiling ....... even if you are a very miserable bastard.
Peace & Love
Beardy Keef xxx