In May 2015 the Ukastle Ukestra and the Jukestra performed in Newcastle’s prestigious and gorgeous Civic Theatre. About 60 of us were engaged to entertain the 2015 National Lions Convention. The Lions loved it, as did we. The sound and venue was really fantastic.
The performance is conducted by the pedestal-arisen Jane Jelbart, corralled and emceed by Mark Jackson, and filmed by Lions National Office staff (on a mobile phone). Thanks to them we are able to provide you with videos of those performances. Leading off the performance was two pieces performed by the Jukestra, prior to 50+ Ukestrans joining the stage. You can scroll down this page to your preferred song or performance.
But just before that, you may want to have a look at the photos.
The Jukestrans open the concert with a Bulgarian instrumental. This song is taken from James Hill’s Ukulele in the Classroom ukulele teaching series of books.
Mason Dewhirst leads the Jukestra on vocals on this ukulele version of the Pharell Williams 2014 hit song. John Wallace adds some rhythm just using his beatboxing talents.
We are done
The Ukastle Ukestra then swamped the stage and performed this pop song from 2014 by The Madden Brothers. Sung by Ruth McCrae (formerly of the Sydney choir – Cafe at the Gate of Salvation).
Way Down in the Hole and How to Make Gravy
This 7 minute video includes two songs, and a surprise for Lions CEO, Rob Oerlemans.
Song #1 is Way Down in the Hole, a bluesie Tom Waits song, made more famous by being the theme song for the television series The Wire. Lead singer – Geoff Scott (retired coal miner).
Song #2 is How to Make Gravy, a Paul Kelly ballad. Sung by Jack Broekman (landscaper and tractor driver).
Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps
Dorothy Pritchard sings the classic made famous by Doris Day. Susie Hall-Thompson (from Tomaree Ukestra) and Cynthia Sleight-Meyles (Thursday nights) take the lead instrumental duet, with Mark Jackson providing a raucous non-ukulele break. Jane has a few apoplexies about some mistakes, and Mark encourages the audience to sing along.
Somebody that I used to know
The Jukestra and Ukastle Ukestra join together to perform Gotye’s worldwide 2012 hit. Danika Spamer (aged 12) and John Wallace (14) take the lead vocals. Wait for the uke swaps towards the end.
Bring Me Sunshine
Martin Bond (retired printer) leads the Ukestra in a (kazoos at the ready) rousing version of Morecombe and Wise’s standard farewell.
Despite warnings from some Ukestrans, we didn’t prepare for an encore! But a standing ovation meant we had to pull out a song that most people knew and for who we had a singer. Unfortunately we got Rob Oerlemans (Lions CEO) up to the microphone to sing a song he didn’t know. Lucky for us (and for Rob) Geoff Noblet knew and performed the song very well. Another unfortunate thing is that the trumpet at the beginning of this very short filmed snippet is rather wobbly. Nevertheless the audience are very appreciative.