|Sue Parish and her Ukelele Team|
Lancaster celebrates the ukulele craze with a day of four-stringed strumming this Saturday 19 July. The first ever Lancaster 'Ukulele Malarkey' includes a try-out session for absolute beginners, group performances, solo spots and pub sessions, as well as a performance by ukulele and violin duo Lou Armer and Alice Brockman.
All events are free, and everyone is welcome, whether as a player or audience member.
The city's fabulous historic St John the Evangelist's Church, on North Road, LA1 1PA, will be the main focus for the afternoon events, lending an elegant Georgian atmosphere to the day. There will be a short beginners workshop from 12.30pm, with ukes available to try.
Local clubs will then perform and share their songs from 2pm, including sets by players from Lancaster, Morecambe and Arnside. Each group will perform favourite songs, and lead the audience in a sing and strum as well. The nearby Bobbin pub will also welcome uke players if you like refreshment with your music.
From tea-time the focus shifts to the city's uke-friendly Robert Gillow pub with solo performers and small groups taking the stage from 6pm. Lou Armer and Alice Brockman round off the evening with a performance of their original songs from 9pm.
Said organiser Sue Parish: "I started running uke sessions in Lancaster about 18 months ago, and it's been amazing to see how much fun people get out of strumming and singing together. So I thought it would be good to bring the local ukulele community together for a day. The idea is that it's relaxed and informal, and, as we've never done this before, it may well turn out a bit unpredictable too!"
All events are free, although donations are invited to support the upkeep of St John's church. After Saturday, St John's will be closing for guided tours and events until further notice, so this will be a golden opportunity to enjoy its legendary acoustics while you can. Performance and workshop places are limited and should be booked in advance. Further information can be found on the website: www.ukulelemalarkey.com or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 07981 535 073.