Ukulele In The Name Of – Craig Against The Machine

Every now and again, we come across something we like that just has not been seen by enough people. This guy, Lunarbeef, doing a cover version of ‘Killing in the name of’ by Rage against the machine, has got balls bigger than king kong. We totally approve. Craig, if you read this, we love your work!

You ain’t seen nothing yet : Extreme Ukulele from Phuket

Ok, we will be honest with you… We thought that disregarding the acoustic ukulele in favour of the electric ukulele was about as extreme as it could get. We were under the impression that punking out with a uke was the most radical thing since mohawks. We thought that the only thing more entertaining would be jumping out of a aeroplane with a uke singing ‘jump’ by Van Halen was as rock and roll as it got. That was, of course, until we saw this.

Ukulele face piercings from Phuket, Thailand

2 ukulele’s? In your Face.
Guillaume Megevand’s photo from the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand.

When we saw this photo by Guillaume Megevand we were truly gobsmacked. Guillaume is a photographer from Geneva, Switzerland who has been living in Bangkok for more than a year shooting editorial jobs. Recently he was out shooting in Phuket and came across this crazy chap in the photo and a bunch of his friends, all piercing themselves with bizarre and interesting objects, and he let us bring this photo in particular to you.

It was shot during the Vegetarian Festival, on of the most extreme festival in the world. During 10 days, the chinese population of the island follows a vegetarian diet and performs sacred rituals in the different chinese temples of the city. The devotees get pierced by all different kind of objects going from a gun to a beach umbrella. They also walk over hot coals or climb up ladders with rungs made of knife blades.

The guy in the photo was just one of the parade, and he is a thai guy with chinese roots. I asked Guillaume what the guy was doing… he said “They can choose the objects they like I think. Since a few years back, the trend is “the crazier, the best”. Maybe he’s very good at Ukulele. Not sure he will be able to use them again though. ”

As extreme as it gets with 2 ukes, we think, but if you have seen anything crazier, please let us know!

If you’d like to see more strange objects shoved through human flesh, or more of the interesting sites of Thailand, check out Guillaume’s photography portfolio, because you know… it is about as radical as you could get with your own body!

Wish you could play ukulele?

If you are in London, and want to learn, look up “Learn to uke”

4 week adult beginners courses which will take you from zero to ukulele hero! You will play a song within an hour, and then learn a variety of strums and chord progressions over the course. You will have a lot of fun, make new friends and find the musician within you! Check their website to see videos of past absolute beginners – who had never held their ukuleles before the class. 😉

I kept seeing ukes all over the place….

Out and about in Forest Hill on Friday during the day and around The Tower of London in the evening, and I couldn’t stop spotting ukuleles and related instruments.

The instruments you can see in cabinets are at the Horniman Museam in Forest Hill, South-East London. More information about them and the hundresds of other instruments in their gallery can be found in their catalogued web page.

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£15 Ukuleles for sale in Sue Ryder, Forest Hill, South East London, Uk

 

Toy Gitar

Toy Gitar,
Jogjakarta,
Java,
Indonesia
c. 1977

 

Charengo, lute

Charengo, lute
Made by Mario Torres
Pocoata
Potosi
Bolivia
c. 1987

 

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Machete, small guitar
Made by Jacinto R.
Saidenha
Madeira, Portugal,
c. 1843

Cuetro, small guitar
Made by Cruz A Quinal
San Lorenzo de Carenaquey
Espada Sucre
Venezuela
c. 1986

 

Machete

Machete
Nunes
Madiera
Portugal
19th Century

 

Busker

Well dressed ukulele playing busker playing at Tower Hill Tube station, London, Uk

Bobby from Marjinal plays ‘Negri Ngeri’ on electric ukulele

This is Bobby from the Indonesian band Marjinal playing ‘Negri Ngeri’ on my Risa Tenor stick. It is an Electric uke made to travel that I took with me to show Bob when I visited Jakarta earlier in the year, Bob was really good to me, we spent the whole day together, he showed me around, talked about the street kids and music and how different our relative places in the world are. Thanks Marjinal, you ROCK!

Scully’s iphone/ipad futulele canjolele ukulele

My mate scully is quite the genius when it comes to electronics and biscuit tins. Here is a video we just made of his brand new canjolelel / electrolele / futulele / iUkelele / tabulele / phoneulele / ukulele hero machine.

It is made with a Cadbury’s biscuit tin, a plank of wood, an iPad 3, an iPhone 4, and a bit of masking tape. Oh… and a funky bit of software called futulele which runs on both the ipad and iphone and connects them together to act like the neck and the body of the uke.

It is possible that this is the silliest future ukulele ever built! Hooray… watch out for when he has learnt a song or two more, only on ukeland.co.uk

Jakata Street Punks (video)

A group of friendly street punks in Indonesia’s capitol, Jakarta.

We had heard the punk ukulele scene in Jakarta was big. We bumped into these punk kids the first time we went out for a walk around and they were happy to let us record them playing uke. In the few days we were there, we meet more new ukulele friends than you ever could have expected. It seems a uke to these kids is like a PSP or a blackberry is to kids in the UK. It gives them amusement, entertainment and above all, a voice to tell everyone else about how they see the world.