Ukelear Meltdown II: the second national festival of Extreme Ukulele

With: Dirty Diamonds / Molly & Me / Cat Green Bike / Mark Pembrey / Ira Lightman / Staggerin’ Jon Lee / Eilidh Macaskill / Dulwich Ukulele Club
(+ films and workshops)
Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1 2009

For the second glorious year, the Star & Shadow celebrates the cheapest, easiest-to-play, most lo-fi, most punk rock instrument in the world – the Ukulele. With live performers, films and workshops, our Saturday night and Sunday afternoon will be dedicated to worshipping a “Thirty dollar wooden box with wires”.

Over two days, musicians from across Europe will descend on Newcastle to worship the uke!

There will also be films, workshops and stalls selling ukulele paraphernalia, CDs and videos

Saturday night (28 February) will feature the performance art and music of Molly & Me who will come from Denmark and Scotland to perform.  Cat Green Bike (Birmingham) and Jack Shirt (London) work at the avant-garde end of the musical spectrum, using loops, effects and tunings to subvert the instrument.  Abdul Amin, from Manchester via Canada and Pakistan, is in his sixties, and composes work inspired by Bollywood musicals, while Staggerin’ Jon Lee from Newcastle will perform using uke, kazoo, jug and stylophone.  The Dulwich Ukulele Club are a ten-piece upbeat rock ‘n’ roll and ska amalgam that will end the evening.

On Sunday 1 March, the day will start with ukulele workshops run by Sarah Jane Miller, and three short films, including a documentary on the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and another featuring Swedish indie-king Jens Lekman, a ukulele fan.

Live music will be provided by the hit acts of 2008, Eilidh Macaskill and Dirty Diamonds, plus poet Ira Lightman, and Mark Pembrey, who began playing the uke at last year’s festival.

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