Mossley ukulele orchestra hopes to convert the haters

A LOCAL group of ukulele players is looking forward to the most prestigious gig of its eight-year history.

The Mossley Ukulele Group will be supporting ukulele masters Anarchy in the Ukulele at The Vale in Mossley this month.

The group’s 20 members, who are aged from early 40s up to 89, say it will be the perfect opportunity to put an end to the snobbery that surrounds their favourite four-stringed instrument and introduce it to new audiences.

Their set list includes Spirit In The Sky, Bad Moon Rising, Let It Be, Oasis’ Half The World Away, Pulp’s Common People and James’ Sit Down.

Anarchy in the Ukulele

Mossley Ukulele Group was started in 2016 by music teacher Nicola Chambers, who was quickly won over by the charms of the pint-sized ukulele when she first encountered one around 15 years ago.

Nicola, who used to play in a brass band and also plays the tenor horn, now tutors the instrument in schools as part of Tameside Music Service. The former secondary school music teacher also runs adult sessions for Mossley Ukulele Group twice a month at The Vale.

The 45-year-old, who grew up in Mossley before moving to Stalybridge in 2019, also signed up to run the North West branch of the Ukulele Project – a national organisation which promotes the power of playing music to boost wellbeing and bring people together. This recently involved donating ukuleles to Stalybridge Library for a loan scheme.

“Mossley Ukulele Group is a lifeline for people and has started so many new friendships,” said Nicola. “We’re a friendly bunch and playing and singing together is very powerful.

“The ukulele is a unique instrument as it’s affordable to buy, light and portable to carry around, easy for a beginner to learn – and you can sing at the same time as playing.

“I don’t know why there is still such a silly snobbery attached to it. Some people think it’s a toy or a joke and don’t get me started on how often people ask me if I can play George Formby’s When I’m Cleaning Windows!”

Mossley Ukulele Group meets on the first and third Sundays of the month from 2pm to 4pm at The Vale. All over 14s are welcome, including total beginners. You can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MUGMossleyUkuleleGroup/

It’s a family affair for Nicola as her mum Janet and auntie Maria are also part of the group and help organise it. They all cannot wait for the upcoming gig at The Vale.

“Over the years we have performed live many times, including at the Saddleworth Show, Mossley Light Festival and Tameside Rotary Club Beer Festival,” said Nicola.

“But supporting Anarchy in the Ukulele is a real coup for us and we are very excited. All profits from the gig will be donated to the Ukulele Project, which hopes to donate 1,000 ukuleles to schools, community groups and libraries.”

Anarchy in the Ukulele is a seven-piece band made up of professional musicians and multi-instrumentalists from around the UK. Formed as part of the Anarchy in the Ukulele YouTube channel, they are taking the ukulele scene by storm.

Tickets for the gig on Thursday, March 28, at 7.30pm are £10 and can be bought here: https://www.the-vale.co.uk/event/anarchy-in-the-ukulele/

Anarchy in the Ukulele will be showing how to twist a well-known song into something unique for the ukulele during a workshop before the gig at 6pm. Tickets are £15 and available from the Ukulele Project website at https://ukuleleproject.co.uk/shop/vale/

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