View Full Version : What did you do last Saturday?

04-01-2012, 11:28 PM
Aloha All!

Ralph Shaw came and saw us on Saturday and had a few laughs with the Blue MUGs.

First off John Chandler and I did a bit of conspiring and underhanded dealings, John had Ralph up early so that he could come up the mountains to 'jam' with a couple of uke players. Ralph wasn't that excited about sitting in a circle playing kumbaya but went along with it.

At Springwood I was there early getting the stage set for our Foundation Day gig, over the years we have progressed from strolling uke players to finally, this year, the MAIN stage. So I had sorted out who was plugging in and the number of mics available and then waited as our group grew, and grew, and grew when.......... John Chandler arrived with a new uke player for our group...... Yep we had dragged Ralph into a stage gig with us.... John and I thought that it would be a good way of introducing him to what we do before he ran the workshop... We gave him an 'I'm a MUG' badge and our Ralph also gave him a Ralph badge which he continued to wear all day even when he was performing late on in the evening.

With our first gig of the day out of the way we all went our separate ways helping out the economy in the many stalls and coffee shops around Springwood.

The Newbold's and I found a good coffee shop ordered drinks and some excellent muffins and the proceeded to troll through the songs we had been working on and encouraging passebys to get along to the Alex.

After our fill of fun in Springwood it was off to Leura where many of the MUGs had already taken up residence food, drinks and playing of the ukes were partaken while we waited for the clock to tick around to that magic hour of 3:30.

Then as if by magic Ralph walked to the Mic and for the next 50 minutes demystified up and down, light and heavy, split stokes, triplets and generally making your playing more interesting to not only your friends and family's but the general public as well..

Ralph's merchandise table was very busy after the workshop and he was happy to have a chat and sign anything put in front of him, (in retrospect that was the time to put a cheque book in front of him) and the room had a ball.

Dinner was next before we did the lug and plug for the gigs, while we were there the Alex restaurant did a roaring trade in fact Biff and I had to toss for the last of the fish specials, which I might add tasted terrific, while John ended up with the bangers and mash, although he did help out Cait.

So as 7:30 struck we were doing the final bits of the sound check to a supportive if not huge crowd, that was until we had done a few numbers when people for all the other areas of the hotel came in to have a look at what was happening, the room was chockers for the rest of the set.

Many performers would have been intimidated having to follow the MUGs but when it came time to start Ralph started strumming and singing and working the room, his song selection was in the most straight out of the forties and his working over of the numbers his stage craft and wit was infectious. Ralph is a great act and in response to the heckler (Lucky Phil) he played stairway to heaven. How good was that! and later on he had James, Tayor and Rob join him on stage for a fun number..... Must remember to ask the title... and with much urging again from Phil later in the night did one of my favouries Viva Las Vegas.

When he played VLV he asked for help on stage so we had Ralph on Banjo Uke, Dancin' Dean on Tennor, James on Bass, Rob on spoons and Taylor on Bodhran (an Irish drum) and it went off......

After the required encore from Ralph the night began to slowly wind down until the disco set up at the Alex which helped us decide to call it a night.

It was a long, entertaining, educational, inspiring and music filled day, one I will remember for a long time.