Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Ukelele takes centre stage at fundraiser

THE headline act of this year’s Henley Midnight Matinée says it will be a night to remember.

THE headline act of this year’s Henley Midnight Matinée says it will be a night to remember.

Musician Sam Brown and her People’s Ukulele Brigade will be performing songs never performed publicly by ukulele at the gig next Saturday (June 8).

She said: “I would venture to say that there will definitely be songs that no one would have ever heard being played on the ukulele — it will be a surprise. I think we might even top The Ace Of Spades by Motorhead which is one of our favourite songs.

“I think the great thing about the ukulele is the different types of music you can play, from traditional ukulele songs in the 1900s and bring it up to the modern day to some quite serious rock ‘n’ roll.”

The former singer, who lives in Sonning Common, is the daughter of Sixties rock ‘n’ roll star Joe Brown and will be backed by some members of her father’s band. She says her group are “quite a bunch of characters” with lots of great people, including a clown — who is a good musician as well.

Mrs Brown, who has been praised by Jools Holland for her songwriting skills, took up the ukulele in 2000 having previously always played the piano. She also played the guitar — though she admits she is “bloody awful” — but says she can play “a bit of bass”.

The annual Midnight Matinée, which has been running since 1960, will be held at the Kenton Theatre and features singer-songwriter Megan Henwood, from Henley.

A reception will be held at Hotel du Vin before the main event at 8pm, which is organised by Henley Rotary Club.There will be a raffle, with prizes including Stewards’ tickets for Henley Royal Regatta, two tickets for the Sunday of the Henley Festival and two tickets to see a show at the Mill at Sonning worth £50. Last year’s event raised £4,125 for the Henley Youth Centre and the previous record was £10,000 for Upper Thames Rowing Club.

Tickets cost £20 and are available from the Kenton Theatre box office on (01491) 575698 or visit

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