Ukulele Heaven: BMSB & The Nukes Cambridge NZ

To call BMSB a covers band is a travesty but it is what the Big Muffin Serious Band does. Their witty interpretations of tunes familiar, and not so, is what makes for their endearing charm and enduring popularity. And they do it so well – after 30 years – better than ever in fact. The ‘short version’ of Freddie Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody is new, joining the wonderfully fraught ‘Hotel California’ which is everything The Eagles left out of the original. Familiar songs from The Wombles, The Beach Boys and the Al Hoffman songbook. Yes, this and their ridiculous version of JJ Cale’s ‘Cocaine’ sung in third form French and featuring that glorious Jim Fulton lead uke break we all love, fuzz box and all. All musical fun, wrapped in Graeme Cairns slapstick humour with topical V8s and velodrome jokes. Our fellow Waipa Districteers; the Muffins hail from Te Pahu, wowed the 100 strong Town Hall audience. Locals of course.

By contrast The Nukes, our visitors and the headline act, sing their own songs, and aren’t they great. Three singer songwriters (David Parker (Rhythm Cage, The Parker Project), Ben Collier (Goldenhorse, The Magnets) and David Thiele) together produce music like that of Dave Dobbin, Don McGlashan and Peter Cape before them that ‘sings’ about us; bold and beautiful, subtle and warm and at times just a little bit silly. From the sing songy Peas and Carrots to the sublimely beautiful Feels Like Home and the ‘Cape Reinga song’. These songs sound like home to me; yours and mine. Stunning stuff! and the humour, self-effacing and very kiwi, in that fine tradition of ukukele performance art.

Heaps of fun. All power to more of this, please!

What: Ukelelefest’ 11: The Nukes with the Big Muffin Serious Band Where: Cambridge Town Hall When: Wednesdsay 9th of November 2011. Ukelelefest’ 11 was bought to Cambridge by Te Awamutu arts and performance stalwarts Backstage Pass (Dean and Robyn Taylor) as we all spring into Waipa.

© Michael Jeans | +64 27 496 3802 | galleries | michael@michaeljeans.co.nz