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 |

Isn’t she lovely National Hotel Cambridge New Zealand

National Hotel, Cambridge New Zealand
The Nash, Lake Street, Cambridge New Zealand fresh in her new livery beams into the afternoon sun, today, Saturday the 29th of February 2011. After a period of neglect and abandonment tenants of the new (and local) owners are due to move into the refurbished building toward the end of February 2011. As regular readers know the National Hotel has a special place in my heart.

Sample Rooms Lake Street Cambridge NZ

Sample Rooms Lake Street Cambridge NZ

And the Samples (sic) Rooms beside the hotel are not for sampling the brew but were used by travelling salesmen to display samples of their wares.

Cambridge Museum #27

New to me. The Lake Street Sample Rooms has become a rather flash hair salon – right next door to the rather flash frock shop Justify (a must see when in Cambridge – I am reliably informed by those in the know). The POV has the Jubilee Gardens and Cenotaph directly behind me and the town hall (more on this soon) over my left shoulder. The car (c.1993) is mine – just seemed to suit the image. And on a slightly related subject – travelling – I have begun plotting the location of my photos – manually – with the freshly minted geopositioning gizmo using Google maps. So early an adoptor of such that I have yet to find an application that shows me the result. I cannot figure out how to access the info with either Chrome or FireFox (the FireFox instructions are as geeky as) – and I don’t have a 3G phone – perhaps you’ll have more luck.

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Cambridge Cruise Night

Cambridge Cruise Night - First Wednesday of the month

There are more photos in the Day Gallery for Wednesday the 4th of November 2009. Cambridge Cruise Night6PM first Wednesday of each month. BTW you might like to have a closer look at  BMX National Champion and Olympian Marc Willer‘s entry in Performance Car of the Year (image #3 in the Day Gallery) and support him with your vote.

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Speight Pearce Nicoll & Davys

Queen Street, Lake Street corner

The unique entrance, built in 1954, of hardware and building supply firm SPND (home now to Australian DIYer Bunnings) looks sad and neglected today its beauty fudged by an unappealing paint job, odd cladding and neglect. I must be a bit slow but it seems Bunnings is building a new warehouse on this corner. I have no idea whether the uniqueness will survive the rebuild.

I think I have this right. SPND became TTT (Taupo Totara Timber Company) then Benchmark and now Bunnings.