Saturday 25 March 2017

Ukulele players take part in busk

Musicians show their instruments before taking part in a mass busk in Cheltenham town centre
Musicians show their instruments before taking part in a mass busk in Cheltenham town centre

More than 200 ukulele players descended on a town centre to take part in a mass busk in celebration of the instrument.

The musicians assembled in Cheltenham's Promenade as part of the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain taking place over the weekend.

Players treated shoppers to renditions of tunes like The Beach Boys' hit Sloop John B, and I'm The Urban Spaceman by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

The festival is expected to attract hundreds of people to events taking place around the Gloucestershire town over the weekend.

Big names from the ukulele world to take the stage include Gus and Fin, from Glasgow, who re-work punk and new waves tunes for the four-stringed instrument. Other stars are The Re-entrants, Hot Potato Syncopators and Belgium's Winin' Boys,

Jude Baker, a council planning department worker, one of the organisers, said the idea came after visiting similar events in Europe and just "grew and grew".

Mr Baker, who has been playing for 18 months, said of the instrument: "It's just so portable and you can sling it on your back. It's very easy to pick up.

"A lot of people are a bit suspicious to begin with and think it's a bit odd, until they see how much fun you are having."

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