Easter Eggstravaganza at The White Rose Centre Mar 2024.

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Wakeylele Easter Eggstravaganza at The White Rose Centre.

By Philip Barr. Videos/Photos Jenny Sidebottom

28th March, 2024.

Wakeylele rolled up at the White Rose shopping centre brimming with confidence; at Tuesday’s practice session Pop and Roy had performed Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues with aplomb while at the end of the evening the whole band received Fulsome praise for their playing and singing from David.

With the Easter weekend almost upon us the folk of Yorkshire had turned out in force, hoping no doubt, to get close enough to see and hear their favourite ukulele band who were themselves keen to harvest the admiration of their growing fan club. Someone told me that one such fan, disappointed to see that Richard Hancock was missing, was told that he had agreed at short notice to perform a short piece on stage at Stratford, on a Shakespearian – era equivalent of a uke called a lute – kulele. However, despite this setback, there was still a plethora of talent available, all raring to go and soon enough the 11a.m start time arrived and our leader, (who I double – checked did really have his 8 string uke in hand this time), made sure that all eyes were focused on him so as not to miss the cue for the gig opener, Side by Side.

Another Saturday Night received a favourable reaction to be immediately followed by Bad Moon Rising and once more this proved to get a feverish response to the extent that it crossed my mind that the services of a security man, or ‘heavy’, may be needed in future to keep the more excitable elements of the public at a safe distance. Meanwhile the brisk pace continued with an extra dash of colour on show –  Hawaiian garlands accompanying the feel – good music and lyrics of Honolulu Baby with Dave Flatters looking particularly fetching in his.

Two of the more recent numbers we have been practising, Daydream Believer and I’ll never Find Another You, were performed competently; helped by Mags on percussion, Val on bass and Sue’s vocal power. All contributed to keeping the band together against what David referred to later as the  awful acoustics of the location. Mind you there was more than a hint of ‘trouble at t’mill’ at the start of the interval when Mags feistily confronted members of the back row

accusing certain elements of racing ahead at times. I had to act quickly to use my chair as a barrier to stop things getting nasty. Fortunately, though, the break prevented further outbursts and peace on Earth prevailed in no time which with Easter Sunday almost upon us was the only Christian thing to do. The remainder of the coffee break thus passed uneventfully apart from one of our husband-and-wife pairings losing each other on the capacious first floor eating area; it was a case of not When Harry Met Sally but When Jenny Lost Mike.

  The second half got underway with renewed zest and following the ubiquitous and raucous Bunch of Coconuts intended to attract the attention of the hordes of Primark shoppers fifty yards away. The set moved seamlessly along with the likes of Love Potion…, Love Really Hurts…, and the ‘can nearly but not quite play it with both eyes closed’ On the Road Again all proving popular. Then the big test: could we manage to get to the end of Sit Down without a calamity? Well, the answer was, I think, yes, thanks to a combination of less than subtle but necessary vocal and facial cues from David and counting aloud to four from others. This method might not satisfy the purist but needs must at this moment in time! Relieved that this potential banana skin had been overcome, the band powered through to the end and another gig was in the bag in what seemed like record time.

The YAA staff seemed to be having a very busy morning and it is hoped that their takings reflected this. Thanks once more to them for making us feel welcome. David certainly deserves any plaudits going for his unstinting efforts to coax and encourage his troops in such a lively location and it is to be hoped that he recovers in time for Tuesday.

The next gig is currently under review – a date at Doncaster races on 27th April for those who are available.

1 Comment on “Easter Eggstravaganza at The White Rose Centre Mar 2024.

  1. Stalls to the left of them, stalls to the right and busy lifts to the rear, Wakeylele found itself in rather inhospitable surroundings. Together with the general hubbub of a busy shopping mall, it was little wonder then that hearing ourselves (again!) proved problematic. We were standing too deep and with the back row apparently unable to always hear Mags or myself, it wasn’t a surprise that our music suffered accordingly. Another occasion where amplification was clearly needed and sadly missed.
    Nevertheless it is clear from the accompanying videos that, on the whole, our efforts were well received and of reasonable quality. I thank everyone for attending and coping in the trying circumstances.
    Thanks again Phil for another comprehensive account of the proceedings . Thanks too to Jenny for capturing the musical moments-warts and all! I assume Richard played his usual editorial role too, so thanks to him.

    together with the incessant hubbub of passing shoppers

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