D'ukes Ukulele Band
Saturday April 29th 2017, 7.00 for 7.30pm Tickets £10.00
For the first time at the Empire...
D’ukes are a very entertaining 6-piece electric ukulele covers band. Formed in Chelmsford in 2009, D’ukes emerged from a regular ukulele pub jam session. They have since gone on to perform on TV, Regional and Local Radio and were the only UK band invited to the Czech Republic’s first ever Ukulele Festival which they headlined. D’ukes draw on the diverse experience of enthusiastic ukulele players from across the Essex region whose interests cover the complete musical spectrum. What brings them together is an enthusiasm for playing a small instrument with 4 strings!
Whether it’s rock and pop, jazz and blues, ska and reggae, D’ukes versatility in reinterpreting songs using only the ukulele with a hint of percussion and plenty of humour, amazes audiences and leaves them wondering what’s coming next! Their repertoire suits all tastes and ages and ranges from 1960’s pop to current favourites and with D’ukes great vocals, slick solos and song arrangements it is hard for the audience not to be singing, dancing and smiling!
D’ukes have developed into a highly sought after ukulele band and can regularly be seen at many types of venues all around London and the south of England at theatres, festivals, pubs and special events. They regularly pack out venues big and small leaving audiences wanting more.
D’ukes are also an experienced street performance and mobile busking act and have performed at events around 2012 Olympics, the Tour De France, the Prudential Ride London and the Cambridge Buskers & Street Performers Festival.
D'ukes are Brian Smith; Dave Warren; Hazel Smith; Jo Kerr; John Mattock and Martin Burdikin.
The Band Members
Lead Uke and Backing Vocals
Brian started playing guitar in pop, soul and rock bands while still at school before moving over to a spell of stage lighting with Hazel. Work interrupted musical involvement for many years but Brian has now returned, setting up a home recording studio, buying more guitars and ukuleles and writing and recording original music for a production company. And, of course, he plays uke with D'ukes.
Lead Uke & Bass Uke
Dave started out playing guitar in new wave and punk bands in the 1970s before developing an interest in film and theatre music that lead to scoring soundtracks for a number of plays and short documentaries. After a brief relationship with EDM in the 1990s he returned to the guitar and started to develop his rock and jazz guitar skills. Nowadays he juggles a career teaching guitar and ukulele, presenting An evening with UkeManDave, playing jazz guitar in the quintet Interplay, leading his own Dave Warren JazzQuartet and playing lead uke in D’ukes.
Uke & Vocals
Hazel became involved in music during the 70s when she owned and ran a stage lighting company with Brian and worked with rock bands and roadshows all over the country. She now finds herself on the other side of the spotlight, having joined D’ukes as a uke player and singing lead and backing vocals. She also enjoys playing classical guitar, writing novels and listening to opera. She came to the ukulele via one of Dave Warren’s inspirational jam sessions at the Orange Tree pub in Chelmsford and continues to love its versatility.
Uke & Vocals
Jo learnt to play the guitar with her brother when her father handed them a book called 1000 songs you know and by the age of 13 was regularly joining her father on stage appearing in clubs. By her late teens Jo fronted a heavy rock band as well as supporting her father’s Country and Folk bands and after several years she joined and fronted a world beat band concentrating on her vocals and singing Cuban jazz and ska, mostly in Spanish and Portuguese. She picked up her first Uke at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2009 and now has a growing collection. She still supports her father’s bands.
John’s music playing started in the 60’s and 70’s when he played drums and occasional bass in various bands around East London and the West Essex area. After a fairly long break, John rekindled his music interests, first as an instrument collector including repairing ukuleles and banjo ukes and then after attending a workshop run by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in 2007 got back into playing music this time with the ukulele. As D’Ukes developed, John returned to one of his original instruments and now is the bass uke player in the band.
Uke & Vocals
Martin’s musical taste range from Bellowhead to Radiohead, folk meets alternative rock. He will sometimes (normally unsuccessfully) try to mix both these genres on the ukulele. If it were left to Martin the band would be playing lots of 90’s music (that’s 1890’s music). Fortunately, the rest of the band also choose the set lists!
Mike has known Brian since school days and played bass guitar in a band with him in the sixties. He worked assisting Brian and Hazel with their stage lighting venture, and then formed a sixties cover band in which he played bass for over 27 years until retiring recently. Mike now ‘flies the sound desk’ for D’ukes.
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D'ukes Ukulele Band Single
D'ukes Ukulele Band Double