And Now The End Is(nt) Near - so I'm teaching the ukulele! 

Since COVID 19 and the lockdown have grounded artists and performers, I've decided to start giving ukulele lessons. If you'd like lessons from the tallest player on the planet, either remotely or locally (East Kent, United Kingdom) - please drop me a line at pbrooketurner@icloud.com and we'll get started

Happy New Year 

Dear Blog readers

A very Happy New Year and decade to you all. I am ashamed to say that my sword has slept in my hand in these first few weeks, as I have blogged absolutely nada, nothing etc. This is not entirely my own fault as my regular web hosting platform is shutting up shop at the end of January 2020, and I have been forced to migrate to a new web hosting platform. This means that I will probably pick the reins in a few weeks time, as the Ukes have a busy start to the year, with gigs in France…

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Those Wonderful Glittering Absolutely Vanished Pantomimes* 

Well my friends, thank you for all your Christmas wishes, particularly those who came along with for the ride in 2019. It is the end of another touring year - I've played in Sheffield and Shanghai, Kansas and Koblenz, Helsinki and High Wycombe and I haven't seen any of it (apart from out of a taxi/hotel room window). Talking to Jonty (UOGB bass player) recently, he told me that we've been away for 117 days this year.

Looking back over this blog, I see that I first posted on 26th November 2014, a film of

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Poole 

After a day off, when I went home to attend my daughters school carol service, it was up at 6.30am to jump in the car to drive across the south of England to our last gig of the year in Poole (which we've played many times before). Like many others, I felt pretty glum upon hearing the news of Johnson's victory and the probability that Britain will almost certainly leave the EU. I'm just glad my dad wasn't alive to see it, and sadly, the European dream of free movement of people and ideas will not include…

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Bexhill on Sea 

Well Campers, its back to the interminable tour diet of hotel breakfasts and sandwiches. Having enjoyed unwinding at the comfortable Barnett Hill Hotel, after our gig at G Live, I woke up late and strolled around the grounds.   

It's a sort of ersatz Downton Abbey, with Spa and conference facilities.

Before heading down the motorway to Bexhill on Sea (rudely known as 'Gods waiting room" on account of the number of old people who live there). More pissing rain

Stopped for lunch at this pub near Eastbourne…

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G Live Guildford 

Well Campers, yesterday was a bit of a frenetic day for me - after our show in Birmingham, I did wake up with a bit of a headache (see yesterday) and caught the early train from Birmingham New Street (above) to get to a hospital appointment in London.

Back at Euston station, I retraced my steps past the statue of George Stephenson (still with the Austrian Eagle on his forehead) and met up with my wife and daughter, whereupon appointment completed, I took my daughter back to school in Canterbury, and then…

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Birmingham 

Robert Stephenson with the Austrian Eagle on his forehead

Of all the days in the week to play a show, Monday is probably the weirdest, its great that people come out to see us, but as a general rule, Monday night audiences are more muted. Anyway, I came up to London St Pancras, and walked to Euston Station past the statue of Robert Stephenson (with a sticker on his head - Go Österreich!) and entered the station to the sound of Christmas Carols being sung by these adorable children...... 

A sight to melt…

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Ipswich 

Eastern leg of this Christmas tour, so we are off to Ipswich; for most of us, it's a quick run up the motorway into Suffolk, however EVERY time we've done this gig there is some traffic snarl up which means we always arrive late. 

My own journey took four hours in the car, where it should have taken 2.5 hours - I arrived pretty much on the dot of four o'clock, to find only Richie and Ben ready for soundcheck. We were playing as a seven piece, as Hester was not doing the show - she lives in Devon and its…

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Lancaster 

Day two of the northern leg of our Christmas tour, and after a good gig in Sheffield, it was time to move on to Lancaster - so it was not 'Hello Sheffield' but adieu, as I hitched a ride with Dave and Jonty.

More glamorous scenes from life on the road as we move on from hotel to the multi storey car park next door - feel that frisson of excitement as Jonty stops by the vending machine to collect his ticket.

Traveling with Dave and Jonty is not unlike unlike travelling with two aged aunts, with plenty of…

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Sheffield 

Greeting my friends - the UOGB Christmas tour continues apace with two more gigs in Sheffield and Lancaster in the North of England. I decided to go by rail, and here is the train that took me up to Yorkshire. I spent most of the journey reading the blogs of American organist Jonathan Dimmock, a recent online discovery and whose thoughtful musings on life and music are well worth reading.

Bumped into Rich at Sheffield station and we shared a taxi to the hotel.

This is the City Hall where we have played…

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