Welcome to my world of singing, songwriting, music making, ukulele club support (song sheet creation, web site management, etc.) event organising and occasional techish geekery.
Ia a previous life I was a Speech and Language Therapist: for over 25 years running a specialist service in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) covering the North of England and then later working in Adult Voice Disorders and Adult Acquired Neurological Conditions.
For even longer than that I was a Trade Union Activist, becoming Regional President of the union MSF (Manufacturing, Science and Finance), a member of the Regional TUC and the TUC elected delegate to the Northern Assembly with special responsibility for protecting and promoting Women’s Interests.
Let the music begin!
I morphed gradually into a singer/songwriter after a chance encounter with the ukulele in 2007, when I wandered into one of George Welch’s Ukulele Allstars sessions at The Cumberland Arms, Byker/Ouseburn in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The first seven years of my journey are covered in an interview with Stan Tunstall-Otterburn and Jude in “The Durham Ranger and She Bear Show” on Mixcloud. You can read about it and hear it here: Ukulele Interview: The Durham Ranger and She Bear Show
I started writing songs in 2009 with Rita Morrison, who I met through the Ukulele Allstars. Rita was already an accomplished guitarist and taught me how to play simplified arrangements (strumming and fingerstyle) to accompany the lovely and complex instrumental songs that she wrote.
It was playing these songs that inspired me to write lyrics. They were far too wordy and “poemy” and Rita guided me in the basics of song composition. I learned a lot from Rita, who sadly passed away in 2011.
I carried on writing songs by myself until 2015, when I asked Kevin Parsons for help with “Dunkirk“, which I had been tinkering with on and off for a few years and could not get right. Since then, I have co-written some more songs with Kevin and a few more by myself. The ones we have written together have rather more complicated chord sequences and picking patterns and it has been a useful challenge to learn how to play them.
Ukulele Allsorts Blog
This site started off as a way to keep track of all my ukulele-related stuff on the web – plus some actual uke-action that did not fit in anywhere else.
Then I added my non-uke stuff too.
I registered “Ukelear Radiation” as a band name and started adding my videos here: https://ukelearradiation.wordpress.com (I also bought a domain name for that blog.)
Slight problem – nobody, including me, could ever remember the right spelling . . . “Ukelear” or “Ukulear”?
There were also more occasions when I was performing with someone else, as “Ukulele Allsorts”, than by myself as “Ukelear Radiation”.
So, from now on, I am “Ukulele Allsorts”, whether in company with others or solo.
26 Sept 2014
Last updated: 9 Sept 2018