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Who are these people?

Hearts of Uke is a trio of elderly wannabe musicians who risk humiliation by performing in public. At best, they should be gently tending an allotment or, more realistically, preparing for admission to a care home. Two thirds of the group can be described as grumpy, the other third as happy and smiley.

Individually, they are:


The only member who might be described as a ‘proper’ musician, Colin has been playing for most of his life and can be relied upon to point the other two in the right direction when rehearsals become too chaotic.  Colin is a proud member of the grumpy two-thirds of the group. His background as a teacher of chemistry means that a degree of scientific precision is apparent in the group’s performances and, despite his apparent miserable irritability, he’s secretly an old romantic.  Listen to the lyrics of his songs for the truth to be exposed.  As yet, attempts to incorporate examples of covalent bonding into his compositions have proved unsuccessful. Colin plays baritone, tenor and banjo ukuleles.


Jollity, light-heartedness and cheerful optimism contrast nicely with the morbid defeatism of the other two members.  Lylee decided to become a musician late in life, following a career in healthcare and was surprised when everybody told her that she sang and played rather well. Lylee is a performance junkie who, at the last count, was playing with over four hundred different bands.  An accomplished graphic designer, artist, confectioner and prospective beekeeper, her star sign is Ophiucus and she takes a size five shoe.  She has never been a member of the Baader-Meinhof group.  Lylee plays soprano, concert and banjo ukuleles and sings like a nightingale.


A lifelong, committed vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, Phil is a volunteer abattoir slaughterman. His hobbies include ballot rigging, jury fixing and genocide.  Phil’s playing lacks the finesse of that demonstrated by Colin and Lylee and he only knows how to play at one volume level.  (‘Up to eleven’ for those familiar with Spinal Tap parlance.)  Phil plays concert, tenor and bass ukuleles and sings like a chainsaw.  (Phil is also the author of this page and sometimes lets his imagination run away with itself, resulting in the writing of this nonsense.)

An honorary mention must be given to former member Michael, a giant of a man with an uncanny sense of rhythm and an impressive head of hair.  Michael moved from Cumbria to Somerset in order to get as far away from the others as possible.  A return to the fold, a-la Nigel Tufnel, is unlikely, but if it ever occurs, the band’s traditional grumpy-to-cheerful ratio of 3:1 will be restored.

Also, we must not forget John.  Sound engineer, manager and muse, John can be relied upon to lift the band’s low mood by telling them that they sound great, however badly they play.   

What do they play?

Ukuleles, of course!  Isn’t that obvious?  Ah, sorry… you’re asking about the type of music they play.  A bit of everything really…  blues, jazz, classic pop, swing, hard rock… they’re all there. The ukulele is a surprisingly versatile instrument.

Where do they play?

Hearts of Uke can be found at open mics across Cumbria as well as a variety of indoor and outdoor events.  Check their Facebook page for latest news.

Why do they do it?

They often ask themselves this question and struggle to find an answer.  Masochism probably.

How do I book them?

Email bookings@heartsofuke.uk.

How much do they charge?

Nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  They do it for free because they love it.  
(Small voluntary contributions to cover travel expenses are welcome though and they’re unlikely to say no to a sandwich or a cup of tea if there’s one on offer.)

The grumpy two-thirds of the group looking uncharacteristically cheerful!