Category Archives: Ukulele

Great Gigs and a New Video

All is well in The Night Owls world, the gigs are mounting up, new songs are creeping into our set and we are playing better than ever.  We have had some great gigs in the last few weeks, so here is a video of us live at Ashill Village Hall with the ukulele classic ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ – The Night Owls (live) from Nipper on Vimeo.

In other news I have started a new blog about my passion for both bicycles and ukuleles.  It is unsurprisingly called ‘Bicycle and ukulele’.  I hope to post more frequently than I have on my other blogs.

Click Here to read ‘Bicycle and Ukulele’


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‘Night Owl’

It is a little while since we made the ‘Sway’ video so last week we  made our way to Jim’s house and filmed our version of ‘Night Owl’.  The song was written by Herman Hupfeld and first sung by ukulele star  Cliff Edwards in the 1933 film ‘Take A Chance’.  The film also featured an interesting version by Paul Whiteman, with the Rhythm Boys providing vocal refrain.  The Owls version is most influenced by Craig Robertson’s take on the song from his album ‘That Dress’.

Cliff Edwards version

Paul Whiteman version

Our version was performed live for the camera, just as we play it on stage…

Pat Goodall – Vocals
Jim Gritt – Vocals/Ohana Soprano Ukulele
Nipper – Vocals/Favilla Baritone Ukulele
Tom French – Upright Bass

For the technophiles out there the film was shot using a Flip Mino and edited with Sony Vegas. The sound was recorded live using a single Behringer Condenser mic to an M-Audio pre and into an Acer Aspire One running CubaseSX. The set up is small and compact alowing us to record pretty much anywhere.  The film from the Flip whilst far from perfect was cropped to widescreen with quite reasonable results.

Hope you enjoyed the film…

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Hitting the Perfect 5th!

perfect5th_5 It was a little bit of a trip into the unknown, when last Saturday the Owls played at the hep new club in town, ‘The Perfect 5th‘.  We were unsure if our brand of vintage ukulele music would work with the night club audience found on a Saturday night in Taunton.  We need not have worried as the deco styled club proved to be a great venue for us.


The large audience seemed to have turned out due to Tom’s efforts, getting us featured in the local papers and a sustained email campaign by his sister in law and Taunton socialite, Amber.  There were a few familiar faces, but on the whole this was a new audience for the Owls.  During the course of the evening they warmed to us and even filled the dance floor for most of the second set.


The evening closed with Tom’s ever popular version of Mack the knife and Pat crooning Sway to the dancing valentine’s couples.  It is great to know that we can take the ukulele to a new audience and win them over.

The Perfect 5th is a great venue supporting local music and we will certainly be glad to return there again soon.

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New Website and Video

front_pageTom and I have been working hard on putting together a proper Night Owls website.  It has been through quite a few revisions but here it is.  Tom our bass playing design guru has styled the site and done rather a great job in giving it a classic look with a modern edge.

We have also added our first proper video.  It was filmed live at Jim’s house with close ups done Bosko and Honey style.  The video was shot using a Flip video with sound recorded separately to minidisc through a Behringer studio condenser mic. I used Sony Vegas to edit it and Wavelab to improve the sound. The comments on this video have been wonderful, but even better it has already got us a gig!

I am playing a 1950’s Favilla baritone ukulele and Jim a 1920’s Washburn soprano ukulele.  You can checkout all our ukes HERE.

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A Great Ukulele Day

latestissueLast Saturday turned out to be a great ukulele day for The Night Owls.  It began with the discovery that my article about the ‘History of ukulele and it’s great players’ had been published in Acoustic magazine. As well as the main piece  it also featured a side bar about TUSC with an excellent quote from Jim, and a mention of the School Ukulele Revolution. Best of all they added a large picture of The Night Owls taken by Dave Wood.  The magazine is available from WHSmiths or online from Acoustic’s website.  This month is a Ukulele special with 14 pages of ukulele coverage.


In the evening we got togther, suited and booted, to make our first proper You Tube video.  We choose the song ‘Sway’ and within an hour had recored a live take of  the song with close ups and an intro sequence.  So what to do next?  We were all dressed up so it seemed a good idea to head out and do a little live promotion.

We are still building up a profile on the local music scene so on Jim’s suggestion we headed out to a local pub to promote ourselves with a little impromtu live performance.  The place was quiet and the small audience of evening diners enjoyed a few of our mellower numbers.  The landlord was most complimetary and we left in good spirits with a possible gig in the pipeline.

After a flat NO from pub number two we finally eneded up in a lively tavern where the frindly landlord was most excited to hear us play a few numbers. After two songs he quickly ushered us up to a large hall behind the pub where a wedding was going on.  The bride had heard us and wanted a few numbers as an alternative to the flagging disco.  We went down a storm playing a short set of upbeat numbers to the enthusiastic wedding goers.  The pub provided us with plenty of beer and food and a quick whip round left us with £100 in our pockets, not bad for half an hours work.  A great end to a great ukulele day!

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