When we think of David Bowie we don’t normally associate him with the ukulele, but interpreting his legendary songs with the string instrument to create a perfect rendition is exactly what a Melbourne band has achieved.
The Thin White Uke’s consist of Betty France, Michael Dwyer and Robert Stephens and have gone on to achieve great success both in Australia and overseas.
This October long weekend they will be performing at the third annual Let’s Dance Carinda Festival, where Bowie filmed the iconic song.
While they've known and played together in various forms for 15 years, the three musicians decided to create the band in 2014.
After losing Bowie in 2016 they found even more people were asking them to perform.
“People wanted to hear his music,” Michael said.
But rather than doing straight covers of Bowie’s music, the Thin White Uke’s wanted to do something creative.
“We pride ourselves on playing all eras of Bowie,” Michael said.
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The English singer was active for six decades and the Thin White Uke’s perform songs from his first album in the 1960s, to the glam rock days, to the 1980s and his most recent album.
“So there’s six decades worth of material and we arrange the songs carefully,” Michael said.
“It’s very intricate to get across the essence of these songs… we can spend six months working on a song trying to get it right.
“But when it works, it works.”
Don’t think the Thin White Ukes interpretation of Bowies songs is a joke though, Michael said they take it very seriously.
Take a look for yourself in the video below!
“We honour the songs. It’s not about making a joke. We do have fun and people might even shed a tear,” he said.
There are a few reasons why they each chose to play ukulele’s, one being a cost factor, but the other is the simplicity.
“We all fell in love with ukuleles.. we actually met at a ukulele club,” Michael said.
They do play other instruments, but ukuleles were the most simplest instrument to carry around while on tour.
“We can turn up (to a performance) and just perform at the drop of a hat,” Michael said.
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The Thin White Ukes are currently overseas doing a tour of Hong Kong and China.
They will then do a few shows in Australia before they head out to Carinda.
As well as performing at the festival on the Saturday night, The Thin White Ukes will conduct a free ukulele workshop.
Everyone wishing to participate in their workshop will be able to bring your own ukulele or if they don’t have one, will be able to purchase one at the workshop for about $35.
The Thin White Ukes and the workshop participants will then perform at the Carinda Hotel in a final grand finale on the Sunday.
For more visit www.facebook.com/Lets-Dance-Carinda