What is Moselele? When is it?
Moselele is the second best ukulele group in the whole of Moseley. On the first and third Thursdays of every month at 8pm, we cram into the shed in the beer garden of the Prince of Wales and attempt to play a range of eclectic songs on ukuleles.
That’s about it, really. It’s not a lesson, it’s not a gig, it’s just a bunch of people playing everything from The Kinks to The Killers, on ukuleles, in a shed. And it’s really good fun.
Everybody’s welcome – as long as you’re willing to have a go.
I’m a beginner – can I come to Moselele?
Of course you can. We welcome players of all levels.
The first thing to do is to download the songbooks onto your tablet and have a go at playing the easier songs.
It helps if you can practise strumming and get used to reading the chord tabs before your first visit, but don’t worry about not being able to finger all the chords straight away. Our advice is to stick to C (which is a one-finger chord) at first, and just play that every time it comes around. It comes around a lot.
We don’t give lessons, but at Moselele you can ask daft questions and watch how other people play, which we think is the best way to learn. No-one is going to judge you for not being able to play all the chords. We’re just glad you came.
I don’t want to play. Can I come and watch?
No, sorry. Moselele is a participation-only event. The room we play in is small, so if people come in and don’t play, it means someone who does want to play will be out of a seat. It can also be a bit intimidating for the less experienced players to have someone watching them and not joining in.
Playing is a lot more fun than watching, anyway, so why not have a go? You might surprise yourself.
What will I need to bring? How much is it?
Moselele is free to join. You just need to bring your ukulele and some way to view the songbooks (although there’s usually someone you can share songbooks with). It’s handy if you have a music stand as there tends to be limited table space, so we can get more people in.
Oh, and bring some money for drinks – the good people at the Prince of Wales give us the room for free because we keep their bar busy.
(If you don’t have a ukulele, but you’d like to try before you buy, contact us and we’ll try bring along a spare for you.)
We should warn you that the shed at the Prince does get very crowded when there are 40 people in it strumming tiny instruments, so be prepared to share your table with others. And it does get rather warm in the summer, so leave your woolly jumper at home.
How do I pronounce Moselele?
We’re from Moseley in Birmingham so that should give you a clue if you know how that is pronounced. If not then Moh-Zuh-Lay-Lee.
What sort of songs do you play?
We really try and avoid the sort of songs that most ukulele groups play. We play songs we like to listen to – many of which are from this century!! – and believe there is no song that we can’t get to work. We do not play songs like Rawhide and Bring Me Sunshine and we have nothing to do with George Formby.
I’ve got a guitar/banjo/mandolin/lute/penny whistle/any other instrument – can I bring that to play instead?
Actually we’re a bit more flexible about this than we used to be: you can come along with other instruments, but there are a few rules. If you have an instrument that’s louder than a ukulele you need to be able to play it well, and you need to be able to play the songs in our books rather than your own interpretations. We’re interested in things that can broaden our sound, not distract everyone. So if you do want to bring another instrument along, it’s probably best to check with us first, and to bring a uke anyway.
Can I really buy a ukulele off of you?
You used to be able to, but sadly not any more. For three years, we made our own range of ukuleles out of bamboo. They were great. Unfortunately, after the pound crashed in 2016, we could no longer afford to keep making them, and no longer have any stock to sell.