It’s been a while…..

Yes it has, and here’s the explanation:

mark (1) Our founder, inspiration and main man, Mark McGlynn, suddenly and very sadly died in October last year. Funky Pluckers was his baby, he brought the group together, introduced and arranged many of the songs we played, recorded and mixed, publicised what we were up to and kept in touch with the world. He also crested the wave of ukulele popularity, rolling out workshops, jams, lessons and uke picnics in the park through Newham Ukes and The Uke Troop, producing ukulele songbooks and generally bigging up this tiny but smile-inducing instrument. His blogs, posts and tweets are much missed.

His legacy falls to us, and we will do our utmost. We continue to pluck away, making sounds that are unique (I mean that in the best possible way!), and creating some of that ukulele joy.

We may not be as prolific as hitherto, but we will gradually update the website and let the world know what we’re up to. So watch this space….


A Welsh Weekend #ukeretreat

What a fantastic weekend!

First we played at the Bite Street Food event in Poplar then we set off for a weekend of four stringed fun in deepest Wales…playing, eating, drinking and – in a few cases – walking!

We worked on a couple of new arrangements, napped, read the weekend papers…..what more could you want?

The best bit though, was Andy’s open mic night at The Bell in Glengrwyney. It’s a great pub – landlord John is what every landlord should be…welcoming, engaging and open.

Funky Pluckers wait to go on at The Bell
Funky Pluckers wait to go on at The Bell

We heard Steve King, an excellent singer/guitarist/songwriter, who, as well as doing his own set, joined Andy for an unforgettable acoustic duo version of Dark Side of the Moon. All of it. No – really!

Steve King
Steve King

We also hugely enjoyed guitar/banjo/vocals duo Pangolin, who gave us a couple of Kirsty Maccoll numbers among a massively wide ranging set, all delivered with clarity, wit and energy.



We always love a chance to collaborate, so we were delighted to perform impromptu accompaniment for lovely singer Karen. There’s nothing wrong with Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Que Sera Sera. Smashing.

Jim, of course, did a rendition of When I’m cleaning windows with Cockney Vic….no uke, though, just the voice. Vic sang some great songs and raised more than a few smiles. Imagine finding a Canning Town boy this far from home.

Jim & Phil
Jim & Vick

I have to say we went down pretty well ourselves, too.

Overall this was one of the most positive musical experiences any of us could remember- there was only one fly in the ointment – we missed you, Tony & Graham.

Thank you all – we’ll be back…if you’ll have us.

Wanstead Tap

And then there were seven

Phew! It’s a whirlwind, this building a band business.

Chris has just joined us, adding some extremely welcome rumble to the mix, and we’re looking for a percussionist to round things off.

We’ve been working hard on arrangements of new songs and, to be honest, it’s sometimes been a bit of a mission – there’s a lot to remember and a lot to rehearse. I’m constantly surprised by the commitment of these wonderful pluckers, turning out for gigs in all sorts of configurations, re-jigging material at the last minutes before we play in front of an audience.

If we fail it won’t be for lack of effort.

We’d like you all to come to our gig at the Wanstead Tap on October 18th – you can buy tickets using the link on the left. By then we’ll have played our first away gig in Wales and we will be absolutely ready to provide a great night’s entertainment. It’s only a fiver, and Dan will be delighted to sell you any of almost 200 local beers and ciders.

Tonight we will all be in the same room for the first time and we’ll try to record a few snippets for you to listen to. I hope the offy has plenty of budget white.


A Very Busy Weekend

That was the busiest bank holiday weekend we can remember!

We spent most of it at the Viewtube, sampling the delights of Moka East and playing the days away – though the public were largely tucked up at home away from the foul weather.

Here’s a copy of our planned setlist, which we did play through twice on Sunday. We took the opportunity to iron out the arrangements of a few songs and generally get used to working together.


We also introduced our newest member, Chris to a couple of our trickier songs – Blue Bossa was a baptism of fire – which he handled admirably. He’ll be a valuable asset, if he can just work out how to use Google Calendar, Facebook, Email, Twitter and his mobile phone!