The Thin White Ukes have been performing the cunningly deconstructed and rearranged songs of David Bowie with small strings and big harmonies in their hometown of Melbourne and beyond since 2014. From Space Oddity to Blackstar, their lovingly handcrafted renditions of the late great Duke’s mercurial songbook have teased the neck hairs of spellbound audiences and attracted a stellar series of guest collaborators including Mikelangelo, Jen Cloher, Kim Salmon, Emily Lubitz, Steve Kilbey and Angie Hart.
A hit of the 2015 David Bowie Is.. exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, they have since headlined the Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges and Deniliquin Ukulele Festivals, and wowed the audience every time. The elegantly attired Melbourne trio reconstructs classics and rarities from all phases of the Duke’s epic art-rock sojourn with passion, daring and the occasional splash of glitter.
Put on your red shoes. They’ll be floating in a most unusual way.
Betty France — voice, soprano ukulele
Michael Dwyer — voice, tenor ukulele
Robert Stephens — voice, baritone ukulele
“Dignity and scope…a new standard of what to expect from this humble instrument”
— Steve Kilbey
“The Ukes deliver Bowie with a darkness and delicacy that gives you goosebumps”
— Angie Hart
“Masterful ukulele playing…the song selection is inspired”
— Ashley Naylor, RocKwiz Orkestra
“We love The Thin White Ukes!”
— Courtney Barnett & Jen Cloher
— Chris Cheney, the Living End
And to top it off, the Thin White Ukes will be supported by The Loveys!
Six feisty yet quite well-mannered women who write and sing songs that tickle their fancy, tell a story, and celebrate the art of living large. The audience is right at home with the cabaret-style humour of The Loveys, with their jokes about yoga and farmers’ market twee. Original songs slip past their too-red lips and over-stated eyewear, their gentrified hats, and put great-grandma’s Royal Doulton to a new, unintended use as the china tinkers out a syncopated funk. Midway through the gig one of the ladies asks for LSD — but it turns out she isn’t craving the hallucinatory type, she’s just after a Latte Soy Dandelion.
Nailing the piss-take on all things modern circa 2017, from transgender marital departures to personality disorders — even the pursuit of happiness isn’t spared from their material. But they’re not popular just for their good humour, they’re a festival highlight because they’re absolutely gorgeous and very bloody good.
The Loveys will have you laughing one minute and crying the next as they share their tales of love, loss, longing and pure bloody-mindedness.
“Hands down the most musical, visual, and refreshingly entertaining all woman uke-based act in Australia”
— Trevor Gollagher, musician and ukulele maker
Adult $25 | Concession $20
(Kiosk is open from 6pm)