Grateful Freds Ukelear Deterrent
Are a band who play and sing all kinds of music everything from folk and country to pop classics.

For some reason that I cant’ really remember now I came up with the idea of starting a “ukulele performing band” of some kind, having bought a ukulele myself about 12 months earlier. Although I played in an Irish band at the time and ran the Grateful Fred Americana Nights, I fancied getting together with a few like-minded ukulele players.

So I asked a friend of mine, Pete McPartland, who played ukulele with a great duo, here in Liverpool, called “The Big I Am”, if he fancied helping me.

He did, so I put a few posters around the village and mentioned it on Facebook posts and waited to see if anyone turned up on the night.

And they did! And it all started on the 30th of January 2013 at the Cafe’ D’ Art, Formby, Merseyside.

​Mo (Maurice), Glynne, Dave, Sue, Alex and Janet joined Pete and I at the Cafe’ D’ Art in Formby Village, which was to be our rehearsal space for the next three or four years.

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Maurice (Mo), Dave, Sue, Glynne, Janet, Alex, Peter and Colin. 30th January 2013.

Over the years we have sadly lost two of our founder members, Alex and Glynne, who we will always remember for, among many other things, their ability to keep us all laughing. Founder members Janet and Dave also had to leave for personal reasons.

But, a few months after that we welcomed new members Geoff, Chris, Brian and Marje and very recently our latest recruit, Mark.

So, at the time of writing this we are nine strong…Brian, Marje, Maurice (Mo!!), Geoff, Mark, Anne, Sue, Chris and Colin.

Here’s a little about each of the members…

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​Sue:

“I’ve been with the “Deterrents” since Colin first came up with the idea of gathering ukulele players together.  My husband, Geoff, had bought me my first ukulele as a Christmas present in 2012.  Coincidentally, my sister, Anne, had also bought her husband, Alex, a ukulele for his Christmas present that year too.

Alex heard about this guy called Colin Maddocks (aka Grateful Fred) who was inviting ukulele players to come along to the Café d’Art in Formby village, so, armed with our ukes, and a mixture of trepidation and excitement, Alex and I trundled along to the café on 30th January 2013.  Eight people turned up that first night and we had a great time”…



Anne:

“After my husband Alex decided to “upgrade” to a new uke there was a spare uke lying around so he encouraged me to a have a go.  Before I knew it I was going along to the Café D’Art uke sessions enjoying the music the banter and laughter.  It wasn’t all a giggle though – as trying to keep up with the more experienced players kept us on our toes and made us practise hard in between sessions.  I’ve always loved music and it’s a delight and privilege to be playing and singing with the “Deterrent”.

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Brian & Marje:

“I’ve been involved in the local music scene since the mid 1950’s. It wasn’t until 2013 that I bought my first uke ( a baritone ). I saw Colin’s ad for uke players, and being able to string 3 or 4 chords together I went along to the Cafe d’Art. It was fun from the start. Progressing through different uke types I eventually settled for a tenor. I tend to stick to playing melody, but also like playing mandolin. Lately I’ve brought my harmonicas out of hibernation. My wife, Marje, joined the band in 2014 playing percussion. She played percussion with an Irish music band we were both members of. Starting with a bodhran and tambourine she has now gathered together a good collection of “rhythmicals”.

Chris:

“Old folkie, me – played ragtime guitar into my 30s, then life got in the way. I was in the final stages of wrapping up work before retirement, and spotted an ad in Formby village for a ‘ukulele group’. It piqued my interest. I picked up a cheap (actually broken!) Uke from eBay and went along.That was it – hooked, irrevocably. Too many mates now to even THINK of doing anything else – I’ve watched the gang form into a tight,  professional performing unit – and we truly do have the GREATEST time!

Why? We do things just that little bit differently – come and see”.

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Mo:

“As a regular “Fredhead”, I was aware that Colin wanted to set up a ukulele band. My wife bought me a ukulele for Xmas and I went along to the first meeting. Since then I’ve been asked to play kazoo, bass, claves, bullhorn, cabasa, tambourine, swanee whistle, even singing and providing handclaps! I’m still hopeful that one day they’ll let me play ukulele…..”

​Colin:

“I’m not sure why I started it to be honest. I think I just wanted to meet a few like-minded individuals that liked playing the ukulele as much as I did.

Well, I certainly did meet a few “individuals”.

We’ve rehearsed every week since we started and we’ve played a lot of gigs and festivals so it’s certainly been a fun ride so far”.

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​Mark:

“Having followed “The Freds” as a friend for several years I got the opportunity to join in early 2018 after my wife in collusion with several members of the band secretly bought me a ukulele as a Christmas present. I now own three ukuleles, various other instruments and have my eye on several more – has this become an obsession?

It’s a privilege to play in this band – fantastic material, talented playing, dynamic vocals and a great blend of instruments and people”.


​Geoff:

“Played guitar for 50 years but never in a band. Watching and listening to Sue practising on her “uke” got me interested. I practise a lot but that isn’t a chore as picking up a ukulele will always put a smile on your face. I’ve made some great friends playing my “uke”, not just in the band, but also within the local music scene”.

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