Happiness as Anarchy #347: Micro TV series

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I must confess I’m watching more these days. It’s just nice to see some faces, hear some voices. I find Australian shows particularly comforting, probably because it feels like seeing ordinary people from my ordinary world. I watched Love in Lockdown yesterday. It’s a tiny tv series – there are six episodes, each less than eight minutes long – about ukulele lessons and it’s a delightful mix of ordinary and annoying, with a feel good ending.


Happiness as Anarchy #295: Melbourne Ukulele Festival

It is always a pleasure to play the Melbourne Ukulele Festival. I wondered as I headed down to the city on Friday whether it was a good idea or not, given there’s a nasty little virus high-speed globetrotting right now. I guess I’ll never know the answer to that question, but I am awfully glad I went. I played a lovely set of Leonard Cohen with Pete Daffy, gave a workshop to a room full of delightful and appreciative people, heard some great bands, was billeted with a lovely family, and most importantly, felt the love of the beautiful ukulele world. Thanks for sharing the music and the love! It makes me very happy that the last gig I’ll play for a while was so warm.

Happiness as Anarchy #37: Little gigs in little bars in little towns

I love doing gigs in my little home town, playing for the people who make up my community. Friday night I played at a new bar – Pearl & Rose – that opened just for the evening. My friend Chantel owns the bar, her kids are friends of my kids, half the people there I knew, and I met a bunch of other locals I’d not yet crossed paths with. I sang songs and watched everyone enjoying the best of a small community while they ate curry and sipped wine. If I could do that every Friday night I would be a very happy little ukulele player.

Here’s a photo captured by the very clever Jase de Vence, another lovely local:

Amie at the Pearl and Rose

Happiness as Anarchy #21: Realising I Know A Few Songs

Once upon a time I found it very difficult to remember chord changes for songs. I just wrote a set list for tomorrow morning’s gig at Clunes Market – tunes I know from memory and can play on uke. When I started, there was a little nagging question floating around the back of my head: will I have enough songs to fill an hour and a half? Much to my surprise, the list has 40 songs on it! It makes me very happy to sit briefly in the realisation of how far I’ve come on my musical journey.

If you’re out and about tomorrow morning, you can find me playing at the Clunes Market from 11:45-1:15. Do stop and say hello if you see me!

Travelling Uke Amie

Photo: Nicole Cleary

Happiness as Anarchy #19: My Audience

My audience brings me joy every single time I get on stage. I don’t know if they realise how special they are and how much I love them. I do a little gig once a month at Craig’s Hotel in Ballarat, down in the cellar, and every month I go home with a smile on my face and a heart full of love. We share a space and time each month and I’m very humbled that everyone who comes gives a few hours of their time to listen to the music I make. The atmosphere is very relaxed and we often have a conversation in the middle of the set about songs and stories and experiences. And there are always a few songs where everyone joins in to sing – that’s one of my favourite moments as a performer – when we all make music together.

One very special thing about this particular audience is the way they let me experiment – with new songs, poetry, different instruments, and occasionally a new song of mine. Thank you, if you were there last night, for letting me share that new song in such a loving environment. It was hard thing for me to do, but you made it you made it possible.

Here’s a little clip from last night of a song written in 1928 – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – by Jimmy McHugh (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics). I’m playing my new ukulele, Petunia.