2017

April 15th 2017
A
s usual, the Ruby Market was well supported and a particularly large crowd came to watch the Bashers play both at their early and late morning sessions. In between, local duo, Silk and Strings performed for the first time at the Ruby Market and they also went down well with the crowd. Once again our new drummer made a big difference to the Bashers sound, and overall the whole band rocked, with a great selection of songs.

April 1st 2017
W
hat an excellent gig to kick off the 2017 season! The West Buckland Village Hall was packed and the crowd were certainly up for having a good night out. They joined in with the singing, clapped along to the Bashers music, and the only shame was that there was no space left for dancing. The Bashers responded with a couple of excellent sets of very varied songs and then they wanted more, so how could we refuse. We've recently added a drummer to the band and it was the first away gig for Dave, who really makes a difference. Next up is Hatherleigh's excellent large Ruby Market on Easter Saturday morning, with food, crafts, and music. See link The Ruby Market

December 3rd 2016
T
he morning before this gig, the temperature at 10am was -3 degrees in Hatherleigh, so it was good news for the Bashers that on the Saturday we awoke to a balmy 5 degrees for the local Christmas Ruby Market. Good news, because having freezing fingers while attempting to play a ukulele can result in bum notes and instruments going out of tune. However, the Bashers did exceptionally well, buoyed by the addition of our new excellent drummer. In between Bashers's sets, the local Gospel choir performed really well, and we do seem to have a glut of good musical talent in the town.

November 11th 2016
W
ow what a great atmosphere in the Market Square for the first night of Hatherleigh's Carnival weekend. The excellent new stage created by Rupert & Co. is just ideal for bands performing in the Square and will without doubt be used extensively in the future. The Bashers were first up and played a set comprised of all the latest additions to our repertoire including a couple of songs making their live debut. The crowd were in excellent spirits and really contributed to the great atmosphere. This Friday music night was a great new addition to the annual Carnival weekend and long may it continue. Well done to all involved in setting this up and to the performers. Next up for the Bashers is the Xmas Ruby Market, which is another excellent Hatherleigh gig.

October 29th 2016
T
his was the third year running for the Bashers performing at the Riverford Farm Pumpkin Harvest Day, down near Buckfastleigh in Devon. Last year was pretty soggy, which kept the crowds away, but this year it was unusually mild and the place was packed with families enjoying the pumpking carving, face painting, and sampling of all types of organic food and drink. The Bashers drew big crowds in the Yurt, where we were performing acoustically, a rare event these days. Anyway, the adults tapped their feet, and the kids danced, as the Bashers rocked the Yurt. Another fine gig they got us into!

September 3rd 2016
S
hebFarmFest was our biggest festival gig since Lapstock 2015 and the lineup included Sham69 and The Christians. The Bashers kicked the whole thing off with a rousing hour of our best tunes and the festivalgoers seemed to enjoy us, with dancers taking to the floor and doing their best, despite feet being handicapped by wellies. Yes, the weather was mostly awful, but then festivalgoers and bands are a hardy lot and don't let the weather Bu**ers get them down! This was a very good addition to the Bashers C.V and we hope to get invited back.

August 28th 2016
T
hey've got a proper small festival setup at the White Hart in Bow, in a huge back garden space. The Bashers got setup in a really nice raised stage area and this proved a bonus for the sound quality, both for the Bashers and the audience. What with free drinks and food, it was a real proper gig and the Bashers responded with two great sets. This will be a good one for a repeat gig next year if the nice people from the White Hart invite us.

August 6th 2016
W
hen Hatherleigh puts on a Market Square event, they really do a proper job! The Tar Barrels Fund Raiser had loads of competitions for kids and adults, a great barbecue, and of course exceptional music. There was even a complicated new stage built and installed to cover the steps, which is ideal for this and future events. The stage arrived too late for the Bashers to use but we improvised and put on an outstanding show, then relaxed while watching the excellent Rob & Dave, Silk & Strings, plus a very good solo singer performing. An excellent afternoon and evening was had by all.

July 23rd 2016
I
t's a rare event when we play out in the open with no backdrop or cover and it does play havoc with the sound output, which seems, from the Basher's perspective, to disappear into the ether. However, for the audience it was apparently absolutely fine at the Petrockstowe Summer Fete, and we were even putting off competitors in the distant dog show during their 'find by sound' challenge. Next up is the Tar Barrels fund raiser in Hatherleigh Market Square on 6th August.

July 9th 2016
T
he July Ruby Market seemed a bit quieter than normal but the Bashers sets were well attended as per usual for this event, which we've now been performing at for several years. It was good to see another new Basher, Adrian, made his debut, while Barbara made a comeback from months off with a nasty broken ankle. Bob the bass has now relinquished Cornwall to become a Hatherleighite and actually turns up early for gigs, which can't be bad. Next up is the excellent Petrockstowe summer fete on Saturday 23rd July.

June 25th 2016
O
ut in the wilds of Bradford/Cookbury stands a really nice village hall and a really nice bunch of people celebrating Cathy Pitt's 70th birthday. It was a tight fit for the Bashers on the small stage, especially with a couple of new members in the band, and with the hall full of people, it soon became pretty warm bashing out our tunes. With loads of new songs in our sets, including some recent hits, the Bashers can't fail to entertain these days and this was confirmed by some nice comments from the partygoers at the end of our performance.

June 11th 2016
T
he Hatherleigh Carnival committee put on a really good fund raiser for this year's carnival which was nicely combined with a celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday, including the raising of a craft made Union Jack. It's a long time since the Bashers had performed in their home town square and we had loads of new songs included in our set. We got great support from the crowd, which is always a bonus, and it was a really enjoyable evening.

May 7th 2016
B
ill and Gerry's Golden wedding anniversary do was a bit of a disappointment for the hosts as Bill spent all night suffering from nose bleeds and Gerry was on medical support duties. However, the consolation was that they had put on a really good function for their guests with excellent food and drink, plus of course great music from the Bashers and a DJ. What a shame for the happy couple though, but on the bright side, they will always remember their 50th anniversary do.

May 1st 2016
T
he Merton Vintage Rally was alive with the sound of engines of all types and some Bashers travelling to the gig got caught in a long queue behind a steam engine heading to the event some miles away. This was a repeat gig for the Bashers and this year we were provided with a much better weatherproof tent, which was great, but initially we were bereft of power for the sound system, thankfully quickly sorted. Despite the attractions of the ancient but beautiful vehicles on display, a good crowd gathered to watch the Bashers two sets including two young boys, who seemed intent on inventing a new sport of wrestling to music! Next up is Bill and Gerry 's big Anniversary do.

April 14th 2016
T
he Bashers were back performing at the Red Lion pub in Exbourne for another of this excellent pub's famous beer festivals. Landlord Nick was co-incidentally celebrating his birthday and the pub was packed not only to watch the Bashers play but perhaps anticipating free beer! There was a rumbustious rendition of 'Happy Birthday' for Nick, dancing broke out later on, and Al S broke a ukulele string when he got carried away during an up tempo number. Oh how we enjoy a Red Lion gig! Next gig up for the Bashers is on Sunday afternoon, May 1st, for Merton's Vintage Vehicle rally.

March 26th 2016
T
he first gig of the year at Hatherleigh's Ruby Market went very well indeed. A good crowd gathered to watch us play, particularly for the 12.30 second set, when the market is usually starting to wind down. Interspersed with our normal repertoire we played half a dozen new songs, including some recent chart hits, and these seemed to go down a treat. It was a very poor day for weather with storm Katie taking a hand and near the end, trickles of water started running down the hall into our mic cables and monitor speakers. Thankfully, no-one had a hair raising experience and the show went on as planned. We've been performing at Ruby Market events for some years now and it does not seem to get the rub of the green with the weather. We've lost count of the number of times we've played with fingers numb from the cold.
Our next gig is at the Red Lion, Exbourne on Thursday 14th April, when that excellent pub is running a beer festival. All are welcome and it is an excellent night of music and ale.

2015 Year End Message
B
limey what a year! Thirty gigs, loads of tunes, our first gigs abroad in the Scilly Isles, loads of new tunes, loads of playing and loads of fun. We lost a couple of Bashers this year but the stayers have really upped their game and pulled together to form a very tight bunch of Bashers. We have introduced a few new songs and many a few more are being practised in the wings until they are ready for public performance.

The new year will see the launch of our new Ukulele Workshops. The idea is for folk to come along as new learners or developers to get to know the instrument and play through some fun tunes. And if any are interested - and when they are ready - to audition for joining the Basher's practice sessions. After that, when fully up to speed with the Bashers repertoire, they may be invited to perform at live performances - if they want to.

The Bashers have been playing now for almost five years (come April). We've all developed into the players that we are over that period and have reached the stage where we put on a good performance (we think) and one that we are proud of - we've come too far for new players to just join in and be part of the performing band straight away - so we need to 'bring on' some new potential Bashers - or just to give people that fancy having a go, the chance to do so. Al Palmer has volunteered to start this off in January (dtba), helped by other Bashers. So - get your uke's out tune 'em up and let's get going. If you want to have a go but don't have a uke or don't want to buy one until you know that you're going to enjoy it we do have some spares, so come along anyway.

The start date, location etc of the workshops will be publicised on our Facebook page and town noticeboards when we are ready to go, so keep an eye out if you are interested.

Thanks to all that have booked us, please pass the word around to other pubs, clubs, couples that are getting married, generous gregarious millionaires that want entertainment at their pool-side parties in Barbados or anybody putting on an event - get in touch and we'll see what we can do for you! Happy New Year!

December 23rd
T
wo sleeps before Christmas it was time to play at one of our home pubs - The Tally Ho! in Hatherleigh. And good it was. We expected fun and merriment when I was told that the twenty-plus football team lads had been in since about two o'clock plus there were three or four other groups in as well, all dined and lubricated and looking for something else to do. I have to say - it went from bonkers to oh blimey from start to end and was brilliant! Claire arrived back from university and had even brought her ukulele with her so she joined in and it was like she had never been away! Except quite how anybody can go through 18 years of life without coming across Lilly the Pink, I really don't understand! Tim, 'excuse me while I fall of this ladder', limped his way in to join us as well and it was good to see him for his second 'limpy-foot' gig since 'the incident'. Thanks Tim, glad you're mending. All the tunes went down well with lots of singing along and bucket loads of dancing, a fair bit of heckling and ribaldry, countless 'last tunes' and all good festive fun. Thanks for being such an excellent crowd and thanks Ady for having and a huge thank you to the bar staff who held it all together - please can we have Ben back now? Thank you.

December 19th
I
t was the landlady's birthday party at The Torridge in Black Torrington and the Bashers played there on the Saturday before Christmas. The first half of the gig was very 'meet and greet' with a lot of chatting going on but then the crowd was fed with tasty curry and after that - well - all hell broke loose really - with lots of singing along and loads of dancing and crashing into things. The party definitely ended up on a high with some remembering us from the previous year and others enjoying what we had to offer for the first time. All good - thanks for having us!

December 5th
O
ur regular Christmas gig at the festive Ruby Market always offers the chance to wear some very silly hats and this year was no exception. There was the usual array of antlers and other christmassy headwear but Jonathan went the whole hog with a girls blonde wig. There's always one !! Otherwise a big crowd assembled to watch us perform some regular songs, some new songs, and a Christmas medley. This was without doubt the warmest festive Ruby Market we've played at (but possibly the windiest), and someone pointed out that is was actually warmer than the one we played in April one year. It was a real relief to play our ukes without blue fingers. Afterwards the Bashers and their Wags celebrated a very busy year of bashing with an exceptionally good Christmas meal at the local 'Red Room' restaurant, followed by some impromtu individual and small group ukulele performances. An excellent day, and now just two gigs to play in the remainder of the year.

November 21st
I
t is not often that the Bashers get to do a proper concert performance where a hall full of people just sit and listen to us with no other distractions. It is quite unlike a wedding, a party , a pub gig, or an outdoor fete, but is very good experience for us. The Northlew Methodists were a very appreciative audience at the local Victory Hall and the refreshments provided at the end of the gig were excellent. The Bashers put on a good couple of sets, including some new material and now have just three gigs remaining in December to cap an extremely busy year.

October 31st
W
ell what a nice gig, it was like playing in someone's front room. This was a 50th birthday party in fabulous surroundings at a well designed complex of buildings in Higher Wiscombe, which is between Honiton and Sidmouth. The Bashers did their stuff putting on an hour's entertainment and the partygoers joined in with singing, cowbells, and all manner of percussion instruments while supping champagne. It was a really great atmosphere and afterwards there was very nice hot food and drink laid on for us. A most excellent acoustic gig.

October 24th
U
nfortunately the early part of day turned out to be very wet down at Buckfastleigh for the Riverford Farm Pumpkin Harvest Day. However it cheered up a bit later in the day and a decent crowd of mums, dads, and children popped in to watch the Bashers play in Riverford's spacious yurt. This was a rare acoustics do for the Bashers but it was good practice for another acoustic gig coming up next week. In between sets the Bashers showed some enthusiastic youngsters how to get started on the ukulele and a few even suggested they might take up the option to play this fantastic instrument at school. Maybe we should be setting up a junior Bashers band. Marvellous!

October 1st
A
nother beer festival at the Red Lion, Exbourne and so once more into the breach for the Bashers. A substantial, lively crowd turned up and with the Bashers in ebullient form, the evening was most certainly a good'un. A bonus was that members of the local choir were in attendance and joined in the singing with their excellent voices. Upcoming gigs are Bob the bass's wedding reception, and then another appearance at The Riverford Farm Pumpkin Harvest Day.

September 26th
B
ack to mainland gigs and and a new venue for us, RHS Rosemoor. This was their ale and cider festival but unfortunately it coincided with a huge England Rugby World Cup match so numbers were lower than expected. Nevertheless the Bashers put on a good show and naturally it was only fair to taste the excellent liquid refreshement on offer. It seems to be a regular feature of our gigs these days that people get up and dance and this was no exception. The organisers want us back next year when there will be no rugby World Cup, but there will be football's European Championship so let's hope they pick a good date!

September 19th/20th
W
hat a brilliant long weekend the Bashers and their wags/groupies had on the Scilly Islands. However, there was a disappointing start to the tour when our Friday night gig on Tresco had to be cancelled. Sadly, a local man had disappeared in suspicious circumstances and the search and rescue teams were combing the area for him. In those circumstances the Tresco islanders would understandably not have been in the mood for entertainment. But all was not lost and as well as performing two excellent gigs at the Old Town Inn on St Marys, the Bashers were able to take in the sights of these unique Islands with their fabulous beaches and rocky headlands. The locals turned out in force to watch the Bashers play on the Saturday evening, and also for the Sunday afternoon outdoor gig. They turned out to be a great crowd at both gigs. On the Sunday afternoon, one brave very young boy called Lewis, asked if he could play tambourine with us and ended up playing it and then also Pete's tiny ukulele for the whole gig! A couple of Islanders were so impressed with our music that they are buying their own ukes and starting a Scillys ukulele group!
On the Sunday evening, all the Bashers and their Wags had an excellent meal at the Bishop and Wolf pub in Hugh Town and ended up singing raucous versions of the whole repertoire all over again. There was also a very nice moment when the two waitresses from the Old Town Inn turned up and said what a great weekend they had had and bought us three bottles of wine! It was all in all a most excellent end to a truly great weekend.

September 5th
A
local wedding reception in Hatherleigh was the order of the day for the Bashers on Saturday and the venue was our Community Centre. The Bashers performed in a marquee extension to the main hall and put on a lively couple of sets early on in the evening. The bride and groom kindly provided complimentary food and drink, which the Bashers made the best of, as usual. This was our fifth gig in a row located in our home town but now we have to prepare for a bit of 'foreign' travel with our Scilly Island Tour coming up next.

August 29th/30th
A
nother busy weekend of bashing, with a private party on the Saturday night and the Rotary Club's Funday on Sunday afternoon. The party was a real humdinger with everyone up and dancing along to the Bashers, who performed really well considering they were well down in numbers. It all took place in a field behind a house, with the Bashers setup in a pop up gazebo, and there was an excellent atmosphere as daylight faded and the dancers danced on in the dark.

On Sunday, the Bashers were on the back of a large lorry trailer for the Rotary Funday and a surprisingly good crowd turned out after the earlier heavy rain. The Bashers put on their usual solid couple of sets and were boosted by a cameo harmonica performance by Petrockstowe Pete, one of the Bashers, who is recovering from serious illness.

August 15th
I
t was a stonking good night at the Tally Ho for Adey's 50th birthday do, and the place was packed. The Bashers were missing a few members but that worked out ok as stage space was at a minimum where we performed in the beer garden. The barbecue was doing a roaring trade while the Bashers put on a roaring couple of sets to a very enthusiastic audience. It's always good to perform in our great little home town.

July 23rd/25th/26th
F
abarooni as Pete would say - Hatherleigh Festival was back with a bang and the Bashers had a slot on the Thursday evening. The large audience waited patiently as we setup the gear in record time after the excellent Silver Band had cleared the stage. It was really good to be back on the festival stage after our previous appearance in 2013 when we didn't even have our own amplification gear. Our improvement since then, we hope was obvious, after many hours of practice and indeed we did ourselves proud as testified by the enthusiastic audience reaction.

On Saturday we turned up at the Lapstock Fetival to find a very impressive stage setup, probably the best we have appeared on and a far cry from some of the tents provided at the open air fetes we've performed at. The weather, with glorious sunshine, was also a far cry from the Friday before and the Sunday after. The Bashers stage positioning was well organised by Winkelele Dave and we kicked off with a fine rendition of 'Country Roads' to the early doors crowd. After completing a scintillating set, the Bashers sat in the sun and watched some of the other acts and then a few of us did some ukulele workshops for interested festival goers. Then back to Hatherleigh for many of us to catch the evening acts at the Hatherleigh Festival.

Well it was going to be a very busy weekend with three gigs booked but the English summer weather put paid to that with Sundays gig at Seaton called off because of torrential rain and wind. It was a shame because we have done the Seaton Bikers day entertainment for the last two years with good weather, but the law of averages kicked in this year and even the bikers were called off.

July 18th
F
ortunately the weather was kind for our performance at the Petrockstowe fete as we had no cover at all. That made it slightly interesting deciding on a stage area and in which direction to face, not least thinking up a plan B if it rained! Despite interference from a persistent car alarm, and all that pre-setup thinking, we were eventually ready to start playing a few minutes later than scheduled. We were soon bashing like the well oiled machine that we are and the audience soon built in size, boosted by a large contingent of Cosgroves. The assembled crowd appeared to like us a lot, possibly even better than the dog show and the bowling, you never know. Looks like we might get asked back next year so we must have been alright.

July 9th
T
he start of another beer festival weekend at the Red Lion, Exbourne meant the Bashers were back again strumming their stuff. This time we were without chief Basher Pete who was on his hols but the show must go on, and it did. Ukel Ale (made by the brewing sub-section of the Bashers) was a new addition to landlord Nick's fine array of real ales and indeed the customers said they liked it. It would be nice if Nick could knock down a few walls and make a bigger stage area for the Bashers, as currently it's tight as a gnat's chuff once the Bashers and their gear are assembled. Always a good gig though at The Red Lion and it's rumoured we'll be asked back in October.

July 4th
"O
h we do like to be beside the seaside" etc etc. The National Trust's Big Beach Party at Woolacombe meant a good day out for the Bashers. What a setting it was to strum our stuff on the amazing Woolacombe beach. The sand castle competition kept the the kids busy, ice lollies were handed out and some Bashers very sensibly brought picnics and beer. At least one Basher went body boarding and a very good day was had by all.

June 27th
T
he Bashers were short of a few players but nevertheless put on a fine performance for a really nice country style wedding in Honiton. It was like a village fete but with people in suits and nice dresses. The afternoon food was cakes, cakes, and more great looking cakes and the evening fair was a hog roast with all the trimmings. The Bashers setup on the balcony of the old cricket pavilion and played a couple of lively sets. In between they sampled the ale and delicious cake before heading back to base. We like doing weddings, they are really good fun and seem to suit our music. But, the next gig is on Woolacombe beach for the National Trust's Big Beach Party'. That should be a good'un too.

June 20th/21st
A
very busy old weekend of bashing. On Saturday afternoon we did a couple of sets at Highampton for the their summer solstice fete, and then played for a wedding party at Lifton. Highampton was ok if a bit on the quiet side but Lifton was a cool gig out in the open with the whole place (and many guests) kitted out in yellow. We even got the groom to sit in and play a couple of numbers.

Sunday afternoon at the Crediton festival was a tad windy, especially it seemed within the confines of the bandstand. This provided an interesting extra effect through the microphones as the Bashers battled on. We also did an extra stint as a choir on the program had to cancel. It does seem like we've had a wind and rain at several outdoor gigs this year, maybe things will improve when the British summer arrives. We live in hope!

June 12th/13th
T
here was a bit of a contrast between the weekend's two gigs. On Friday night, in a packed Worlington Parish Hall, the heat was tangible if not just from the Bashers playing hot songs. The stage was likewise a tad on the cramped side but it was a jolly fine evening nevertheless with a very friendly bunch of local people enjoying the music. It was only fitting, if a bit cheeky, when one of the Bashers won the music quiz, which took place in the interval. On the longish drive home we reflected on the dedication to ukulele bashing of Basher Jude who lives in Worlington and makes the round trip to our home base of Hatherleigh every week for practice night.

On Saturday afternoon, it was all change when we were located in a tent in a large field for the Inwardleigh/Folly Gate Fair. the Bashers were faced with a wind gusting like a good'un, very little evidence of an audience, and power supplied from a generator. The generator failed twice while we were performing, music books took flight and stands had to be secured to the ground with tent pegs. Despite all this the Bashers had a good time, deciding they were not going to be beaten by the situation. Each song was played with gusto (whoever he may be) and applauded by just ourselves and a few stallholders on completion. The show must go on as they say ! It was indeed, an interesting weekend !

June 6th
O
ur first wedding gig of the year at Bridestowe Village Hall. A very nice venue, excellent crowd, and a really beautiful view out the back. Of course the bride and groom looked great as well. Later on, the dance floor was popular with the guests and the Bashers pulled out all the stops to keep them there . The Bashers dressed for the occasion and there were particularly smart outfits worn by Jonathan and Nick who looked sharp and groovy. (there's a word from the past!). Anyhow, on with a very busy June with two more gigs next weekend.

May 30th
T
he annual Babbacombe Ukulele Festival was yet again a great success. There were lots of good uke bands enthusiastically strutting their stuff and we also had some soloists, duos and small groups performing a few numbers. The big bash at the end meant that the stage was swamped with uke players, who combined to play a few numbers together. Earlier, the Bashers put on a great 30 minute set which started with the marquee half full because of an emergency services cliff rescue going on next door. However this was quickly happily resolved and the the audience poured back into their seats and were very appreciative of our music, particularly young Claire's rendition of the Oasis song 'The importance of being Idle'. There was another notable event when Jonathan managed to finish at the right time in 'The Hatherleigh Boogie' :-))

May 2nd/3rd
O
n Saturday it was our first appearance at Toby Bucklands Garden Party, set in the grounds of Powderham Castle, which unfortunately turned out to be a very wet and windy day. However the Bashers setup in a smallish tent, fortunately facing in the same direction as the wind. Most of the crowd were sheltering in the big marquee a few metres away, sipping hot drinks and keeping warm. However, when we got going, some brave souls ventured out to cheer us on and the Bashers put on a fine performance, despite having very cold fingers for ukulele playing. We've added a new instrument to the band, a cajon drum, played by Ben and he is enjoying it so much he can't now can't make his mind up whether he wants to be a uke player or a drummer. (Shabba)
On Sunday we played at Mertons' Vintage vehicle rally, which was even more wet and windy than the Powderham gig. Unfortunately, our tent was even less weatherproof than the day before, and most of us had to play using a foot or other method to stop our music stands toppling over in the wind. Some casualties took place regardless, with broken stands, flying ukes and music books being the order of the afternoon. The Bashers were not to be beaten however and carried on strumming (It would have made a good 'Carry On' film!). So a busy, wet, and windy weekend, but Bashers prevailed. New pictures of the weekend can be found on our Gallery page.

April 16th
A
gig at the Red Lion in Exbourne is one the Bashers always look forward to. There is a good ambience, friendly staff, appreciative customers, and great beer. This time round it was the start of the Red Lions Beer Festival and a good crowd was there to partake of the food, beer, and the music, of course. The only downside is the amount of space available for a large bevy of Bashers to perform in along with all their gear. Yep, it's elbow room only for Uke strumming but a good night was had by all and the Bashers new songs went down a treat. Marvellous, as Pete would say!

April 4th
T
he Bashers had been working hard on adding new exciting songs to their repertoire in the early year quiet period and Easters Ruby Market was the first opportunity to give them a try out. A large crowd gathered to listen to the Bashers , who were in fine form and greatly assisted by new monitor speakers, which made it much easier to hear ourselves. We also, for the first time, had one of the Bashers switching from ukulele to cajon drum and this all added to the sound and a great gig overall. Then, the evening we played a set for the Highampton Easter Fair, where two other bands were also performing. This meant the stage was full of amplification gear which meant that there was not much room left to accommodate twelve Bashers. We were pretty cramped and unable to use our own sound gear but put on a good performance under the circumstances.

February 13th
T
his was a sort of audition for the Crediton Festival and involved playing a 30 minute set at the Crediton Arts Centre. The stage was huge which was fine for the Bashers but absolutely necessary for a choir performing after us, who seemed to have an endless number of members. The Bashers were able to take advantage of a decent Chinese meal and cuppa before the show. An interesting night to be sure.

January 17th
A
very lively and enthusiastic crowd at the Tally Ho even shouted for more at the end of the gig. By the time the Bashers had finally called it a day, we had performed nearly 30 songs, probably exceeding all previous efforts. Our new songs went down well, particularly 'The Hatherleigh Boogie' our own take on T Rex's 'I love to Boogie' with words by Winkelele Dave. All in all a cracking gig.

January 10th
T
his was a first for the Bashers with a recording session at the excellent Yard1 studios in Bideford, Devon. With the help and expertise of the Yard1 staff, we were able to lay down five tracks which play back remarkably well and which we can now use to publicise the band and indeed use in a marketing video planned in the near future. You never know we might even put a CD together at some stage. An excellent experience.

2014

December 23rd
I
t was fitting that our final gig of 2014 and amazingly the 27th of the year, took place at the George Hotel in Hatherleigh, which is our regular practice location. The Bashers played a couple of sets interspersed around a most gigantic raffle draw in the packed bar area. We seemed to go down particularly well with our home crowd and even got asked for an encore. A chance then to finish the year with old favourite, 'Freight Train'. We're doing some recording in January and already have a few gigs booked in 2015. We're looking forward to another successful year of bashing in 2015. We wish all our supporters a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year.

December 20th
A
Truly great gig at the Conservative Club in South Molton. Good fun, great atmosphere with a real Christmas feel. Our old friends Scott and Debbie were the headline act and these two are great singers and performers. Scott kindly wound the sound up when the Bashers came on and the large crowd really enjoyed it.

December 19th
A
birthday bash for landlady Tara at the Torridge Inn, Black Torrington meant a full house at this very nice pub. Bob the bass was missing due to a works do, so Al sat in on bass but otherwise most Bashers were present for a gig setup by Bill in his home village. Sad to hear that the night after, some nasty person broke in and stole the whole of the pubs weekend takings.

December 16th
A
last minute booking turned out very well indeed once we had negotiated the narrow track to the 16th century Totleigh Barton Manor belonging to the Arvon Foundation. There we were located in a very fine converted barn. The Arvon staff joined us after wining and dining in the manor house and were in fine festive mood, dancing and singing along to the Bashers music, which even included several festive songs. This was a very enjoyable acoustic gig with the assembled partygoers equally contributing to a fine evening.

December 6th
T
wo gigs in one day, with one semi-outdoors and one definitely outdoors, plus a pretty cold day to boot meant a bit of a challenge for the Bashers. A new location for us at Hatherleigh's Ruby Market helped with our space requirements but we needed coffee to get us warmed up for the kick off. However, the Bashers are currently in fine form even nailing a few Christmas songs but after all, tis the season to be merry despite the cold. After a couple of good sets at the Ruby Market, the band had a few hours break before heading over to Winkleigh to perform at their Christmas Fair. By the time Father Christmas arrived to switch on the street and Christmas tree lights at Winkleigh, it was dark, pretty cold, and the Bashers were located out in the street, raring to get playing. Our clip on music lights were an essential accessory for this gig, which turned out to be well supported by an enthusiastic audience. All in all a very good days bashing.

October 25th
I
t was a bit of a trek down to Riverford Farm located between Buckfastleigh and Totnes, but it was an acoustic gig so no lifting and shifting of the P.A gear was involved. The Riverford Farm Pumpkin Harvest day is obviously a well supported annual event and a really good day out for the children and their parents. The Bashers were directed to a stripey yurt furnished with hay bales on arrival, and we realised this was going to be an unusual gig. Once we had found some power for the bass amp and warmed up our fingers, we had to start earlier than planned as an expectant crowd of parents and children had gathered in the yurt, so off we went. Between a couple of longish sets, the kids were given a chance to have a go on several spare ukes we had brought along, which went down very well. All in all an excellent outing for the Bashers.

October 11th
W
ell, well , well --- What can be better than providing the entertainment for your town's Community Awards night and actually winning one of the awards! Yes it was a surprise bonus to an excellent gig when the Mayor of our great town of Hatherleigh announced we had won the Community Group Award. Our surprised leader, Pete, collected a presentation clock and framed certificate, then made a fine acceptance speech. What a night, and the only thing left to do was celebrate in the Tally Ho pub, where we made our first appearance some three years ago. Many Thanks to all the good folk who nominated us.

September 18th
O
ur first gig in a church proved to be a fine evening with good acoustics, an appreciative crowd, and a plentiful supply of refreshments in between sets. Quite a few youngsters were in attendance in the audience and it was good to see an enthusiasm from them, as well as the adults, for our sort of music. There was also good feedback from several in the audience after the performance, in particular from an ex professional musician in the crowd who was generally not a fan of amateur musicians but said we were really good and should go places. Very nice to hear!

August 23rd/24th
A
busy weekends bashing with a trip to the seaside at Bude on Saturday and a couple of sets for the Hatherleigh Rotary Club on Sunday. Bude was our first gig over the border in Cornwall and a fine breezy day allowed us to also do a bit of busking after the gig, which attracted quite a gathering of passing holidaymakers and locals. On Sunday, the weather held off for the Rotary Fun day at Hatherleigh Cricket Club and the Bashers did a couple of short sets to keep the crowd in the beer tent even more happy. It has been a very busy summer of gigs for the Bashers and now a short break in the gigs schedule will allow us to add new songs to the existing repertoire.

August 16th
O
ur first performance for an 80th birthday party went rather well in the very large function room at Strawberry Fields in Lifton. Pete was disappointed that we didnt get to play an Elvis song on the anniversary of his death and he rattled off 'Happy Birthday' at about a hundred miles per hour (Pete not Elvis). Later we discovered that Al had sneakily recorded the set but the playbacks showed we are sounding pretty professional, just a few tweaks still needed with the sound levels.

August 9th
T
he locals, who enjoy good food and music flocked to the Red Lion at Exbourne on Saturday where the Bashers worked as hard as the kitchen and waiting staff to make this an excellent evening. The sound seemed even better with the new and very large mixer making it's first appearance and though missing a Basher or three, it was a very enjoyable evening as always, the Red Lion being a real gem among Devon pubs.

August 2nd
A
chance to hear and play with our peers is always interesting and so a trip to Babbacombe for a ukulele group event was something to look forward to. In fact the Bashers just love a day out to the seaside. It did not disappoint. The weather was great apart from an odd single gust of wind during our performance, which played havoc with our music sheets. We got to ride on the Babbacombe cliff railway down to Oddicombe beach and watch fine performances from several other ukulele bands. The Bashers did a half hour set which was very well received and it proved to be a very good day out to a well organised event. Lets hope this becomes an annual event.

July 26th /27th
A
weekend of very hot weather saw the Bashers play two outdoor gigs at Black Torrington and at Seaton. On Saturday, The Black Torrington Fair was well organised, even providing us with a canopy for a bit of shade, and the two half hour sets seemed to go down well with the crowd , resulting in another booking for next year's event. The free half pint in the beer tent was also very welcome.
On Sunday we travelled to Seaton to perform at the Jurrasic Biker day on the seafront. This was a gig we also enjoyed last year in equally good weather, and there seemed to be even more more people attending this year. Interspersed between Jive dancing, lindy hoppers, and large shiny motorbikes, the Bashers gave it their all to loud applause. The Seaton chippy was again popular with the Bashers during sets and there was a strange phenomenon over the two weekend events where both announcers struggled to get our name right. Must be the heat, methinks!

July 19th
A
first appearance for the Bashers at a major festival - Chagstock 2014.
Well we might have guessed we would put on a good performance after so much practice and initially we were slightly disappointed at being allocated a very early slot. BUT we could not have imagined the size and enthusiasm of the crowd who assembled to watch us. They sang along, they applauded, and they shouted for more at the end. What a brilliant day was had by all and we hope to be invited back next year. Marvellous, as Pete would say!

June 21st
A
very hot summer day was very appropriate for Highampton's Summer Solstice fair. The Bashers braved the heat to produce a fine one hour set and were grateful for cold refreshments afterwards. It's not long to our performance at Chagstock now and fine tuning of songs and playlist is underway for the big event.

June 14th /15th
I
t was a busy old weekend with two gigs and Saturdays was an unusual one. The Bashers were part of the musical entertainment in between acts of an outdoor theatre performance of the 'New Jerusalem' play. We did this acoustically and had several Bashers unavailable including Bob the bass, plus several suffering with croaky throats. We were therefore a bit worried about our voices and ukuleles being heard, but the feedback afterwards was positive. The North Devon Journal commented - "The Hatherleigh Ukulele Bashers proved what a versatile instrument the ukulele is and also what harmonious voices they share".
On Sunday we performed for a second year running at the Dowland Country Fair, which this year needed no wellies or wet gear thank goodness. The Dowland bandwagon (i.e back of a lorry) is always a good stage and the Bashers produced a lively couple of sets. Hatherleigh were well represented amongst the entertainment, with the Choir and Silver band amongst others performing. The Bashers, I'm told, are already pre-booked for next years event.

June 7th
W
e were delighted to perform for Neil and Sue's wedding reception at the Community centre in Hatherleigh. The theme was a mid summer nights dream and appropriate costumes were much in evidence. We really enjoyed performing but it can't be very often that at a wedding, the bride and groom request the D.I.V.O.R.C.E song in advance, and thankfully the Bashers can now safely remove this from their songbooks, whew!

May 31st
P
erforming at The Red Lion, Exbourne for a Ruby wedding anniversary. We are getting to know the Red Lion quite well after several appearances there, but this was the biggest audience we have had so far. A very good crowd were reluctant to let us go at the end, and after several encores we had performed 29 songs during the evening, probably the most we have done so far. It was good to have several of our other halves in the pub supporting us and enjoying the evening, it helped keep us on our toes! NB We now have our slot allocated at the Chagstock Festival on 19th July and this is at 10 past midday.

May 24th
A
fter an afternoon downpour of monsoon proportions in the area, the Bashers were a tad apprehensive of playing outside under canvas at Moon Farm. Indeed those who wisely took along a pair of wellies were most grateful, since the ground was sodden even inside the marquee where we were performing. However, it turned out to be an outstanding evening with the Bashers in great form and the partygoers enthusiastically singing and dancing along to the music. A most enjoyable evening.

April 19th
A
good crowd at Hatherleigh's Ruby Market watched a couple of excellent sets from the Bashers. A last minute change of location for us Ukers proved beneficial with a lot of people stopping to watch and listen. However, it could have been a different matter for the Bashers if it had rained, with the new location being out in the open. With Al missing on a camping expedition, Ben handled the gear setup and did a good job managing the amps/mixers and sound levels.

April 12th
A
second gig in two days took the Bashers to pastures new at South Zeal for the W.I's cabaret night. However, there was to be no 'Jam and Jerusalem' this time round as the Bashers split sets with a good comedienne, who almost got to sing a duet with one of the Bashers who remained on stage at the interval. It was a hot old night inside the Victory Hall but a very enjoyable gig with good stage and plenty of room for Bashers and gear.

April 10th
F
ourteen Bashers and their gear squeezed into a tight space in the Red Lion and performed two sets for the appreciative Beer Festival crowd. A batch of new songs were on the playlist for the first time and most turned out really well. The beer at the Red Lion was excellent as usual and the Real Ale aficionados among the Bashers were a pretty contented lot.

March 14th
A
very pleasant night's bashing at the Tally last Sunday where a few new songs were tried out along with some trusty core songs. The dulcit tones of new member Dave's Train whistle surprised us all while playing 'Midnight Special' but every little helps.

March 3rd
G
ood news, we've been invited back to play at the Jurrasic Coast Biker day in July. This was an excellent gig last year on the Seaton seafront with huge bikes roaring past at regular intervals. Maybe we can outblast them this year with our new amp gear!

February 20th
T
he Bashers will be hosts at the Tally Ho's Open Mic Night in March. Work on adding new songs to our repertoire is progressing well and we hope to showcase some of these at the Tally Ho event.

January 22nd
E
xcellent news -The Bashers have landed a spot at Chagstock (July 19th) in the Live lounge.

January 15th
A
s usual a quiet January and the Bashers are concentrating on new songs to add to our already substantial repertoire. Tuesday practice nights are getting pretty busy with a dozen Bashers in attendance last night, including two new recruits, so a good turnout even without a few regulars who didnt make it. A few gigs are already in the book but the regular monthly Tally gig will not be so regular this year, due to circumstances beyond our control.

2013
December 18th 2013
W
e are certainly getting some rough weather at the moment and it is no surprise that people are staying in and toasting themselves by the fire, instead of venturing out in the wind and rain, which were something else on the day. Nevertheless a few brave souls ventured into the George where the management supplied lashings of mulled wine and mince pies. The Bashers put on one of their best performances to finish off the year's bashing in style, with hardly a bum note, ably assisted by members of the audience doing the bells for the Christmas songs. We can now rest our strumming and picking fingers for a short while before delving into new material in early 2014.

December 14th 2013
A
nother wet , windy and wild night's weather kept some drinkers from making an outing to Exbournes's Red Lion pub, but the show goes on, as they say, and the ale drinking Bashers delighted in sampling the Red Lion's excellent selection of real ales. Meanwhile, the sounds of our rumbustious Uke playing drowned out the wind outside, and Christmas cheer was very evident in the bar as the evening came to a close. One more gig left in December and it has indeed been a mammoth year for the Bashers.

December 7th 2013
A
wet but very well attended Ruby Market (around 4,000 people apparently), saw the Bashers performing with a backdrop of blackened walls and safety barriers after the recent fire. After a good couple of sets and the new amp gear proving its worth in the large hall, the Bashers went for a celebratory Christmas curry lunch, which warmed us up nicely for the evening bash in the George. Here we were located a long way from the bar, which is never good, and it was slightly distracting to have the smells of the delicious food being served about two metres away from while we were performing. However, our music was also delicious and concluded a fine day's bashing.

November 30th 2013
T
his was our first performance with the new amplification kit and it worked out pretty well, with the proviso that we now realise we need a lot of stage space! The folk at the Exbourne Christmas fair were very appreciative and we put some festive songs into the repertoire for the first time. The highlight was an unusual version of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas', which probably has never been perfomed in Rumba tempo before!

November 10th 2013
T
here were several missing Bashers for the November Tally Ho Open Mic night and we had to borrow a bass player from another band, but the show went on! A set which was a bit different featured Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall', a mash up of 'Sunny Afternoon' with 'Hit the Road Jack', and 'Should I stay or Should I go'. The Bashers are getting adventurous indeed. Now we need to get to grips with new amplification gear in the rundown to several gigs before Christmas.

October 19th 2013
T
here was a good turnout for the Hatherleigh Community Awards at the Community Centre and the Bashers did one long and one short set in between the prize presentations. We were a few Bashers short of a Bashful due to family commitments, but as usual the audience were very appreciative and a little bird told us we even got some votes for the Awards. That was a bit of a surprise and maybe we might even have a chance next year! Particular thanks for Saturdays gig are due to Greg Bushell, who generously provided and operated the sound system. The beers are on us Greg!

October 13th 2013
T
was a dark wet October night, which brightened as soon as you passed through the doors into the good old Tally Ho. An earlyish session saw the Bashers in ebullient form, driving along an unusually fast paced ' Bad Moon Rising', then going country style with 'Country Roads', before pounding out the bright and cheery 'I'll Fly Away'. Naturally we had to finish up with Bashers favourite, 'Freight Train', which is rapidly becoming our theme tune. Then Open Mic organiser Josie had booked a repeat vist from the band 'Moor Reason' and they rocked it through to the end of a fine evening. There might be some upcoming video, so watch this space folks.

October 3rd 2013
T
he Bashers were in good voice for an hour's set in the Red Lion, Exbourne, a very traditional English pub with a good choice of real ale. You could tell that cos the ale drinkers among the Bashers were not complaining about their drink, being usually very pernickety about their beer. The local choir, who came in after their practice night, gave us a favourable review and it does seem that we have come on in leaps and bounds in the last year. With a bit of luck we may get invited back to the Red Lion in the near future.

August 25th 2013
F
or the Rotary Funday, the Bashers were in the marquee on a trailer and managed to attract a fair audience from outside, who were otherwise enjoying the fine weather, plus plenty of fun and games. There was by necessity a long spread of Bashers on the trailer and sometimes hearing one end from the other was difficult, but a 30 minute set proceeded in the usual style and completed a fine summers bashing.

August10/11th 2013
A
nother busy weekend for the Bashers with a rural setting at the Meeth Show on Saturday and the regular Tally spot on Sunday, plus the Bashers summer party on Saturday night. On Saturday afternoon, it was all very countrified as we sat playing on bales of hay in a field full of tractors, vintage cars, steam engines, and with our amplification via generator. On Sunday the bashers played 'Country Roads', 'Folsom Prison', 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' and 'I Walk the Line' to a lively Tally crowd, enhanced by enthusiastic dancing and singing from Bashers roadies. Must pay them more often!

July 27/28th 2013
A
fantastic weekend for the Bashers, the highlight of the year so far! A first time appearance at the prestigious annual Hatherleigh Festival on Saturday was our best performance so far. A one hour set was bashed out in front of a large appreciative audience and was assisted by a great sound system and also by Bob the bass, managing to drag himself from his sick bed to thump out the backing track. Emily soloed, Peter E provided different sound with the Jews Harp, Alan S did some wicked picking, and all voices were in terrific form.

Then a completely different gig on Sunday on a breezy but bright day on the Seaton seafront at a Biker day. Performing on the pavement, another fine outing for the Bashers was a bit on the unusual side. Every so often our songs included a very load roaring and blatting noise, when gloriously bearded and laid back leather laden gents on shiny machines passed within a few feet of us. Marvellous! Finally, refreshed with the odd beer and chip portion, the Bashers headed back to the homelands of Hatherleigh, Petrockstowe, and Launceston with sore fingers after a strumtastic weekends work.

July 20th 2013
A
disappointing gig at the nursing home, mainly cos no audience - too hot for the residents to venture outside probably. Then there was a rather nasty niff from a drain in the location where the bashers were strumming, but hey ho, the show must go on! After a sweltering couple of hours playing with sweaty uke strings and fingers, the assembled Bashers retired to the George for a couple of well deserved pints of the brown stuff. All hands on deck now for the Hatherleigh Festival gig and the Biker gig in Seaton next weekend. NB Gallery page now updated with latest pics.

July 14th 2013
T
was a sweltering July night and the Bashers sizzled accordingly. 'Under The Boardwalk' was followed by a swinging version of Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side'. Then Emily sang superbly to showcase Dylan's 'Make me feel Your Love' before the Bashers rounded off with a rousing rendition of 'Delilah'. Overall a very tight set

July 6th 2013
T
en Bashers managed to squeeze into a small cubbyhole like stage at a very busy Ruby Market. Several Ukes were amped up, plus Bob's bass of course, and two tightly knit sets of 45 minutes were belted out. Onlookers described the sound as 'melodic' ,'harmonious', and 'ukeful' so thats all right then! Next stop is the Tally Open mic night in what is a pretty busy month for the Bashers.

June 17th 2013
B
limey it was a damp and dull old day at the Dowland Country fair and only 12 degrees in the middle of June as well. BUT on the bright side the beer tent was next to the music stage and the bashers belted out a bonzer couple of 45 minute sets attracting a fair crowd, no co-incidence we were next to the beer tent then! It was good to get an idea of how the sound worked with amps and microphones outdoors with other similar events on the horizon. Hopefully we'll get to strum our Ukes in open air events with warm fingers at some stage this year !!!

June 10th 2013
T
he Bashers were a bit short of numbers for the monthly Tally gig due to sickness but we have recently acquired a couple of new regulars so once again pretty much filled the limited stage space at the pub. In the midst of a bright spell of weather, there was a matching bright set from the Bashers with a very fast offering of 'Tell Me Ma' featuring Pete and Eric (Eric is our homemade whomper stomper stick - see video) and a creditable first outing for Credence Clearwater Revival's 'Proud Mary'. Then we got really into the groove with old favourites 'Freight Train' and 'The Wild Rover' drawing, as usual, an appreciative response from the Tally audience and fellow performers. Now it's all hands on deck for the Dowland Country Fair gig next Sunday, where apparently they usually get a couple of thousand attendees (scary!)

May 13th 2013
A
mixture of old favourites and new songs made for another good night for the bashers at the Tally. The bashers kicked off with 'Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town' and Donovan's 'Colours' before trying out new songs 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore (Buddy Holly) and a raucous version of Tom Jones 'Delilah'. Another fine nights entertainment had by all. Also good to hear that Black Torrington Bill is in the recovery position and may be re-joining the bashers in the near future.

April 14th 2013
T
he bashers took the Tally Ho by storm with renditions of 'Make Me smile', 'Lola', 'Folsom Prison Blues', and an encore of 'These Boots are made for walking'. It was an excellent, fun packed night.

April 3rd 2013
N
eed to decide songs for Tally at practice 9/4. Two new possible gigs announced by Pete in June/July, with one at a Biker gathering in Seaton. Need to discuss and see how many bashers can make them.

March 30th 2013
S
even of the bashers did a record two hour stint in two halves at a very busy Hatherleigh Ruby Market. There was even time for Pete to solo with his trusty jews harp to Donovans's 'Colours' song. Several Ukes were amped up and Bob's bass added significantly to the sound. The bashers also showed they can do contemporary with Emily's excellent rendition of Adeles 'Make me feel your love'.See a couple of pix on the gallery page

March 12th 2013
S
ix of the bashers produced a splendid set at the Tally, showcasing three new songs, "A Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed and "Make you feel my love" by Bob Dylan, nicely soloed by Emily. There was also a rousing rendition of the Clashes "Should I Stay or Should I Go".

March 6th 2013
A
ll set for a performance at the Tally Ho on Sunday 10th March and Bob is back in business with his amp. Update on Bill, who has been absent for some time : Bill is having a tough time with health problems and is going through chemo but told me he will definitely be back with the bashers at some stage.

February 2013
T
he bashers have been invited to perform at the Hatherleigh Festival in July and are practising lots of new songs. We have a couple of new bashers join since the new year. The introduction of a bass player has improved the sound but Bob's little amp blew as it was not really a bass amp and he is after a newer and improved one. We would like to get new bashers on-board who are particularly good singers.

January 2013
T
he bashers did three numbers at the Tally Ho, Hatherleigh, Open Mic night including "Summer Time" which was a bit optimitic considering the weather outside! We did well considering we only had a week to prepare after Christmas, particularly with a rendition of the Beach Boys, "Sloop John B"