THE UKIETOONES JOURNEY
TOTTERNHOE FOOTBALL CLUB
UkieTooNes was founded by Colin Creasey (Zoot TooNe), Jane Power (Sister Jane) and Frank Wingate in 2012 as a way of bringing music groups into Totternhoe Football and Social club. Colin came up with the idea of Ukuleles as the vehicle and UkieTooNes was born
The image of fun, music, raising money for charity, belonging to a group and the chance to dress in dapper style created the brand that is UkieTooNes. It is augmented into several parts;
UkieTooNes Ukulele Gathering: 1st and 3rd Friday Evenings ( Monthly)
UkieTooNes and the TooNettes ( Band)
TooNapella Doo Wop ( Singing Practice Group)
Sister Jane ( 6 piece original recording band)
The founding of the club also coincided with Colin going to Kenya, to teach as part of a teaching programme. Not wanting to be without his ukulele, he took one to Africa. He found this made an excellent tool for teaching and engaging in the schools and decided that he would return the next year with as many Ukes and as much school equipment as he could get. The resulting ‘Ukes for Kenya Fund’ was set up and the charity work began in earnest. Through the first year UkieTooNes raised over £2000 and received a grant from the British Council being able to take 15 Ukuleles and much needed school resources to the schools in Kisumu, Kenya. He spent time with the Masai tribes and even taught them how to play the Ukulele whilst video documenting his travels for the schools and UkieTooNes Ukulele Club alike.
FOUNDING THE CLUB
UkieTooNes is now a dedicated vehicle for raising money for charity, whilst the folks enjoy making, singing and playing music on the Ukulele. The club is open to anyone who plays, wants to learn or to just sing-along. UkieTooNes welcome those from beginner to virtuoso on the first and third Friday of every month. The age range is from 9- 79 and they generally have 40 people + on every evening, playing and singing popular songs, that are uniquely screened on a 54” rolling screen. They have over 170 Facebook members.
Mahoosive Event 2014 : The brain child of Zoot TooNe, who wanted to gather lots of players together, and produce a concert the Ukie-TooNes way. Featuring 10 acts under a giant marquee the music was screened with words and notation, so that everyone felt part of the band set up. Encouraging everyone to play and sing is UkieTooNes way. Of course the publicity generated for the TooNes was considerable and interviews featured live on the BBC 3 CR, Mk TV and Radio Dacorum.
The Success of the Band at Ukes for UNICEF 2014, 2015 and 2016 has seen UkieTooNes join forces with Radio Dacorum on many major fundraising events. They featured in 2, two hour shows last year playing live and also recorded their successful joint venture “Have yourself a Yulekele Christmas” album at their Studios in Hemel Hempstead. They were chosen as the band to support the “turning the Christmas lights on” in Hemel Town Centre. 2014 saw them featured in National and local press and appeared on BBC3 counties for live sessions and interviews.
In 2014 they raised over £1500 for The Alzheimer’s Society and £3000 for their charity YAWN 16 (young adults with needs) based in Houghton Regis. They have also played for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research raising £2880 and Charley’s Gift Charity raising over £1600. £500 was raised for Luton Motor Neurone Disease. They have played for Oxjam in Leighton Buzzard contributing to the festival in 2013 and 2014. St Francis Hospice benefitted from the band playing for a whole day at Ashridge Business College creating a party atmosphere for the many thousands in attendance. A huge amount of money raised on the day for the hospice. They returned there to play there in June 2015 to a capacity audience. They ended the year with a final appearance Christmas Carol concert at the Grove theatre for Hope Church.
2015 was a bumper year for UkieTooNes as they found themselves under an avalanche of bookings, Radio appearances, Festivals and Gigs. The major highlight of the year was being awarded Charity Fundraisers of the Year 2015, performing live at the ceremony awards evening. Ukie-TooNes managed to grace the stages at the Rugby World Cup playing in between the Canada v France and Uruguay v Fiji games. July saw them play for the Duchess of Errol, private garden party who booked them after seeing them perform live at the VE Day Celebrations in Luton. UkieTooNes headlined St Georges Day festival, Luton North Festival, Soul Fest, Whitstock festival, Dunstable Beer Festival and saw them triumph in two Hash House Harrier summer festivals in Buckingham and Oxford.
Playing to packed houses in British Legion clubs has seen the band invited back for many more appearances. This year they performed at the Kings Langley “switching the lights on” event. Their final Christmas celebrations took place at f Football Club culminating over 3 nights where they handed over monies to YAWN 16, LMND and had a ticketed only performance for the local community. This year UkieTooNes have raised over £8000 for their designated charities and performed for others raising in excess of £3000.
In 2016 UkieTooNes continued to grow and raise money for charity. With the increase in members they managed to play both the Luton North Festival and the Dunstable Special Market on the same day and time! Other important events included; Cheering Volunteers at the Grove Theatre, a special fundraising event for the Vascular Unit at Bedford Hospital which raised over £2000 and they also took part in Ukes For Unicef. At the end of the year they had helped raise a magnificent total of £48,000 for various charities.
2017 saw UkieTooNes performing electric sell-out shows at charity fund-raisers, beer festivals, private parties and media events.
In February they recorded a successful single and mini-album (Born To Be Wild) for Motorsport For Multiple Sclerosis and performed at the charity`s launch. They took part in both Cheering Volunteers and Ukes For UNICEF (again) and also played at a sell out Acoustic Variety Show at The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead to support Community Action Dacorum.
In July they were performing at the Armed Forces Day in Hemel Hempstead and a Garden Party in support of Willen Hospice. In August they played at the French Cultural Troup event in Luton town centre and later that month were back in the studio to record their version of the Entry Music to be used during the French Cultural Troup`s world tour.
They were also back at Radio Dacorum to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt for the most presenters in a single radio show. This was achieved by having 63 presenters and Ukietoones also performed live on the show.
2018. Starting early UkieTooNes played for BAFTAS (Bedford Awards for Trust Achievements ) for the British Nursing Assosiation followed up by a busk for Charlies Gift Charity raising another £900. Raynam Way Community Centre saw them raise £600 and then £800 from their first of 4 Royal British Legion sell out shows.
January saw them start recording the cd album 'My Babe' complete with full Brass Section, Piano and Bagpipes.
Autism was the next charity benefitting from the band appearing at local Leighton Buzzard Morrisons . St Francis Hospice gig at Ashridge House led to a whopping £42000 being raised on the day with a further £11000 being raised for Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes.
The ensuing months have seen UkieTooNes appearing at Steam Rallies, Beer Festivals, World Picnic ,private parties, Radio appearances and TV commercials and even solo performances for Kit Aid :-)
Mid Point in the year, `My Babe` is released to much critical acclaim, (BBC Tim Wheeler) and Donation Day for YAWN 16 handing over another £2500 . The day saw the preview of the videos recorded for the album , featuring the kids from YAWN.
In 2018 almost £100,000 has been raised for charity.!!
2019. UkieTooNes have also started supporting PACE, a school for children with Cerebral Palsy.
A cheque for £1000 was presented to a representative from PACE.
At the first Donation Day for YAWN they were presented with a cheque for £3000
2020. UkieTooNes became The UkieTooNes Organisation, an official club with an elected commitee.
In March the country went into lockdown and the club was shut down. As of September some rehearsing has started, and hopefully we can start to play together again soon!
The UkieTooNes band`, are dedicated players who have perfected their craft, offering an extensive repertoire of songs which are tailored to most tastes. From Ska to Rock n Roll, Doo Wop to modern Pop Classics they guarantee the audience will be singing and dancing the night away. Their singing base of 6 piece harmonies, accompanied by ukulele, banjolele, drums, guitar and bass, and sometimes accompanied by Brass, Piano and Bagpipes making them appreciated in the world of event music.
UkieTooNes Ukulele Gathering has the added accompaniment of as many players that can possibly fit onto one stage area!
UkieTooNes are continually looking for new members to join them and to even join in the live charity bookings (if they want).
UkieTooNes have rapidly gathered momentum, appearing on numerous radio stations recently promoting `The Gathering` and all its charity work.
Radio and TV Appearances
BBC Three Counties Radio
Mk Radio and MK TV
CDs – The Guys and Girl from Ukie TooNes Radio Session Unplugged £3.00
Have yourself a Yule-Kelele Christmas £5.00
Born To Be Wild Title Track in support of `Motorsport for MS`. Plus Seven Bonus Tracks £10.00
Our latest album - My Babe....£10
UkieTooNes are available for bookings.
Any monies earned or donated from any event goes to our nominated charities . There is never a booking too big or too small.