The Small Change Diaries are currently working up the set list for GNUF this May. We are playing the main stage on Saturday and keen that we showcase some really great material to entertain the audience.
In creating a set its really important to make sure that there is a variety of rhythms and keys, so it remains really dynamic. In recent years I was enthused about seeing a particular artist at a festival having seen a video clip. I thought ‘Wow this is gonna be great!” He played the first track which was on the video, but then every other track in the set was in the same key and in the same tempo.
The Small Change Diaries play all original material and despite what is often touted its 100% possible to play a totally original set without cover versions that is great. On a practical basis I like to have no more than one instrument changeover. At GNUF we are keen to make sure there is a really wide ranging sound. Much as I love the ukulele, the ukulele sound alone doesn’t have a great deal of bass, so Adrian Knowles double bass and especially the bowed bass makes for a far more dynamic sound. Similarly Rich Ferdinando is a percussionist rather than “a drummer” I think of him very much like Paul Motian, a really superb musician. Adrian and Rich are like “the Sly and Robbie” for the band and a wonderful rhythm for myself and Jessica Bowie.
Its going to be a great set and at this point in time I hear that there are still a few tickets available at www.northernuke.com GNUF is regarded as the gold standard for such festivals in the UK and with over 50 acts its easy to see why. GNUF also just won an award for the best Ukulele Festival in the UK from Uke Magazine.