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27 December 2012

King Uke on 2012

As 2012 draws to a close I think it only fitting that we celebrate some of the fantastic things that have happened over the past year at The Ukulele Blog. It's been a good year - I've enjoyed your company! Let's see if I can make any sense of it...

ACB Warriors

King Uke on Books...

I finally gave in and bought myself a Kindle in 2012. Yeah, I know that it goes against every fibre of my being, but I haven't looked back since. It's been great. It's helped me to enjoy ukulele books, books about zombies and I even dusted off some really ancient reads like Lovecraft and Poe.

Conrad's new slant on the Apocalypse...

You'll be pleased to know that it hasn't all been digital in 2012. +Andrew Clifton-Brown  introduced me to a graphic novel by the name of From Hell that knocked my socks off! I'm still having nightmares about that read. Another great discovery (recommended by Mrs Clifton-Brown) was One by Conrad Williams. My faith in reading has been well and truly restored!

King Uke on Music...

2012 was a great year for music. I was lucky enough to hook up with a number of talented musicians who inspired me to play and record some of my own music. Looking back, there certainly seems to have been a heavy ukulele bias. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different sounds and styles hoping to find something new and exciting. Perhaps the most notable successes were the tunes I knocked out on my the electric ukulele? I'd like to think that I was breaking new ground with these songs. :-P

YouTube thinks it can improve my videos! I live in hope... Ha ha!

Here is the official top 5 countdown as per my YouTube thumbs-up. Yep, this is as voted for by you, the Public... :-D

At number 5 we have an original tune called Hellogram. This was my first foray into Progressive Metal. It's short and satanic. Run for the hills!

At number 4 is one of my most recent songs. Snow is another original song recorded in collaboration with +Daniel Hulbert. It was produced as this year's Christmas tune and what a Christmas cracker it turned out to be!

At number 3 we have an abridged version of Tip-toe through the Tulips which I recorded especially for my blogging buddy Daz. It was meant to inspire him to buy a ukulele, but so far I've failed on that front.

At number 2 is the rousing Hawai'i 78. This beautiful song inspired me to attempt to sing in Hawaiian. Feel it brothers! Ha ha.

At number 1 we have my new Kingcaster Electric ukulele making an outing with some classic Smiths action. I squeezed every picture I had of the build into the video to the tune of one of my favourite songs: Bigmouth Strikes Again.

King Uke on Films...

Surprisingly, despite the number of zombie-related videos I watched, it was vampires that had the biggest impact on me in 2012. It started with the slightly disappointing Stake Land and finished with the wonderfully snowy 30 Days of Night. Bravo! Save the second series of the Walking Dead, nothing else zombie-related passed muster. How disappointing!

No jokes about the Japanese flag please...

It wasn't all bad though... At the same time as I've been rediscovering my love of Westerns with films like the briliant Dead Man, I've also found time to develop a new love for crazy Japanese films including RoboGeisha and Big Tits Zombie. Expect more of this madness in 2013!

King Uke on Instrument Building...

2012 was the year that I took the plunge and built my first musical instrument. It's been an ambition of mine for the last twenty-five years or so and now I've only finally gone and done it! Woohoo! The instrument in question was of course my burning-red hell-fire Kingcaster electric uke, modeled after my gold Hohner Strat. I documented the whole build... all the successes and the failures (of which there were many). What a great experience; I learnt so much. I'd recommend it to anyone. Of course, it wouldn't have been possible without the help and encouragement I got along the way from a number of key individuals on Google+. Thank you... you know who you are!

Sharkfin despair!

Buoyed by that success, I've been building my second uke: a travel edition that I've christened the Sharkfin. I'm close to having it finished, but that'll have to wait until 2013. The good news is that once I get past the Sharkfin, I've still got plenty more projects up my sleeve to keep me busy for a long time to come. ;-)

King Uke on Art...

I had a lot of fun in 2012 shopping photos and mashing up art. It all started innocently enough with a little Sin City obsession, but really got out of hand in July when I founded my own custom ukulele design company and went on to produce the influential Mark VIII. Over the months I've stuck up a couple of posts on art paying homage to people who have inspired me like the wonderfully talented +shankti oviedo and Yusaku Hanakuma. My eyes have been opened! Whilst in Bristol I discovered graffiti but unfortunately I still have no idea who Ukesy is.


Following some friendly nudges I even started sharing some of my photography with you. I don't claim to be brilliant on this front, but I have enjoyed getting unusual pictures for you. It's been fun, but perhaps not as much fun as I had celebrating the jubilee...

King Uke on the Ukulele Blog...

I typically shy away from the usual blogging bean counting, but suffice to say that 2012 was a HUGE year for the Ukulele Blog. We're clocking up around 500 hits a day at the moment and just recently had our 100,000th visitor. 2012 was the year that we joined the Top 50 Ukulele Sites and hit the top 30! We also joined the Top 100 Ukulele Sites and have been top and bottom of that chart all year. I'm not too sure how that one works but nothing stays still on there for long. Our biggest success has probably been with the Top 5 Electric Ukulele SitesWe've been top of that chart all year! Wahay!

We started 2012 with a Google rank of 3. It dropped to 1 in February and has
since gone back up to 2. To be honest, I don't understand why.

You can now also find King Uke on Google+, Facebook and Cigarbox Nation. I've never been so social! Ha ha!

King Uke on Friends...

Finally, I want to say a special thanks to all the people who have supported me over the past year by sharing comments, criticism, advice, jokes, stories, music... everything! When I started this blog up I really didn't know how much fun it could be. I've been lucky enough to meet all sorts of fantastic people and I can't begin to explain how much I've learnt from the whole experience. I want to pay a special thanks to +Julian Davies, +Daniel Hulbert and +tibo henrion, and all of the fine gentlemen at Electric Ukulele Land who took me under their wings and gave me the support I needed to build the Kingcaster. I also want to thank Darren from Brisbane who has been there through thick and thin. And I mustn't forget +Thiago Medeiros! Your enthusiasm never fails to get me all fired up! Ha ha... yes... I am very easily lead...

Ukulele Blog readers are famous for their passion!

And of course, there are a whole heap of other people out there in internet-land who are just as important to me for lots of different reasons. Thank you to all of you beautiful people too; From New Zealand (have I ever told you how much I love New Zealand?) through to Holland, Italy, Sardinia, America, Argentina... the list is impressive! I only wish that I had the means to meet some of you in person! Perhaps in 2013? Fingers crossed!

Have a great New Year!

King Uke


  1. "Tip Toe Through The Tulips" has rocketed up the Thumbs Up charts to 5 Thumbs,so you'll have to adjust the rankings now.-)

  2. Oh no! How can this have happened? This is really screwing things up.

    Ah well... it is a great little tune ;-)

  3. Don't count your chickens just yet King.Take a look at my insidious plan to get "Tip Toe" to number one on this post -

    Wha...ha....ha .-)

  4. Blimey... I can't keep up with everything going on at the moment! Hot off the presses... I have the germ of an idea for a new year tune... But I'm not making any promises...