The North of Bombay ukulele band is a group of seven Auckland-based musicians, which took shape in 2009 and which have now performed in a range of venues in the City of Sails and in the South Island. Five are music teachers, but the impetus for the ukulele band’s formation was a love and enjoyment of playing and singing together and the challenge of putting new material and uke-based treatments of cover material in front of a live audience.
At the core of the ukuele band is the C-Change duo of Clare McCormack and Caroline Zeeman, who, with Tony Ramsay (leader of Auckland jazz band Roundhouse) are responsible for the bulk of the band’s original material with songs such as “Poncho Rae”, “Wish”, “Ocean”, “Tropical Waiheke” and the award-winning “Misty Blue”, which takes its inspiration from the landscape of the West Coast of the South Island, and “Chapel of Ease”. The balance of the group is made up of Dan McCormack (tenor), Philippa Drake, (tenor), Millie Locke (soprano and melodica) and Terry Locke (baritone and banjo ukulele).
As a ukulele band, North of Bombay use a range of ukuleles: 6-string, baritone, bass, concert, soprano, tenor and banjo, which results in rich, layered music which is complemented by the vocal harmonies of what is effectively an septet. While it describes itself as a ukulele band, the group generally throws additional instruments into the mix, including a melodica, glockenspiel, African drums, flutes, tin whistles and other oddities.
The North of Bombay ukulele band repertoire is eclectic and, besides original material, includes songs from the Sixties to the present day and representing a wide range of genres. Putting it simply, there is something in the repertoire for everybody.
The band can be hired for concerts or concerts in combination with a quizz night (an offering which proved very popular during the band’s South Island tour in January, 2012. For inquires, please contact Caroline Zeeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Clare McCormack at email@example.com.
North of Bombay at the Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka, January, 2012:
Pipi, Tony, Dan, Clare, Caroline, Millie and Terry