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Ukulele Jam Session in the Queen of Hoxton

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by Nelson (subscribe)
Nelson Moura fought is way of his own mediocrity to become a respected journalist and social media guru. Or so he thinks. Born in Porto, Portugal in 1990 he decided to steer is chaotic writing towards journalism. Contact me if you need a review
Published July 17th 2012
Retro atmosphere for everybody

I love, you love, we all love Ukulele. You don´t need to be an overweight Hawaiian to enjoy this tiny guitar, you just have to take
yourself to local Shoreditch club Queen of Hoxton on a Monday night by 7pm. As a local writer/journalist/bum and consultant agent of adventure; I felt it was my duty to attend this classy event. This class comes from the WigWam Ukulele Jam Session.

Any interested parties must take the Northern Line and get out on its Easter station Old Street. Face the freezing winter wind right in the face; go deeper into the East End hearth down City Road; turn left in Worship Street and find the first building on Curtain Road. If you're more the lazy type just get out on Shoreditch High Street Overground Station and ask some Kebab Restaurant for directions.

By the late eighteen hundreds, Shoreditch and Hoxton were working class industrial areas; basically a slum ruled by criminals and prostitutes. The area didn't manage to straighten up until an influx of artists moved in during the '90s.

A bar without Table Football is like an ocean without fish. Lifeless

The art movement turned it into a part of the East End renaissance and the most recent playing grounds for hipsters and cultural activity in London. Full of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and art galleries.

Walking through the streets at night you really feel that a: you're going to be mugged, or b: watch a film projection of Walk the Line on the basement of some hip café with homemade popcorn.

I managed to not lose any of my fingers to the cold, so I could open the Queen of Hoxton ground floor door. A dark lounge bar with small tables, vintage pinball machines, table football and a retro Mega Drive playing station (with Sonic) were available. They have a mysterious downstairs area that leads to a basement space reserved for more house and rave nights. A dungeon for sweaty dancing.

After climbing the graffiti filled emergency stairs to the last floor,
you enter what can be described as the inside of an Indian tippy with a fluffy comfy floor and padded stools. That's where the Ukuleles come.

At long last I was handed a blue one and two ukulele old boys made their best to try to teach me the three chords for the Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Suddenly a serenade of people trying to get the melody right on their respective ukuleles filled the air. Fingers twitch and patience shatters but the waiters were extremely nice and they seem to be having as much fun as the clients.

They told me in the next two months the Queen of Hoxton will receive a series of sing-a-long's; flame-cooked feasts; lots of boozy treats; sausage-eating competitions; acoustic musicians, candle-lit sing-songs and readings. Sounds lovely.

The choices are immense in the rooftop while you practice your technique. You can forget the outside cold by drinking mull sider in the bar; and eat a bratwurst sausage cooked on the middle grill (their personal ring of fire) in this candle lighted cozy atmosphere. The rooftop garden is also a good option with his metal chairs, fountain and its Hoxton View, especially at day.

Then proximally by 9 we did our best impression of a Ukulele scout camp and played and sung the Man in Black song in a circle. When it's over you just don´t want to come back to the cold and you wander, "So…how much does a Ukulele cost?".

Pow How over sausages
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Where: Hoxton
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