Gatherings of people playing popular modern songs together have been at the forefront of the recent ukulele revolution. It was therefore perhaps inevitable that a band would come along who would take that premise and transcend into one of the most entertaining acts on the ukulele circuit. From humble beginnings jamming punk tunes in The Royal Sovereign in 2011 to the release or their début album in 2014 punk rock is alive and well… Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Pukes.
“Too Drunk To Pluck” is a mixture of classic punk covers with some decent originals thrown in for good measure. Indeed it’s an accolade to report if you’re not au fait with punk’s back catalogue you probably won’t tell which songs are originals and which are not.
But for those of use who love to indulge in a retro snarl or two now and again there’s tracks from all the names you’d expect to see such as The Ramones, The Dead Kennedy’s, Peter & The Test Tube Babies and The Vibrators (the bassist of which, Pat Collier, produced the album).
The varying sized ukuleles are kept acoustic throughout the album, there’s no attempt to recreate the grunt of the original punk sound which only adds to the charm of this band. They’ve picked up the punk and ukulele mantle and taken the best elements of both to produce truly great music both accessible yet with a true punk attitude in the delivery. And nothing embodies punk more than picking up a uke, having a go and releasing your own record.
As well as being a hit in the ukulele world the album has been championed in the punk scene too and The Pukes have been regulars at Rebellion festival in Blackpool and have shows with Bad Manners and a tour of Germany coming up in 2016. A Christmas single is also imminent!
I love this album to bits and despite the lyrical content that often goes with punk, rather than enraging my pogo genes it has a real feel-good vibe to it. You are allowed to rebel AND smile aren’t you?
“Too Drunk To Pluck” can be purchased from The Pukes website where you’ll also find some tasty t-shirts and a list of up and coming gigs. Marvellous. You’ll also find the album on your streaming website.