Spending my student years bouncing around the 1990’s I have an affinity with many bands of that era including the happy Britpop end of the scale with the likes of parklife protagonists Blur through to the bleak offerings of Smashing Pumpkins. If I were pushed to choose a word to sum up 90’s music however it would be “grunge” of course, spearheaded by the legendary Nirvana. If anyone spoke for that generation it was Kurt Cobain (maybe Billy Corgan).
Hit FF on my aging 90’s cassette player further into the C90 of my musical journey (so far!) and we reach my modern passion, that of the wonderful ukulele and all who play it. So how sweet, how perfect, indeed how exciting to come across a brilliantly played YouTube video of Nirvana’s time-honored Come As You Are.
Rawuke hails from Dingolfing, a small village in lower Bavaria and judging by the wall behind him in his videos has a wonderful collection of ukes. This chap does one thing, and he does it rather well. He arranges well known rock songs for solo and instrumental ukulele, squeezes in a huge amount of passion and commitment into each song and he pops them up on YouTube.
There are some great performances on his channel including Iron Maiden, The Cranberries and KISS but it was his cover of Come As You Are that made me an instant fan. He rather cleverly manages to meld the riff and melody into a clearly recognisable arrangement whilst instilling a profusion of rock feel, the beat constantly punctuated with percussive chunks. Indeed he has mastered this approach in most of his arrangements and it’s always genuinely pleasing to me when I come across an artist who has crafted a true personalised stamp on their music.
I thoroughly love Nirvana’s Come As You Are and Rawuke’s version is a terrific adaptation that loses none of the original’s existential power despite being scaled down to a solo ukulele performance. A simply capital video backed by a YouTube channel of some absolute corkers!
There’s only one place to see Rawuke on the web… get yourself over to YouTube and turn it up!