Featured Band FU*K
Photo Credit James Millar
FU*K - Fagersta Ukulele Klubb
We had the great pleasure of bumping into this unique band while at this year's GNUF. FU*K, otherwise known as the Fagersta Ukulele Klubb, consists of six Swedish guys with ukuleles. Clad in kilts and converses, they never fail to carry you away with their fantastic foot tapping sound, while having a whole bunch of fun!
Starting out in their hometown of Fagersta, FU*K have taken Sweden by storm and are now appearing at ukulele venues across the world. Look out for their black limousine tour car near you soon.
Photo Credit Joakim Abrahamsson
How was GNUF and your time in England?
We had so much fun and we loved every second of it. Even to go back to Manchester in the morning and to pick up the cajon that we had lost at the airport was an adventure with a “happy ending”. There were so many people with the same interest and so many good acts. We also did our first (but not last) workshop and I think we enjoyed it more than the participants - and they loved it! The GNUF team with Mary Agnes Krell did a fantastic job.
How did you first get together?
It all started on New Year’s Eve back in 2009 when some friends had a nice evening (or should I say very early morning) and just decided that they should start a band. Some had played in other bands before and some had never even seen an instrument before (not 100% true though). So the choice of instrument had to be something that was easy to learn. We started to practice random days during the week and suddenly we were a group of grown up men playing ukuleles as an excuse to hold a whiskey club! But from time to time the ukuleles were practiced and we actually started to play some tunes/songs, then it started to sound pretty good. The random days continued but we had a problem that needed to be solved which was to find a good time and place to meet. Sometimes the problem was too hard to solve and the number of ukulele players dwindled to only a few. These days we have a fixed day. Every Thursday at 8pm.
What style of music do you like to play?
We usually say that we play everything, but we don’t. We play the songs that we like and it’s a wide range of different styles, genres and artists. Mostly covers, we have done a few own songs, but it’s very seldom that we play them live. There are so many other good songs, no opera songs though...doesn’t sound that good with only ukuleles…but maybe that’s not true since one of our absolute favourite uke bands is Opera-lele.
What or who has influenced the band the most?
We must say that we are a rock band and everything we have learned and been influenced by are famous rock documentaries, the best rock concerts/acts and we really try to imitate the poses and moves but have yet to succeed! There are not many bands from the ukulele stage that we have been influenced by other than one in Sweden, Robin Tesch, a.k.a. Baronen. He plays some old heavy metal songs that we really enjoy but before we heard him for the first time we were already doing our own thing. As of today, we are mostly influenced by ourselves and usually say that as long as we have more fun than the audience we just keep on rockin´.
How popular is the ukulele in Sweden?
There is a ukulele stage in Sweden and a lot of small communities around Sweden where people meet to play ukulele. We have done a few gigs arranged by the enthusiast Robert Hultman from Ukulelekommissionen, Stockholm. They also arranged for us to meet with Tony Coleman and to play at the premiere of the movie “The Mighty Uke” in Stockholm.
The kilts have become your trademark, whose idea was it to wear them?
Kilts must be the most perfect outfit to have as a rock band. It is tough, it makes people smile and you feel a little rebellious. It is much more convenient to wear without underwear than anything else on the market.
Photo Credit James Millar
What do you do outside of playing in the band?
Oh, what a question! We are too many members to answer that. Hahahaha… Some of us have other music projects on the side and some of us are in a soccer team and/or floorball trainers. Since we are from Sweden, all of us like skiing and we do that for at least 9 months a year.
What advice do you have for people who want to make playing the ukulele into more than a hobby?
Quit school (not you Eddie). We think that the most important thing is to have fun. If you enjoy and love what you do and it shows, people appreciate it. People enjoy different things, some like to watch extremely talented musicians, some like the emotions you put out.
Where have you travelled and what is your most memorable experience?
Jamacia, US, Spain, Greece, Italy, India, Maldives, Australia, Russia, South Africa and many more but with the band…not so many. Besides UK (Hollesley 2012, GNUF 2016 and 17) and the Baltic Sea (Rock at Sea) we have just played various cities and villages in Sweden. One of the most memorable experiences was when a Swede with a Finnish accent passed us on a street in Örebro on a bike. He totally randomly shouted "Playing bagpipes!" We completely rid ourselves of laughter and that is something we will never, never, ever forget.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plans were to take the summer off and just rehearse some new songs, but it looks like we will do a couple of gigs for some business and private parties. We will see what comes up or down…
Find out more about Fagersta Ukulele Klubb here: