Chonkinfeckle is a group from Wigan. I first came across them in September 2012 when I went down to Radio Lancashire to watch Sally Naden's show. I didn't need much persuading as I had read that ukuleles were involved. It was a really enjoyable show and with free entrance too. I didn't know it at the time but the three people who were sat in front of me in the audience were from Hebden Bridge and had (and still have) a large part to play in organising the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival. I know now because Tim Cooke (on the left in the photo below) told me at this week's Chonkin' Choons Day.
I came across Chonkifeckle again at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival last year and I have seen them at other festivals since then but this week I went to their open mic, Chonkin' Choons Day which is held every Tuesday at The Raven pub in Wigan. I had been told about it by a fellow ukulele player who had been there the previous week. What I hadn't realised was that this had been their first ever Chonkin' Choons Day. I received a report that it had been a great night and my experience of the second event couldn't have been more positive.
There are two things that stand out from Chonkinfeckle's open mic night and that is firstly that guitars are not allowed and secondly the group were very happy to support any participant. They didn't even need the music as a quick photo gave them all the information they wanted. Isn't technology wonderful!
I had taken my eight-string ukulele which sounds like a mandolin but is tuned like a ukulele and it seemed to go down well as three people told me they enjoyed my playing! There are open mic nights everywhere. There are even open mic nights like my local pub on Wednesdays that are mainly ukulele based. However you have to go a long way to find an open mic night which is led by such a great group which makes the journey from Morecambe to Wigan very short indeed. No doubt I will be making further visits to the Raven in the future and I can look forward to seeing Chonkinfeckle in a few weeks at the next Grand Northern Ukulele Festival.