Ukuleles have been enjoying a renaissance lately.
Nelson has its Ukulele Orchestra and The Plinkers; Motueka its Ukes of Hazard.
Ukulele acts pop up regularly on the gig calendar, attracting those who enjoy the feel-good, catchy sound.
More of that is guaranteed this Friday when California-based duo Uni and Meredith roll into town at an Australasian end-of-summer tour.
They are hitching here, so the door charge is only $10.
Uni has opened for the likes of James Brown, Huey Lewis, Kids in the Hall's Scott Thompson, Ray Charles, The Four Tops, Tower of Power, Coco Taylor, Sean Hayes and Jollie Holland.
Like so much these days, her Nelson date started with YouTube. Nelson ukulele enthusiast Simon Jones invited Uni – born as Heather Ellison – to Nelson after watching her "super-cute pop ditties" on the internet.
"A year later I got an email from her saying, `We're in Auckland and can you organise a gig in Nelson'?"
He says he'd never had anything to do with music until picking up a ukulele a year ago, so it's "been a steep learning curve".
A flustered Mr Jones thought immediately of the Boathouse.
The venue had previously hosted the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra, who filmed one of their music videos through its unique porthole doors.
Mr Jones thought they'd be the perfect fit. "I think we are very lucky to have her come to Nelson," he says.
Boathouse manager Ali Howard agreed saying the pair seemed "really quirky and fun".
"I thought it would suit the Boathouse, which is kind of a quirky place of character," she says.
Uni's San Franciscan co-singer will be Meredith Axelrod, who sings old American pop songs from the 1890s through to the 1930s, including ragtime, jug-band, blues, pop and jazz learned from original 78 records.
- Uni and her Ukulele and Meredith Axelrod, The Boathouse, Friday April 9. Doors open 6pm, music starts 8pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News