Tuesday night, along with our Swiss friends D. and G., we attended what was (for us, anyway) the most eagerly anticipated Uppsala cultural event of the fall: the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, performing live at the Regina Theater.
They performed a number of their standards, like "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," and their "Life on Mars/My Way/Substitute/etc." medley. They also played a bunch of stuff we hadn't heard before, such as "Anarchy in the UK" performed in the style of a Simon and Garfunkle sing-along, "Pinball Wizard" as a sea chanty, and an old George Formby ukulele classic "Leaning on a Lamp Post" as Russian folk music (doing a pretty good balalaika impression). It was, in the words of the London Telegraph, a "plucking good time."
Well, that was the plan, anyway. While G. and I were ordering at the bar, one of the gentlemen at the next table struck up a conversation with D. and Jennifer. He turned out to be extremely talkative, and more than a little drunk. I never caught his name, but we did learn that he was a born-again ex-skinhead of Sami descent (and, in some ineffable way, also Jewish). He spent the next hour telling us all about his congregation back home (part of a Boulder, Colorado based Baptist splinter church), the superiority of Eastern spirituality to Western, and his Swedish folk/punk band; in fact, he spent so much time talking to us that eventually his drinking buddy, a young raggare* who never said a single word, got up and silently departed.
The Sami eventually got caught up in a confusing conversation with a waitress, in which he first needed to pay for his current beer, and then received another, larger beer he hadn't ordered and apparently didn't need to pay for; armed with his new beer and in need of a smoke, he eventually stumbled off. At that point we all decided to call it a night.
I leave you with one of my favorite UOGB numbers, unfortunately not on the playlist for us as Peter didn't come along for the Sweden tour: