Image: Dylan Walker
Mr Solo, also known as The Vessel from cult favourites David Devant and his Spirit Wife, is an artist, as well as a musician, who on stage sports a cape, a rather dashing haircut and also, on occasion, wields a pink ukulele.
Ukulele porn managed to catch a minute with him for a short question and answer session.
1. How did you discover the ukulele?
MS: My friend and collaborator in David Devant and his Spirit Wife, Foz, was always encouraging me to get one and my inner cynic used to think that’s just a toy. Then one day I was doing an early Mr Solo gig at the Luminaire and saw the pink one in the window of a nearby music shop. It looked so delicious i had to have it.
2. What made you choose a pink ukulele?
The colour! Its the colour of strawberry ice cream and bubblegum as if it was a big slab of some kind of confectionery item. I think i was lucky in so much as it has a nice sound for a low priced Mahalo model. Its pretty robust too. i also bought the pink flying V model which looked lovely but sounded a bit thin. This was in no way why i gave it to Marc Riley as a gift/bribe.
3. Any favourite ukulele songs?
I hear the Beatles wrote a lot on ukes but I’m not really sure of any specific numbers. The uke is great for standards and I’m a big fan of the Mills Brothers (the very thought of you). Also really do like a lot of Formby songs (why don’t women like me?) but that’s banjolele isn’t it? er… Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
4. Does Mr. Solo have another album in the pipeline and will your pink ukulele feature?
Yes, there’s a new album in germination and one track is called the Half of It, featuring said pink uke. hear it here
5. Any other interesting instruments you own or would like to?
I have a stylophone and a Casio vl tone plus one of those Chinese banjos with a bow. You never know I might take up the saw but it takes strength. I love my little Kemble Minx Miniature upright piano. It has a great clear tone and is pretty good at staying in tune although this happens to be half a semi-tone below concert pitch. This made it fun to record with as we tuned everything else to it.
6. Considering the magnificence of your hair, do you take one bottle into the shower or two?
The bottles are generally already there in the shower at home. I’m not that keen on showering in swimming baths but if I have to it would be just the one- not wanting to linger.
7. Any gigs coming up?
30th Jan at the Pop Art anniversary at Bloomsbury bowling lanes and the 4th of Feb at The Miller in London Bridge.
8. What’s next for Mr Solo?
An opera called Russian Dolls plus more work with david devant and his spirit wife! more info here!