E1 establishment The Duke Of Uke began life five years ago as a shop and community hub for lovers of the famed stringed instrument. As well as selling and advising on ukes, the store holds music nights, has a recording studio for hire and provides tuition both within the store and in local schools.
As Londonist's Max Moritz notes in some detail, the ukulele has seen a marked rise in popularity in recent years; the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain frequently sell out wherever around the world they play and the instrument is the chosen weapon of cabaret stars including Tricity Vogue and Des O'Connor.
In a story reminiscent of many a movie, their landlord has responded to the rise in the popularity of the area by giving them notice in order to expand his own empire and the Duke is now being forced to find a new duchy. Without the profits or spare funds to begin again from scratch, they are raising cash through selling T-shirts and holding shows, the first of which is tonight at the premises of their neighbour, creative agency Wieden+Kennedy. Titled "A celebration of the ukulele", there will be entertainment from Lulu and the Lampshades, Katey Brooks and the W+K Ukulele Orchestra as well as wine, beer and a raffle.
Tickets are £10+booking fee and are available here.