Sometimes I forget that there was a time when I didn't play ukulele. How on earth did I pass the time back then?! Oh yes! Listening to the eternally adorable and quirky Rocky and Balls!
If you haven't heard of this delightful duo I wouldn't be surprised — to my great dismay they stopped making music quite a few years ago. But their brilliant, humourous and enlightening songs were the soundtrack to my teenage years and are still a joy to listen to on a rainy Sunday afternoon (or any other day of the week).
Rocky and Balls was made up of Hannah Rockcliffe and Sophie Madeleine. It's hard to find information about them after so many years (both on the internet and in my brain) but from what I remember, the lovely ladies met at university, hit it off and used their musical powers to spread happiness, love and beard appreciation.
Their original songs covered all manner of things, from cakes to moustaches to the oh-so wonderful Murder, She Wrote. Every tune is a charming musical journey for the ears, with the pair having a distinct skill in matching chucklesome lyrics, captivating melodies and their harmonious voices to create wonderful music.
My particular favourites were The Mo Song, The Murder She Wrote Song and I <3 U Online, all of which can be found on the album We Like Cakes and Beards and Stuff. The Mo Song was actually released as a charity single to raise money for the now well-known Movember movement!
It is certainly worth your time to listen to every single one of their songs and revel in the marvellous, whimsical world that they create. I am often still caught singing The Murder She Wrote Song - it's just so catchy!
Another great thing about Rocky and Balls songs - they're super fun to play and sing yourself! A few of the chord sheets can be found on UkuleleHunt, and most of the YouTube videos have the chords and lyrics in the information below the video. I have spent many an afternoon strumming along to Love Cake and trying to replicate the kazoo sound without a kazoo.
After Rocky and Balls stopped making music together, the ladies went their separate ways and continued making music separately.
Sophie Madeleine had a few solo albums — all as charming as the songs she co-created while part of Rocky and Balls — before retiring from music (again, why are you doing this to me?!). Her songs can be listened to on YouTube and on Spotify, and chord sheets for a few of her songs are available on UkuleleHunt as well.
Hannah also released some EPs and an album and more recently has been performing at weddings, amongst other things.
So there we have it, a little note to remember the brilliant duo who introduced me to the wonders of ukulele music. Thank you Rocky and Balls! And reader, I implore you to go and listen to at least one of their songs. In fact, listen to all of them and let me know which is your favourite on Instagram (@UkuleleBeth)!
Thanks for reading :)