My work as a sing-along pianist
Cockney, Sing-along and pub pianist
Eugene Portman is now in great demand!
My work as a musician has changed dramatically over the years as well as being hired, in my usual role, as a jazz/cocktail pianist, I am now being hired to play the piano for many sing-along knees ups. This latest trend is something quite new for me and I am finding it to be a very interesting and a very enjoyable experience.
A London pub was the first to hire me as a sing-along pianist and as my repertoire has grown I now promote myself for all types of Cockney, London and wartime themed events. I am now providing entertainment for these events in Birmingham, West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and other areas of the UK.
I have various different song sheets for different occasions and I play for Cockney theme evenings, ‘Pie and Mash’ afternoons, Country and Western parties, wartime themed events i.e. VE Day celebrations. Singalongs have become so popular that they have been incorporated into birthday parties, Christmas parties, Burn’s Night, Masonic dinners and even Weddings.
Who’s a Cheeky Chappy!
Pub Pianists in the Past
There was a day when nearly every pub had a piano (or ‘Joanna’) in it and everyone would get around it and sing all the old Cockney favourites. London pub pianists were renowned throughout the country and the East End was considered the Mecca for this style of entertainment. Although London seemed to have more pubs with pianists per square mile, the rest of the country also had their fair share of places where you could go and have a good ol sing-song. At one time sing-a-long pianists could be heard on the the radio and entertainers such as Mrs Mills and Russ Conway were very successful in their day. Many people had a piano in their homes and before the days of TV everyone used to sing and play musical instruments. Yes, they used to make their own entertainment then as you’ve probably heard many times.
Modern Trends – X Factor and Karaoke
Today’s activities seem to mainly involve playing with computers, game consoles and watching the telly. Popular shows including X Factor and the Voice are encouraging us to get out there and sing. Just look how many people are watching X Factor, making Karaokes even more popular – especially in the north of England. The only problem with Karaokes is that the only person singing is the one on the microphone and usually that person is the only one enjoying it. An old fashioned sing song, a sing-a-long allows everyone to sing at the same time and there is nothing like that sound of an honky-tonk pianist churning out those old songs. Whatever the event, whether it’s for Christmas or someones birthday – people like to have a sing-song especially with a pianist.
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Here are some of the areas I cover
London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Essex, Kent, Merseyside, Liverpool, South Yorkshire, Hampshire, Lancashire, Surrey Sing-along Pianist, Essex, Tyne and Wear, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Sussex, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Cornwall, Somerset, East Sussex, County Durham, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Bristol and Avon, Dorset, East Riding of Yorkshire, Cheshire West, Northumberland, Nottingham, Leicester, Shropshire, South Gloucestershire, Hull, Brighton & Hove, Plymouth, Bath and North Somerset, Herefordshire, Peterborough, Bournemouth, Southend-on-Sea, Wokingham, Telford and Wrekin, North Lincolnshire, Bedford, Thurrock, North East Lincolnshire, Reading, Berkshire, Middlesbrough, Poole, Isle of Wight, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen, Redcar and Cleveland, Torbay, Slough, Halton, Bracknell Forest, Darlington, Hartlepool, Rutland