I arrived at the gates ahead of schedule and I was really looking forward to playing the piano at Philipots Almshouses. It was a 90th birthday that I had been booked for and they were looking at having a Cockney themed party with a good old singalong. The gates looked as if they were locked as I looked at them from inside the car, but as I got out of the my vehicle I could see that they just had a sliding bolt fastener which was easily undone. I drove in and closed the gates behind me.
On arrival I was greeted by Richard (the birthday boy’s son). I was expecting to set up my digital piano, but I found that there was a piano there and it was OK to play. So I just set up a small PA system and a microphone on a stand. I need this just to get the singalong going and also so that I can encourage people to get up and help lead some of the songs.
As people started arriving I launched into some typical pub piano songs which I played in a true honky-tonk style. There were quite a lot of younger people there so I also played some more modern singalong tunes such as Sunny Afternoon, Let it Be, Wonderwall, Hey Jude and Uptown Girl. We finally came to the time for the song sheets which were the real old Cockney favorites. I don’t think that there was one person who didn’t join in with the singing. It really makes my job a lot easier when people participate so readily.
It was a real fun birthday party and Trevor (the birthday boy) really got into the spirit of things.