Sing-Along Pianist http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk Good Old Fashioned Pub Entertainment Sat, 16 Jun 2018 10:38:39 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.11 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/cropped-bowler-32x32.jpg Sing-Along Pianist http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk 32 32 10th March 2018 – 70th Birthday at the Brewery Tap, Ware – Cockney Singalong with Piano http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/10th-march-2018-70th-birthday-at-the-brewery-tap-ware-cockney-singalong-with-piano/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/10th-march-2018-70th-birthday-at-the-brewery-tap-ware-cockney-singalong-with-piano/#respond Sun, 11 Mar 2018 11:18:51 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1316 […]]]> The Brewery Tap, Ware
The Brewery Tap, Ware

I travel all over the country playing the piano in many different areas. Most of the time I’m visiting a venue for the first time and the only time. There are so many pubs, golf clubs, hotels, social clubs and place for social gatherings throughout the country that it would be impossible to visit them all and the chances of visiting a venue for a second time are quite slim. Quite a few venues put me on their recommended suppliers list and this means that I get the chance to play the piano at the venue a number of times.

It isn’t uncommon for me to set off to a gig without really knowing exactly where I’m going and what the parking is going to be like when I get there. It is usually a case of setting off really early, putting a postcode in the SatNav and setting off. As a back up I also take a good old fashioned road atlas and a mobile phone with a venue contact number, but most of the time I rely on the SatNav getting me there.

Yesterday’s gig was different. Over the years I’ve played the piano on two occasions in Ware, and yesterday was the second occasion. This time I had been hired for a 70th birthday at The Brewery Tap and I was already clued up about the venue’s location and the parking available. You see the first occasion I had been hired in Ware was as a singalong pianist at Ware Priory only three weeks previous (please see Blog Entry) and I used this as an opportunity to find  The Brewery Tap (which was only a matter of yards from the venue I was performing at) and I also found a public car park just behind the pub.

Being so well informed was unusual and I felt an air of confidence as I parked my car in the car park behind the venue.  I then proceeded to the Cellar Bar which was just to the rear of the pub. It was quite a small venue, but certainly large enough for fifty people which was the number of people I was expecting. I set up my piano and just used a small amplifier which was more than powerful enough for the size of the room. I then waited for the first people to arrive.

After a while I heard some chatter and laughter coming from the top of the stone steps that led down into the Cellar Bar. I immediately went to my place behind the piano and started to play some typical pub piano tunes to get the ball rolling for the entrance of the first guests. After a couple of minutes the first people entered the room and that was the start of the party. The Cellar Bar gradually filled and I carried on playing until I received a cue from the host to start handing out the first song sheet. Once all these had been handed out we proceeded to start at the beginning of the song sheet. We had quite a lot of Londoners in the crowd and they were very eager to show me that they knew some alternative words to the songs. Some of the words weren’t exactly for the ears of the prudish and I won’t attempt to quote any of them here. After that I gave the guests around 15 minutes break before handing out a second song sheet. They sang this song sheet with even more enthusiasm than the first and everyone cheered and clapped when I played the last resounding chord of “Show Me the Way to Go Home”. It wasn’t long before everyone started to look for their coats and to go home. The birthday boy, who had smiled throughout the entire evening, was also ready to go home and he certainly looked as if he had enjoyed himself. It wasn’t long before it was my turn and I started to pack up all my gear. It had been a wonderful party and quite a few people had taken my business card.

I drove home with the strains of Cockney songs going through my mind and some of the alternative lyrics that I’d heard kept coming into my head. It’s really funny how it is so easy to remember things that you shouldn’t.

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15th February – Joint 90th/50th Birthday at Ware Priory, Hertfordshire – Piano Music During Dinner and for Singalong http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/15th-february-joint-90th50th-birthday-at-ware-priory-hertfordshire-piano-music-during-dinner-and-for-singalong/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/15th-february-joint-90th50th-birthday-at-ware-priory-hertfordshire-piano-music-during-dinner-and-for-singalong/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:11:28 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1283 […]]]> Ware Priory, Hertfordshire
Ware Priory, Hertfordshire

Having arrived at Ware Priory in plenty of time I set up my piano and all the rest of my gear at the front of the function room. It took me about forty minutes to set up so I was well ahead of schedule. I had plenty of time so I had a walk around Ware and returned to the venue about twenty minutes before I was due to start my performance.

It was quite a large room, but the size of the room didn’t really give me any idea of how many people were going to come to this party. As the first guests arrived I started playing the piano and people just kept coming and coming. I couldn’t believe how many people came along to this birthday party. The room was absolutely packed. I was working alongside a DJ and we were alternating sets. The idea was to play background music for the first part of the evening and then change into my Cockney outfit (Bowler hat, waistcoat, neckerchief, watch chain etc.) for a good old Cockney knees up towards the end of the evening.

Eventually the time came for me to go and get changed. There were so many people there that I really had to fight my way through the throng to where I was going to get changed. After I’d changed I started to make my way back to where my piano was set up. By now I was starting to worry about giving out the song sheets as it would be a very difficult task. Luckily Ann who had organised the party sorted all this out for me and got a few more people on to the task. It took quite a while, but the song sheets were all handed out and we started the singalong. I’ve got to say that their enthusiasm was overwelming. Because of the sheer number of people, the volume was quite intense. Eventually we got to the end of the song sheet and it was time for me to pack up and go home.

I know that Joan had a wonderful 90th birthday party and I also know that Sam had a wonderful 50th. I know because they told me so. Many happy returns to them both and I hope that Ann books me again for another get together.

Ware Priory Contact Details:

Address: Ware Priory, High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9AL
Telephoner: 01920 460316
Email: events@warepriory.co.uk
Web: www.warepriory.co.uk

 

 

 

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12th February – Masonic Function at Giacomo’s in Sevenoaks Weald, Kent – Piano Music During Dinner and for Singalong http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/12th-february-masonic-function-at-giacomos-in-sevenoaks-weald-kent-piano-music-during-dinner-and-for-singalong/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/12th-february-masonic-function-at-giacomos-in-sevenoaks-weald-kent-piano-music-during-dinner-and-for-singalong/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:56:40 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1278 […]]]> Giacomo`s Ristorante Italiano
Giacomo`s Ristorante Italiano

I suppose that I had been playing the piano for about ten minutes when I realised that this was the perfect gig. It was a masonic event at Giacomo’s in Sevenoaks Weald, Kent. It’s so nice to perform for appreciative people and this audience was amazing. Also, Giacomo and Daniella, the owners of this fabulous place, were  making everyone feel very welcome. As I said earlier, it was a masonic do, but it wasn’t a formal one and most of the people there were quite casually dressed. The whole event had a really friendly vibe about it and everyone chatted freely – even to me the pianist!

I was seated at a lovely grand piano and I started the evening off just playing background music through the meal. I remember playing a mixture of music from swing and Rat Pack numbers to songs by Billy Joel and The Beatles. I couldn’t help notice that quite a few people were quietly singing along to these songs. If they were singing along to the tunes that I had been playing, I was sure that with a little bit of encouragement and a change of music I could get every one singing along. That’s what I had in mind anyway.

After the dessert they had a few speeches, a game of bingo and a few other things going on, so I took a break from the piano. During this period I was fed and I must say the food was exceptional. I can see why people have to book so far in advance to get a table. After I had eaten I changed into my Cockney outfit (Bowler hat, waistcoat, neckerchief etc.) and waited for the next part of the evening.

The time soon came and with some help I handed out the song sheets and sat down at the piano again. I explained to everyone what we were going to do before launching into the first song. The first song on the song sheet was Lambeth Walk and they all sang with great enthusiasm. Everyone sang along – and I mean everyone! They kept the same level of enthusiasm up for the rest of the song sheet and also through the following song sheet. They raised the roof and Giacomo (the restaurant owner) also joined in with the singing.

It had been a wonderful evening, and as always I felt sorry when the whole event came to a close. I hope that Anderida Masonic Lodge book me again for any future events and I also hope that I get the opportunity to perform at Giacomo’s again.

 

Giacomo’s has developed quite a reputation in the Sevenoaks area and you will have to book well in advance to get a table at this amazing restaurant. Here are their contact details:

Giacomo`s Ristorante Italiano
Ristorante Italiano Morleys Road
Weald Sevenoaks
Kent TN14 6QR

info@giacomos.uk.com
Web: giacomos.uk.com
Telephone: 01732 746200

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27th December 2017 – 70th Birthday Party at The Marksman, East End, London – Pub Pianist for Singalong http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/27th-decembr-2017-70th-birthday-party-at-the-marksman-east-end-london-pub-pianist-for-singalong/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/27th-decembr-2017-70th-birthday-party-at-the-marksman-east-end-london-pub-pianist-for-singalong/#respond Thu, 28 Dec 2017 10:03:44 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1268 […]]]> Piano Keys

Last night’s gig required me to play the piano for a Cockney singalong for a 70th birthday party. The venue was The Marksman, in Hackney, London and it was a proper pub with a great atmosphere. The birthday boy was an East End lad and wanted a typical pub pianist to play all the old singalong songs. For this type of event I usually start off by playing some pub songs on the piano, before handing out some song sheets. When I’ve handed out the song sheets I often have to be quite persuasive to get everyone started, but on this occasion everyone started singing as soon as I started playing. They raised the roof and I’m sure that people passing the pub by must have been surprised to hear the sounds of what a typical East End pub sounded like fifty years ago.

I hope that the birthday boy and his friends had a truly wonderful time and it would be good to booked for another of their parties in the future.

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23rd December – Christmas Piano Led Singalong at The Bullshead, Fishbourne, West Sussex http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/23rd-december-christmas-piano-led-singalong-at-the-bullshead-fishbourne-west-sussex/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/23rd-december-christmas-piano-led-singalong-at-the-bullshead-fishbourne-west-sussex/#respond Sun, 24 Dec 2017 10:26:11 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1297 […]]]> The Bulls Head, Fishbourne
The Bulls Head, Fishbourne

Last night’s visit to The Bulls Head at Fishbourne, West Sussex was really enjoyable and I look forward to visiting this great pub again. I was booked to conduct a piano led Christmas singalong which was to cover all the old Cockney favourites plus loads of Christmas songs and carols.

I started setting up my digital piano and microphone before sorting out all my song sheets. I was just about ready, so all I needed was some enthusiasm from my audience. When I started walking around the pub and handing out the song sheets I noticed that nearly everyone in the pub wanted to take one. We were definitely off to a good start. A couple didn’t take them because they didn’t have their spectacles and one small group were only staying for another few minutes.

I was now ready to start. I played the introduction to Lambeth Walk on the piano and people gradually joined in, but they didn’t exactly raise the roof. We got throught the first song sheet and then quite a large crowd of people came into the pub. The group of people wanted to know what was going on, and when they found out what was happening, they really wanted to join in singing along to the piano. I plugged in an extra couple of microphones and I found that I now had people wanting to use them to help lead the singalong. We were now rocking! Everyone now seemed to let go of their inhibitions and the atmoshere was incredible. We ploughed through traditional carols and Christmas songs such as: “Away in a Manger” to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” plus many other singalong songs such as: “My Old Man’s a Dustman” and “I’ve Got a Lovely Buch of Cocoanuts”.

It was a great night and Paul Tidey (the landlord) wants to book me again next Christmas.

The Bulls Head is a Fullers pub and is well worth a visit. Here are more details:

The Bull’s Head
Fishbourne Road
Fishbourne
Chichester
Sussex
PO19 3JP

Email: enquiries@bullsheadfishbourne.net

Telephone: 01243 839895

Web: www.bullsheadfishbourne.net/

 

 

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14th December – The Swan, Isleworth – Piano Music During Lunch and Cockney Singalong http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/14th-december-the-swan-isleworth-piano-music-during-lunch-and-cockney-singalong/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/14th-december-the-swan-isleworth-piano-music-during-lunch-and-cockney-singalong/#respond Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:57:07 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1304 […]]]> The Swan Inn, Isleworth
The Swan Inn, Isleworth

On arrival at the venue I was greeted with the smiling face of Pete the manager. He had booked me to play the piano for a lunchtime event and then an evening singalong. The venue was The Swan Inn in Isleworth, Middlesex and I was really looking forward to performing here after such a warm welcome.

I had temporarily stopped my car outside the pub and I unloaded my gear. I then proceeded to to find a parking space which wasn’t that easy. I ended up parking quite a long way from the pub. It was quite a nice day and the sky was clear so I didn’t mind th walk back. I eventually arrived back and I set up my piano and other equipment in the space that had been designated for me.

By now it was nearly time for the group of people to arrive for the lunchtime party. The group of people were associated with Isleworth & Hounslow Charity Ltd which provides affordable accommodation for people in housing need and financial need. It was now 2pm and first people were just starting to arrive so I took my place by the piano and started playing a few tunes. All that they wanted was some background music while they had lunch, so I played some jazz and swing numbers from the Great American Song Book as it’s often called. You know the kind of thing I mean. Music by Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and the other composers that produced the songs that were sung by the likes of Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. All in all it was a really nice and easy event to play for and everyone was really amiable. I suppose that I played for about an hour before they had a speeches and I then finished off with some more music before they all left at around 4pm.

Pete then provided me with a Christmas dinner that was absolutely delicious and was most welcome. I then had about three hours to kill before my 8pm evening stint. I went for a walk which killed some time before retuning to The Swan and doing some work on my laptop.

The time went quickly and I had about 20 minutes to go before I started my Cockney singalong, so I got changed into my Cockney gear ready for the big moment. My audience wasn’t very big so I just started playing background honky-tonk piano in the hope that the audience would get a bit bigger before I started handing out the song sheets. It did happen and I ended up with quite a number of really keen singers. I set another 2 microphones and people really enjoyed getting up and leading the singing with the microphones. The evening got better and better as more and more people joined in. I finished playing around 12pm and the evening was an absolute success. Pete said that he would definitely book me again – which is good news!

The The Swan Inn is definitely worth a visit so here are some  contact details:

The Swan Inn
Swan Street
Isleworth
Middlesex
TW7 6RJ

Telephone: 20 8847 4805
Email: info@theswaninnpub.com
Web: www.theswaninnpub.com/ and www.swaninnisleworth.co.uk/

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Coming Up… Singalong Night at the Camden Arms, Pembury, Kent – Cockney Singalong with Piano http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-camden-arms-pembury-kent-cockney-singalong-with-piano/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-camden-arms-pembury-kent-cockney-singalong-with-piano/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 15:46:56 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1240 […]]]> Coming Up…

Come and Join Us For a Christmas Cockney Singalong Night

on Sunday 24th December 2017 from 8:30pm – 10:30pm

The Camden Arms
The Camden Arms

With Eugene Portman on Piano

At the Camden Arms

Entry is free and song sheets will be provided.

Contact information for the Camden Arms is as follows:

The Camden Arms
High Street
Pembury
Kent TN2 4PH

email: food@camdenarms.co.uk
Telephone: 01892 822012
Web: http://www.camdenarms.co.uk/

 

 

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Coming Up… Singalong Night at the Bulls Head, Fishbourne, West Sussex – Cockney Singalong with Piano http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-bulls-head-fishbourne-west-sussex-cockney-singalong-with-piano/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-bulls-head-fishbourne-west-sussex-cockney-singalong-with-piano/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 15:30:57 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1235 […]]]> Coming Up…

Come and Join Us For a Christmas Cockney Singalong Night

With Eugene Portman on Piano

At the Bulls Head

The Bulls Head, Fishbourne
The Bulls Head, Fishbourne

on Saturday 23rd December 2017 from 8pm – 11pm

Entry is free and song sheets will be provided.

Contact the Bull Head as follows:

01243 839895

enquiries@bullsheadfishbourne.net

Web: www.bullsheadfishbourne.net

Address: The Bulls Head, 99 Fishbourne Road, Chichester, West Sussex. PO19 3JP

 

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Coming Up… Singalong Night at the The Ash Tree, Ashford, Middlesex – Cockney Singalong with Piano http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-ash-tree-ashford-middlesex-cockney-singalong-with-piano/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-ash-tree-ashford-middlesex-cockney-singalong-with-piano/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:23:14 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1229 […]]]> Coming Up…

Come and Join Us For a Cockney Singalong Night

With Eugene Portman on Piano

At The Ash Tree, Convent Road, Ashford, Middlesex, TW15 2HW

The Ash Tree, Ashford, Middlesex
The Ash Tree, Ashford, Middlesex

 

on Friday 22nd December from 8pm – 11pm

Free entry and song sheets will be provided.

Contact the Ash Tree by telephone on 01784 424610

or by email at ashtree@fullers.co.uk

or visit their website at www.ashtree-ashford.co.uk/

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Coming Up… Singalong Night at the Swan Inn, Isleworth, London – Cockney Singalong with Piano http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-swan-inn-isleworth-london-cockney-singalong-with-piano/ http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/coming-up-singalong-night-at-the-swan-inn-isleworth-london-cockney-singalong-with-piano/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:58:53 +0000 http://www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk/?p=1224 […]]]> Coming Up…

Join Us for a Cockney Knees Up

At the Swan Inn, 1 Swan Street, Isleworth, London TW7 6RJ

The Swan Inn, Isleworth
The Swan Inn, Isleworth

 

on 14th December from 8pm – 10pm

Free entry and song sheets will be provided.

Contact the Swan by telephone on 020 8847 4805

or by email at info@theswaninnpub.com

or visit their website at www.swaninnisleworth.co.uk/

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