Red piano & vocals at Liverpool Wedding Show

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Last weekend, I finally unveiled my new RED piano. Yay! BLISS had asked me to perform in the VIP Lounge at the Liverpool Wedding Show. It looked amazing (see above) and guests really loved this new addition. I’ve had my other white baby grand piano for 15 years now. But this one is very RED and very SHINY!

The piano can be set up anywhere. We transport it with the legs off so it can fit through a single door. Once on site, set-up takes about 20 minutes. Repertoire can be anything from background to full-on party and singalong! There are thousand of songs in my playlists.

So imagine:
a) you’re having a red colour scheme,
b) you support the reds,
c) you’re planning a Christmas party or
d) you just want something original and different…

How about a guy in a hat singing and playing your favourite songs on a red piano? x

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[Special shout out to John Stock for his help with the piano.]

Wedding piano in Leasowe Castle’s new “Keep”

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A white wedding piano for a white wedding? I set up my white piano in Leasowe Castle‘s new “Keep” the other week. What a fantastic space! It’s so light and fresh and looks even more stunning when dressed with bows and flowers. Absolutely beautiful!

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This 21st century addition to the 16th century Castle has the feel of a very modern chapel. It was just completed at the beginning of June 2015. The original pews and vaulted ceiling help create a beautiful setting for your civil ceremony especially when dressed with the sashes and bows (see below). The white wedding piano is an elegant addition to the “stage” area and fits perfectly with the room’s neutral tones.

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I have performed in all of the function rooms at the Castle: ceremonies inside and outside in the garden pergola; wedding breakfasts in the Castle Suite; private dinner parties in the Star Chamber and Portcullis Restaurant; Christmas parties upstairs in the Turret Suite… It is a fantastic venue for your wedding whether your party is large or small.

I’m back there tomorrow in fact! Hope to see you at the next Leasowe Castle wedding fair on September 20th 2015 x

Fiona & Ian’s Sheldrakes Wedding

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Sheldrakes wedding entertainment: piano & vocals

At last Saturday’s Sheldrakes wedding in Heswall, I provided the entertainment for Fiona and Ian’s party.
They had actually got married 2 weeks earlier in Las Vegas. This was to be their UK wedding reception.

I had performed at several Sheldrakes weddings before but they had been downstairs. Using the disabled lift, I loaded the piano up to the new function suite on the first floor. What a view! It was a stunning, bright, sunny day and the room was absolutely perfect.

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Sheldrakes wedding entertainment: view from the balcony

I’d just started my 2nd set when everybody rushed out to the balcony! Everyone had been really enjoying the music up to that point. Was it the Take That medley?

But then I saw the paragliders fly past (see right) and I stopped playing to take a photo too. These guys were pretty close and flew past 3 or 4 times! How cool is that!

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Once everyone had enjoyed the stunning sunset, it was time for the first dance and then some serious charts for the younger guests. Once the lights go down, it has a great small bar / club feel. It’s a great live music venue. So with several more Sheldrakes weddings booked in for 2015, good times lie ahead. Good times!
Vivan los novios! All the best to Fiona & Ian. Thank you for a great party xx

Frozen Piano Player

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Last Thursday, I was the Frozen piano player down in Gloucester for a corporate event for Nationwide. The plan was for some background music during dinner and then a bit of live karaoke around the piano. The team also had a traditional karaoke with larger screens set up for later…
Now, for a singer and pianist corporate events can be either quite formal or totally nuts! This event turned out to be Option 2. Hosts Maggie & Chris were keen to get the singing started right after dinner. They had prepared some carol sheets so that everybody could join in.
Once everyone was warmed up around the Frozen piano (you see what I did there?), the requests started coming in: Living On A Prayer, All You Need Is Love, Hey Jude, Build Me Up Buttercup, Delilah, American Pie, etc. I never expected these diners to order so much cheese! Nobody wanted to know about “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” – Livin’ On A Prayer! Ha ha!
Finally, after a great night, it was time to dismantle the piano and head home. Wish I had some better shots of the evening’s action… What’s that you say? Father Christmas might be bringing a GoPro? Oh, just 3 more sleeps… Merry Christmas everyone! x

Si & Claire’s Thornton Manor Wedding Entertainment

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At Thornton Manor wedding entertainment is a key element on the day. I’ve just got back from Si and Claire’s wedding and what a belter it was!

I had initially chatted with Si & Claire just under a year ago at a bridal fayre. They loved the idea of having someone playing and singing their favourite songs on a 6ft white baby grand piano. I was duly booked to perform during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast to help create the mood they wanted for their special day in the Lakeside Marquee.

As soon as the guests arrived for the drinks reception, I spotted two of my favourite wedding peeps: Mark Anson from Classic Bridal Cars and Phil Ritchie from Prestige Wedding Video & Photography. These guys are also born entertainers so the party was in full swing in no time.

Si and Claire liked a lot of the Rat Pack and swing repertoire, so I included a lot of that in my sets. Guests on the day also requested songs like All of Me (John Legend), A Thousand Years, How Long Will I love You, Lego House and of course You’ve Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story. I love this one too. It’s guaranteed to get the little ones up and dancing around in circles and they didn’t disappoint.

As the champagne glasses were being filled, I went for Hey Jude as the last song before speeches and the guests were with me all the way. After some very touching speeches, it was time for me to take my leave.

All the best to Si & Claire, a truly lovely couple! You’re wedding day was a belter! xx

Corporate Event Pianist Hope Street Hotel Liverpool

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Last Wednesday, I had my corporate event pianist hat on at Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. I had never played in the Residents’ Lounge before so checked out the piano I was using beforehand – a beautiful Boston Steinway grand piano. What a treat!

For an event pianist Liverpool offers a whole host of opportunities. It’s a very popular place for businesses to hold their conferences and events. Our hotels and conference venues offer superb facilities and excellent service.

Liverpool’s Hope Street Hotel is indeed on Hope Street about 100 yards from the Philharmonic Theatre. It is a popular wedding venue but on this occasion the function was held in the Residents’ Lounge downstairs.

The event was being held by a pharmaceuticals company from London. They wanted some background music during dinner and then to PARTY! Towards the end of the party, I was joined by two “very committed” singers from the company team who were keen to sing along on the spare microphone for a bit of live karaoke: Champagne Supernova, Perfect DayDelilah, Daydream Believer… Bring out the biscuits ’cause here comes the cheese! Great night!

Pianist Singer at Deloitte Conference Event London

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So, this week I have mostly been in London… I was invited to perform as pianist singer at the Deloitte conference event at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, a stunning hotel and venue on the South Bank near Westminster Bridge.

With accommodation for two nights at the venue due to the early set up and soundcheck on Wednesday, I loaded the piano in the van and headed down on Tuesday morning. That evening, I was given a tour of Lambeth and Westminster by my Wimbledon cousin Paddy including a quick pint at the Lord Clyde on Clenham Street – the shortest street in London in fact.

The next day, after a brisk walk out to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and a bite to eat, it was time to set up the piano in the Thames Suite and soundcheck with the guys from Metro Broadcast. The backdrop of the River Thames and Westminster was absolutely stunning.

Interesting idea: each table of guests were given an iPad which enabled them to send their requests to the iPad I had been given. As a pianist singer, I see requests as a key part of what I do. However, the inherent “risks” in the iPad request format soon became apparent as some entries were very left field and others focussed more on the choice of wines on offer…

Still after a few sets, I had covered lots of requests, had a bit of banter and won over some  guests from “up north” with some Madchester classics – courtesy of Oasis and the Stone Roses. Thanks to Liz, Vicky, Alex and the team for looking after me so well and for making everything run so smoothly. I hope to see you all again soon! x

Peter & Corinna’s Hinderton Hall Wedding Pianist

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Last Sunday, Pete and Corinna finally celebrated their own Hinderton Hall wedding. They wanted theirs to be one of the first weddings to be held at Hinderton Hall following the extensive refurbishment earlier in the year.

Pete & Corinna had been guests at another wedding I’d played at in Chester and they were looking for the same format. This meant performing during pre-ceremony, ceremony, drinks reception and also during the wedding breakfast. Proceedings on the day were to be shared across two separate parts of the estate: the Manor House and the Chapter House.

We began in the beautifully appointed Chapter House for the ceremony. I had set up my white baby grand in the far corner where it would remain for the wedding breakfast later on. The music for the wedding ceremony was as follows:
Pachelbel’s Canon in D: to walk in to
Forrest Gump Theme / Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): signing of the register
You Are My Sunshine: to walk out to

From here, we moved over to the Manor House for the drinks reception. I had set up a piano keyboard to create a nice backdrop while guests enjoyed the canapés inside and occasional photographs in the sun outside. By 3:30pm it was time to return to the Chapter House for the wedding breakfast. This was the chosen time to play 2 special requests for the bride and groom: Chocolate by Snow Patrol and The Day We Caught The Train by Ocean Colour Scene. I was surrounded by characters on both tables nearest to me so the sing song and banter was in full swing in no time.

Bev and the team at Hinderton Hall took care of every detail and nothing was too much trouble – a great day was had by all! After some very moving speeches at the end of the meal, it was time for a quick coffee before handing over to DJ Pete to take the party up to midnight. I for one can’t wait to come back! Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Carter! x

Wirral Pianist at Iris & Rob’s Thornton Manor Wedding

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Though now based in London, Rob and Iris were looking for a Wirral pianist to perform at their wedding at Thornton Manor. In a meeting at my studio, they explained that I would be performing throughout the day – mostly instrumental pieces so not as much singing as usual – during guests’ arrival pre-ceremony, the wedding ceremony itself and then during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast.
They would also be having a wedding in China where Iris’ family still lived so there was twice as much organising to do…

I set up a piano keyboard at the back of the ceremony room. The Wedding ceremony music consisted of Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the walk-in or processional; Bella’s Lullaby, The Meadow and The River Flows In You (all Twilight soundtrack) for the signing of the register; the walk-out or recessional was to be Chopin’s Mariage d’Amour which is a very popular piece in China.

Once we moved out into the hall for the drinks reception, the many Chinese guests were clearly enjoying the celebrations and the surroundings: Thornton Manor is an exceptional venue and the decoration in the Music Room where the wedding breakfast is held left everyone in awe.

It must be said that the bride looked absolutely stunning and the groom didn’t scrub up too badly either… All the best to the new Mr & Mrs Anson! x

Alex & Jess’ wedding pianist at Heaton House Farm

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On Monday, I returned as wedding pianist at Heaton House Farm where Alex and Jess tied the knot. I was performing during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. The happy couple had pretty clear ideas on songs so their wedding playlist included a few new songs amongst other more familiar requests: Video Killed The Radio Star, Where Is My Mind, Don’t Stop Believing, We Built This City, Swing Life Away (Rise Against) and It Must Be Love amongst others…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the venue, Heaton House Farm offers exclusive use of 2 barns which are connected in a L-shape. The ceremony and drinks reception – and later the evening entertainment – are often held in the Wedding Barn. If the weather is fine, the ceremony and/or drinks can be held outside making use of the Oak Pagoda. In this event, I perform on a second piano keyboard or, more recently, also on guitar as a special request. The backdrop and views outside are absolutely amazing, spanning 3 counties!

For Alex and Jess, I set up the white baby grand piano at the bar end of the wedding barn. Just before guests were due to go through to Steele’s Barn for the wedding breakfast – and while nobody was looking – we slid the piano through so that I could play in the newlyweds and then entertain everyone during the meal until it was time for speeches.

After a few nerves and some very heartfelt words shared with family and friends, the speeches were over and it was time for me to take my leave. All the very best to the new Mr & Mrs Carr! x