Merseyside

Liverpool Red Piano & Vocals at Liverpool Wedding Show

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

We can set the piano up practically anywhere. We transport it on its side with the legs off so it can fit through a single door. It is actually a mahogany piano body which houses a Nord Stage 2 keyboard. Once on site, set-up takes about 20 minutes. It is connected up to a Mackie PA system which we can also use for playing iPod music during performance breaks.

Repertoire can be anything from background (John Legend, Rat Pack, Bublé, current charts) to full-on party and singalong! There are thousand of songs in my playlists. For evening events, I also set up appropriate stage lighting. In addition, I always carry a spare mic or 2 and an iPad with a ton of lyrics ready for guest singers. Or how about some Live Karaoke?

So imagine:
a) you’re having a red colour scheme (maybe a ruby wedding),
b) you support the Reds,
c) you’re planning a Christmas party with red and white
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

Wedding piano in Leasowe Castle: “The Keep”

A white wedding piano for a white wedding? I set up my portable white baby grand piano in Leasowe Castle‘s new “Keep” the other week for a quick photo shoot. What a fantastic space! It’s so light and fresh. Absolutely beautiful! It’s already looking like a real hit with couples who are planning to book their wedding venue. The pews offer plenty of comfortable seating space for your guests. As a result, there is no need for extensive chair dressing. The room looks even more stunning when simply dressed with bows and classic flowers.

Wedding_piano_in_The_Keep

This 21st century addition to the 16th century Castle has the feel of a very modern chapel. Work was just completed at the beginning of June 2015. The original pews and vaulted ceiling in particular help create a beautiful setting for your civil ceremony. They look even more stunning 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. I can perform both instrumentals and piano & vocals songs during the wedding ceremony.

In addition, I have performed in all of the function rooms at the Castle: wedding 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… Therefore, as you can see, it is a very adaptable venue for your wedding with a great team that can take care of everything on site.

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

Fiona & Ian’s Sheldrakes Wedding

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.

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!

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

Corporate Event Pianist Hope Street Hotel Liverpool

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 I called in earlier to check out the piano. It’s 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 business 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: PARTY!

The dinner went well and after some laid back sets it was time to start this party! Two “very committed” singers from the company team soon came over to join me. They wanted to sing a bit of live karaoke on the spare mic.

In no time at all, they gave us Champagne Supernova, Perfect DayDelilah, Daydream Believer… Bring out the biscuits ’cause here comes the cheese! Great night!

Wirral Pianist at Iris & Rob’s Thornton Manor Wedding

Rob and Iris were looking for a Wirral pianist to perform at their Thornton Manor wedding. We set up a meeting at my studio where I laid out an entertainment programme for the whole day.

They wanted mostly instrumental pieces so I would not be singing as much as usual. I would be playing during guests’ arrival, the wedding ceremony and then during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast.

They were also planning 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 was as follows:
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.
Mariage d’Amour (Chopin) for the walk-out or recessional. This is apparently a very popular piece in China.

Once we moved into the hall for the drinks reception, the many Chinese guests were clearly enjoying themselves. When we moved into the Music Room for the wedding breakfast (see image), they were just in awe.

The venue Thornton Manor never fails to impress. I must also mention the fact that the bride looked absolutely stunning and the groom didn’t scrub up too badly either…

It was my privilege to perform at your wedding. Thank you for having a local Wirral pianist to play for you and your guests. It was a fab wedding! All the best to the new Mr & Mrs Anson x

Rebranding Marco’s New York Italian Restaurant Hoylake

I performed at the corporate rebranding event for Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian Restaurant last Thursday. The restaurant is situated inside the new Holiday Inn Express in Hoylake, Wirral. Hoylake has become even more popular following the Open Golf tournament at Royal Liverpool which is less than a mile away. With this rebranding event, The Holiday Inn Express now also boasts a fine dining restaurant on site.

Many local business owners and personalities were in attendance on the night. The organisers even arranged to have a big yellow NYC taxi parked by the front door for this New York themed event. I set up my piano just inside the open bi-folding doors to perform for guests in the patio area outside.

There was of course a rumour that Marco Pierre White himself would be making an appearance. I know he’s a busy man. Despite his absence, the kitchen was sending out some delicious canapés. The bar staff, meanwhile, were gliding past with a myriad of colourful cocktails. The level of service was very impressive. I had my eye on the calamari… Only time would tell.

Pianist vocalist at corporate rebranding event Hoylake

With the help of GM Matt Knight, restaurant manager Aldo Bove and all the team, the evening was a great success. With such an elegant setting, delicious canapés and no end of cocktails, the event went on until the early hours, far beyond what was expected. I chatted with some local guests who are friends of the family. They vowed to come back soon to have some dinner inside the restaurant. In the meantime, canapés on the patio in the summer air would have to suffice.

What a great night! And as if things couldn’t get any better, I didn’t have to dismantle the piano. Yay! I left everything there ready to perform at Kerri and Ian’s wedding the following day. Happy days!

 

Liverpool Wedding Pianist at Elaine & Michaels’ Wedding

This afternoon, I returned to the stunning Knowsley Hall to perform Elaine & Michael’s wedding. They had been searching for a Liverpool wedding pianist and a friend had given them my website details. I really appreciate it when past brides and grooms recommend me to others.

Due to the high winds, the team had to set up for the drinks reception inside the Hall rather than outside on the terrace. I set up the baby grand in the reception hall. As requested, I played instrumental When You Wish Upon A Star followed by Bella’s Lullaby as the newlyweds arrived at the venue.

For the next 2 hours or so I took requests and chatted during breaks. There were some familiar faces of couples who had also booked me to play at their weddings. It is lovely when you bump into couples a few years down the line and they now have young families.

As at previous Knowsley Hall wedding, the drinks reception lasted more like 2 hours so I played slightly longer sets. I had already set my piano keyboard up in the dining room ready for the wedding breakfast. So there was no problem moving from one area to the other. I had prepared everything ready for that seamless transition…

Liverpool wedding pianist at Knowsley Hall wedding breakfast

Once guests had taken their seats, I played in the new Mr & Mrs Walsh with their song: Marry You. Elaine & Michael had given me a list of requests including:

One Day Like This
Wonderwall
I Just Haven’t Met You Yet

That’s Amore
and plenty of others.

Guests were now enjoying their main course, so I put the iPod on and took my break. I had a quick main course myself near the bar. Delicious! Thank you very much!

For the final half hour or so over desserts and coffee, I went for the old Hey Jude rousing finale. I would like to thank my dancers (you know who you are!) and past groom Mr Steve McKenna for leading the singing and the arm waving. We ended the wedding breakfast on a real high note…

Congratulations to a lovely bride and groom wishing you every future happiness! xx

Thornton Manor Wedding Music for Sophie & Rob’s Special Day

Thornton Manor wedding music

Once Sophie had booked the Lakeside Marquee at Thornton Manor wedding music was next on her list. Like the venue, he booked me as pianist singer for her wedding about 18 months before the big day. She had come to my studio with her Mum to talk about music and timings.

She didn’t realise at the time but Sophie’s best friend Claire had also secretly booked me already for her own wedding in May. This understandably freaked the pair of them out a bit – “how much alike are we!?”.

Sophie had a very clear idea of what she wanted: a selection of love songs on piano and vocals during the long drinks reception. Afterwards, some instrumental piano sets during the wedding breakfast to include PS I Love You (John Powell) and Butterfly Waltz (Brian Crain).

After the meal and some emotional speeches, she wanted some upbeat piano & vocals sets for the arrival of evening guests. Many familiar faces began to appear and there was a great buzz both inside and outside the large marquee. It was great to see the Richards clan in full force too!

I have to say that Thornton Manor lakeside marquee formed a beautiful backdrop for what was a lovely family occasion.  The weather was amazing too… A great day! Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Kurton! xx

Formby Hall Wedding Pianist & Singer for Steve & Katy

Formby Hall wedding pianist

Steve and Katy got in touch last year regarding wedding entertainment for their Formby Hall wedding. They had seen me perform at their friends’ wedding at Thornton Manor in 2011.

For their own wedding, they wanted my white baby grand piano and vocals downstairs for the drinks reception. Then we were going to head upstairs to the Ambassador Suite for the wedding breakfast. I had set up a piano keyboard there beforehand.

As per usual, guests moved around the hotel during the drinks reception. Some went out to the terrace to enjoy the weather while others stayed inside.

But as soon as we moved upstairs, guest kicked off waving napkins for That’s Amore. The oldest singers ever gave us Hey Jude, Delilah, Imagine and more… Finally, we belted out Shine for the Take That hardcore who had been leading the choruses.

We had a plan for a karaoke set downstairs after speeches following its success at the Thornton Manor wedding. However, we hadn’t counted on a Formby Hall wedding record two and a quarter hours of speeches! So, no karaoke… As a result, the team wanted everyone back upstairs to begin the evening function in less than 15 minutes…

Every wedding is different and Steve and Katy absolutely did it their way. I had a great time with them and their party of fun guests. The characters in the room guaranteed the party atmosphere. I’m sure they all had a great night. All the best to the new Mr & Mrs Pellow! x