I was on the road at 7am and was on my way to Calf Heath, which is a tiny village not far from Wolverhampton. I was playing the piano for a wedding and I was due to start playing at 4:00pm. So I was ridiculously early, even by my standards. On Saturdays I like to do most of my driving before 9am so that I avoid all the heavy traffic. I would much rather arrive early than add an extra hour to my jouney time because of congestion.
I arrived at the village hall at around 10am and there were people already there decorating the tables. I spoke to the person in charge and she guided me to suitable place for me to set up. I had quite a lot of setting up to do, as they wanted a cockney singalong after the wedding breakfast. So I needed a PA system, mixer, microphones, microphone stands and my digital piano of course. I also needed all sorts of other extras such as song sheets and my Cockney outfit comprising of a Bowler hat, waistcoat, grandad shirt, pocket watch, neckerchief and boots. After setting up I drove to nearby Brewood and whiled away a few hours there.
On my return to the hall the staff were ready and waiting for the guests to arrive. I quickly changed into my Cockney outfit and after a short wait the guests started to arrive. This was my cue to start playing some background music for the drinks reception. The plan was for me to play for this part of the day, followed by the wedding breakfast and then rounding everything off with a good old Cockney singalong.
The afternoon seemed to fly by and everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. Laura and Ashley (the bride and groom) looked to be having a wonderful time as were all their guests. The time had come for the singalong and the song sheets had already been handed out by the best man and the ushers. I gave some instructions to the guests about introductions and song order and sat down to play. I started a rousing introduction to “Lambeth Walk” and ‘hey presto’, everyone joined in. They all sang with confidence, and to say that most of them came from the midlands, they sang with a lot of Cockney spirit. By the time I had finished the last song on the song sheet, the DJ for the evening was already starting to set up behind me. That was me done. I packed up as quickly as I could and I set off on my long journey home.
It had been a lovely wedding and everyone had been really friendly which certainly makes things more enjoyable for me. It was also a bonus that the Cockney singalong went so well, although I couldn’t persuade any of the guests to come forward and sing with one of my microphones.