In your worst nightmare, are two half-cut Whingers swaying next to a piano in a basement bar wailing “Oom Pah Pah” into a microphone while you look on helplessly and take another swig of of your gin and tonic in the vain hope that it will cause you to pass out and have to be carried from the bar and rushed to hospital? Is that how your nightmare goes? Is it? Is it?Well, the Whingers can report that even if their audience didn’t, they had a most agreeable time at the inaugural Show Off Piano Bar the other week.
MD Nathan Martin, MC Marissa Dunlop and the crowd made everyone feel so at ease that even the Whingers got up and warbled, albeit only after insisting on a backing singer in the form of one Paul Cozens. Andrew thought we were rather good and that we made a rather convincing pair of Nancys. Indeed, people said so. People also said it was just like The Three Cripples and presumably they meant it was like being in the inn in Oliver! (note to selves: find Dickensian synonym for “inn” that last clause is very inny). We are now actively campaigning for the Koha Café to rename its basement bar The Three Cripples once the blue plaque has been nailed to the wall.
Phil of course was a reluctant performer. Not quite as big a show off as Andrew, he had to be dragged screaming and high-kicking to the microphone, though screeching might be more apt. The last time he sang was under pressure from his host in a Tokyo karaoke bar. Every previous turn had received enthusiastic applause but his uncertain “Vogue” was greeted by the almost deafening sound of tumbleweed. But this, and several large drinks, didn’t discourage him from following up with The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer”. The audience voted with their feet and hurried next door where Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy were in concert.
The Show Off piano bar is the brainchild of producer Sue Knox of This Stage, a long-suffering friend to the Whingers who is seeking to bring a little late night New York to London’s West End. We can’t guarantee that we will be headlining every date because it wouldn’t be fair on the others or on Sue for that matter. However, in the unlikely event that we are again over-served with Dutch courage we might find our inner Sonny and Cher at some future date. One day. You have been warned.