The way we were in the Isle

Colin Ella. Picture: Liz Mockler E0856LM

Colin Ella. Picture: Liz Mockler E0856LM

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There are still quite a few about but nothing like there used to be.

They do not get the attention they once received being just like musical appendages.

They plonk away in dusty corners or dingy alcoves whether folk listen or not. Of course, I am talking about the pianists in pubs or clubs and lots of other venues. They still work hard and do a good job in spite of the competition from all the other music media.

The players come in all types. Some thump the ivories like pistons rattling out various ragtime styles; others tickle the keys to bring out their versions of ballads galore, country numbers, and nostalgic songs whilst there are those whose gentle fingering is sheer magic as they harness the emotions in breathtaking passages.

The beauty of these performances is that they are free whether you are sipping a gin and tonic at the Gleneagles Hotel, taking a cuppa at Betty’s in York or taking the waters in the Pump Room in Bath.

I suppose some of you may well recall a particular ‘plonker’, someone who played at a certain place for years and years.

And many of us recall rousing and happy singsongs with one pianist or another.