Today’s blog is about 2 spectacular Public Piano players: Terry Miles and Brendan Kavanagh. These UK-based musicians have a lot in common but – to us – one thing sets them apart really. Even if you’re living at the other side of the world, chances are you already watched them play, since both have a strong online presence and might even be regulars on your respective timelines; Terry and Brendan share over 1 million Youtube subscribers amongst them…
What do these Boogie Woogie Crusaders have in common?
Obviously, these befriended musicians and vloggers have a soft-spot for (1) Boogie Woogie (2) Public Pianos and (3) fancy dress parties. They’re lucky enough to be UK-based, since their capitol features an unmatched number of Public Pianos year round. At any given day, they can decide to go out playing (acting…) as St. Pancras Train-station Police officers. London Heathrow Airline pilots or Tube-station tourists. Biggest thing they have in common: the absolute joy they beam at their audiences. If you watch a few more of their videos – playing together or separately – you’ll notice their posse is a little less coincidental at second glance.
We wish their performance adds to their fame and fortune, online and in real life. They’ll both be happy to teach you playing the Boogie Woogie, so check their respective channels if you’re interested.
What sets them apart?
We’ve watched them playing (separately, that is…) in real-life a few times at St. Pancras, and can’t help but think there’s a dark side to Brendan’s approach. If you read the viewers’ comments to a few of his self-posted videos and you’ll see we’re not alone in these observations. Watch a few examples, e.g. Herne Hill or Tottenham Court Road, there’s many more, and think of it what you wish. We consider his “middle-C game” fairly disrespectful to previous players and other bystanders. The lady at Herne Hill walks off feeling fooled – and rightfully so – where she thought she was trying to help a newbie at the piano and wasted 2 minutes of her time. If you search for brendan kavanagh middle C you can see it’s even a searchable trademark to send amateur players off…
Street pianos – to us – are not about competition, testosterone show-offs or pro outplaying amateur. Step forward and shine, singer, player, listener if you wish, whoever you are!
Fact is: by posting these videos, Brendan gathered 975k Youtube subscribers vs. Terry 150k, so it looks like patronizing others is exactly what pays off these days, well good for you Brendan. As players, we’re happy to see Terry wearing the captain’s suit though, because to us, he’s the real BOSS!
Stay safe, enjoy playing