John & June dance during my singalong

I’ve never had people dance to my singing before. But yesterday John and June took to the floor during my teatime music hall gig in Kentish Town. It was hosted by a remarkable organisation called North London Cares, which links young professionals with older folk so they can find out about each other’s lives. This might involve a gang of pensioners visiting a hipster branding agency in Shoreditch. Or, like yesterday, some twentysomethings watching aghast at the fruity innuendo of music hall classics – and experiencing the simple delight of a singalong. It was great fun.

They took to the floor when I played Dance the Night Away by the Mavericks. This works quite well on the banjolele. But two weeks later I was in Ilfracombe, wandering back to my b&b late on a Friday night, when I heard the same song booming live out of a hotel for coach parties. I went in. A half-hearted entertainer crooned to a backing track, while a group of elderly ladies swayed carefully on the floor. The blokes sat silently behind pints. I had a vision of where my career might lead.

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