Musicians join forces to keep up the pub piano tradition

L-R Landlord Mark Cutter, and pianists Andy Whitfield, Jack Spencer, Sue Parish, Bill Roberts and Bill Wilding. Photo by Barrie Marshall.
L-R Landlord Mark Cutter, and pianists Andy Whitfield, Jack Spencer, Sue Parish, Bill Roberts and Bill Wilding. Photo by Barrie Marshall.

A 12-hour music marathon featuring seven local ivory tinklers will help raise cash to upgrade a Lancaster pub’s piano.

The well-known and oft heard piano at the Robert Gillow has been played so much over the last few years that it has become worn out.

Landlords Mark Cutter and Tash Burns bought a new one, and musicians are now joining forces and playing it for free for 12 hours on Saturday, January 23, to raise money for an upgrade.

Musician Sue Parish said: “One of the things that makes the Gillow special is its regular piano sessions, but we’d played our old one so much we’d pretty much worn it out!

“So we were very grateful when publicans Mark Cutter and Tash Burns recently bought us a new instrument.

“And we’re joining forces and playing for free to help pay for a complete overhaul to make it even better.”

Colleague Bill Roberts said: “We’ll be taking it in turns, 
doing two-hour stints from midday through to midnight.

“And we all play different styles and repertoires, so there’ll be lots of variety throughout the day.

“The money saved on musician’s fees will go towards the upgrade, and we’re inviting
listeners to chip in if they feel like it.

“There’s room at the piano for more than one player, as well, so there may be some impromptu duets as members of the team hand the musical 
baton on!”

Sue Parish will perform between noon and 2pm, Bill Wilding and Diane Parsons take a turn between 2pm and 4pm, Andy Whitfield picks up the baton between 4pm and 6pm, Bill Roberts is on stage between 6pm and 8pm, Simon Hilton follows at 8pm until 10pm, and Jack Spencer rounds things off between 10pm and midnight.

l The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte, the Italian term for the instrument. The invention of the modern piano is credited to expert harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori of 
Padua, Italy, in the year 1700.