Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 15 November 2014

Cor blimey! It's a right old cockney knees-up

In which G.M. Norton steps back in time for a good old-fashioned sing-song.


From time to time, usually between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock in the evening, my mind harks back to a bygone age where a night at the local drinking tavern would result in a jolly good sing-song around the piano with a large group of chums.

During these wistful moments, I usually picture myself sat at said piano, leading the fleshy morass of sartorially savvy revellers into a rendition of The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK. On second thoughts, that may be the wrong song choice for this particular setting.
In any case, I’m unable to play the piano (unless a painstaking but thought-provoking version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star counts).
Moving on from my musical failings, there just so happens to be an ivory tickling chap in existence. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the delightfully dapper Mr. Tom Carradine.

Tom is a regular performer in musical theatre and is a member of 1920s and 30s inspired band Champagne Charlie & The Bubbly Boys.
Yearning for the traditional sing-song around the Ol’ Joanna (it’s not just me then), Tom launched Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long last month. Held at the Mahogany Bar at Wilton’s Music Hall in East London, this is a free monthly event and surely the highlight on the vintage scene.
Wilton’s Music Hall is one of the oldest surviving music halls around, providing the perfect ambience for such a southern delicacy. November’s sing-a-long took place earlier this week, on Armistice Day to be precise. Perhaps unsurprisingly, songs included rousing World War One and World War Two medleys, along with some patriotic numbers to get everybody singing along. Other songs from the expertly crafted set-list included ditties from Mary Poppins and Oliver.
Excitingly, half-way through the first 45 minute set and bursting at the seams with singing crowd, the party were moved to the main auditorium to continue the high jinks.
With Tom leading the show at the all-important piano, he was joined by such cabaret luminaries as the dandified Champagne Charlie and the intoxicating Lila La Scala.
As you can see, there really are some wonderful pictorials of the evening, captured by photographer extraordinaire (and the very aptly-named) Paul Singer off of Street Pix.
Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long will next be performing on Monday 15th December, between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock. Expect Christmas carols galore. As I dropped in earlier, it is a free event, with a ubiquitous hat passed around for tips at the end. So mark it in your diary, grab a pal and pay a visit to this historic music hall gem. And don’t forget, ‘av a banana!
Lila La Scala penned a little something about the first event over on her webular site. It really is a super read.
Right-o! I’m off to tuck into some jellied eels.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’

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