"If you’ve never been, it’s a gas."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Frequenters of Piano Works’ original Farringdon site will be familiar with the concept of their latest outpost a stone’s throw from Leicester Square. Every night, two piano vocalists and accompany-ing musicians form up to a six-piece band who are destined to play your requests live all night long. If you’ve never been, it’s a gas. Eat, drink, be merry, sing and dance is the name of the game - head down on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll find the place particularly raucous.
Obviously if you despise that kind of thing (which, oddly, a number of friends do…) it’s best avoided, however if like me you’re a natural born songstress with a penchant for performing (as well as 1/500th of London’s coolest choir, as labelled by Time Out no less) it might just prove to be one of your favourite EVER night’s out. Add to that the new SingEasy experience and you may never go anywhere else again…
Located in a smaller room within The Piano Works West End, there’s a hidden gem where you can take centre stage alongside their team of singing waiters and West End star hosts from Thursday to Saturday.
We popped down one Friday night for dinner and drinks to see for ourselves. It’s a small room, but it makes it all the better for singing in. The crowd was a mix of birthdays and hen parties, some there just for drinks, some for the American-style menu of dinner options. The food wasn’t blow your socks off amazing, but then again you’re visiting for the experience rather than the fine dining. Having said that the buttermilk fried chicken was crispy and juicy, the pulled pork with mashed potatoes and slaw a hearty dish of Americana that certainly was better than some I’ve tried and companion was very complimentary of the veggie options of sweet potato and black bean toasted and a bean chilli. My only gripe was that each course arrived too swiftly after the last, it would have been nice to have a few more minutes to digest - and to get a good singalong in.
The waiters and waitresses - particularly ours, Maisie - were exceptional, flawlessly belting out tune after tune, oft accompanied by some nifty moves, from power ballads to hits from the shows, request after request. The joy of this cosy set up over the main room is that our playlist was more Les Mis that Lady Gaga, though they did manage to shoehorn in a rendition of Shallow, the song du jour. I was fully prepared for an audience-wide rendition of One Day More when they started handing out little French flags; alas, with a two hour time slot there were only so many show tunes they could muster.
Visit on a Thursday however and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a West End open mic night. Don’t get me wrong, the singing waiters were immense, but given the set up was ripe for you to be the star of your own show, accompanied by a live baby grand an in intimate West End setting, it would have been beyond fun to get up there and sing. I guess I shall have to head back for a Thursday some time…
Laurel reviewed Piano Works West End on Mon 15 Jul 2019