MIDLANDS & SURROUNDING AREA
I first met James at the fabulous Bourton Hall and he played songs I didn't even know could sound so amazing on solo piano, and what a mix of genres! I had some questions for him...so I thought I'd ask!
Wedding pianist and all round talented guy who plays your favourite music during some of the most important moments of your big day.
When I met James I immediately felt he shared my commitment to helping our bride and groom have the best day ever - he was super friendly and fit seamlessly into the day - I would recommend James to anyone who appreciates great live music - whatever the genre, whatever the style of their day!
How long have you been playing piano for?
About 20 years! I started in my early teens, and instantly fell in love with the instrument. In the last few years I've increasingly played more and more for weddings, and am now very pleased to say it is my full-time job!
Tell me a little about your famous white Baby Grand!
It's a Dutchgrand shell from a great little company in the Netherlands. It makes a great talking point at events, and looks awesome when dressed with flowers, sashes, etc. I actually agonised about what colour to get - black pianos are classic, but I thought white would look fantastic for weddings, and it fits perfectly into the types of venues that I play!
When are you most often asked to play at weddings? (eg. ceremony, reception etc)
I tend to focus on playing during the daytime, so usually ceremony, drinks reception, and/or wedding breakfast. The vast majority of couples include me for their ceremony, and many choose to add on at least one other part of the day too. This year my most popular package is 'Ceremony and Drinks Reception', followed by my full day package (Ceremony, Drinks, and Wedding Breakfast).
What are the top 3 most popular songs you are asked to play at weddings?
I actually recently made a reel about this, where I worked out my most requested aisle/entrance songs from last year. The top 3 'pop', i.e. non-classical, songs were: 'Here Comes The Sun' (The Beatles), 'Can't Help Falling in Love' (Elvis), and 'A Thousand Years' (Christina Perri). But there are lots of other very popular ones too - Elton John, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran are all requested a lot at the moment!
What is your favourite piece of all time to play (doesn't have to be at a wedding)?
Great question - and almost impossible to answer, I love so many! I think one of my favourite songs at the moment from my wedding repertoire is Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' - it's such a wonderful piece to play on piano. But if I was to pick a personal favourite of all time, I'd have to go a little more obscure and probably say 'Firth of Fifth' by Genesis (my favourite band...) - It's probably one of the hardest piano parts I've ever learnt, but it fills me with a lot of joy to be able to play it!