Wetherby Whaler Pianist

Wetherby Whaler's pianist clocks up 2,500 hours at the keys

Wetherby Whaler Guiseley’s very own in-house pianist has clocked up more than 2,500 hours at the keys of the restaurant’s grand piano.

Fish and chips is usually accompanied with a side of mushy peas or tartare sauce, not live piano music – but that’s exactly what patrons of Wetherby Whaler’s Guiseley restaurant can expect.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday visitors to the restaurant can enjoy live music from Wetherby Whaler’s in-house pianist, Nigel Wears, who plays a mixed repertoire of classical music, modern pop tunes and old classics.

Since starting at the restaurant, Nigel, who also teaches music on behalf of Leeds City Council, estimates that he has spent more than 2,500 hours serenading the Whaler’s clientele.

Although he plays a wide and eclectic range of tunes, the songs most requested by customers are Happy Birthday, Congratulations and As Time Goes By from the film, Casablanca – thanks to the famous line “Play it again, Sam!”

Wetherby Whaler’s Art Deco-style restaurant, on the outskirts of Leeds, brings a touch of class to the traditional British meal of fish and chips, thanks to its glistening chandeliers, large stained glass windows and grand piano.

Nigel said: “Wetherby Whaler has customers of all ages and interests so I try to mix up my play list. I cover everything from John Legend, Black Eyed Peas and Adele through to golden oldies, including Vera Lynn, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles. I also take requests and I can usually play any song someone asks for because I have an iPad, which has a huge catalogue of music scores, but I'm always ready to play a Happy Birthday as the Wetherby Whaler is a favourite place for celebrations.

For me the most important part is making sure that there is a great atmosphere, and that people leave the restaurant having enjoyed the music and their food in equal measure. Wetherby Whaler’s traditional fish and chips are fantastic so my music has a lot to live up to!”

Tracey Speight, General Manager at Wetherby Whaler Guiseley, said: “Customers love coming to the Wetherby Whaler because it is such a different atmosphere to other fish and chip restaurants. We get lots of lovely comments from customers about Nigel’s performance and he is great at making sure there is something for everyone. One minute, he’ll be playing something like Emile Sande and the next moment, he’s onto incy wincy spider, so it really is an eclectic mix.”

Click here to watch a video clip of Nigel at Wetherby Whaler.

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