Not long into the first lockdown, I noticed my friends were starting to broadcast themselves online, singing, dancing, moaning… whatever their talent. It was a way of keeping some sense of themselves while life as we knew it started to unravel. It took me a while to catch on. I’m pretty good at keeping busy (and not very good at relaxing) but eventually I realised I needed to sing. Singing takes me to my happy place and brings me joy. So, on 21st April 2020 I recorded my first song from kitchen: Neil Diamond’s ‘Play Me’. Kitchen Cabaret was born and since then I have shared well over 200 songs.
People often thank me for doing this. For keeping them entertained and feeling connected during the long, dark days of lockdown. They tell me how they looked forward to 4pm to hear their daily song and connect with other musical lovers online. In reply, I always say that it is I who is grateful. Kitchen Cabaret has been a lifeline for me and I am just thankful to have people to share the songs with.
It has been great getting requests for songs that I would never have thought about singing. Songs like Nella Fantasia, The Piña Colada Song and Laughter In The Rain (there’s variation for you!). I had nothing to lose by singing them and knew I wasn’t being judged too harshly if something didn’t quite work. There is a freedom with Kitchen Cabaret that I don’t have in my live shows where people pay good money and, rightly, expect a polished performance. From my kitchen I could experiment and enjoy singing purely for its own sake. In this way, I discovered standards like Time In A Bottle, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, and Songbird, none of which I had sung before, and all of which have become a part of my repertoire. These songs, and more, found their way onto an album, recorded in lockdown (in my cupboard, no less) and I have the fans of Kitchen Cabaret to thank for that.
As we slowly creep towards some sense of normality it’s good to take stock of the positive changes brought about by this awful pandemic. Kitchen Cabaret is at the top of my list. It was my lifeline through the darkest days of lockdown and I will always be grateful to you for watching, liking, sharing and commenting.