Me & my mobile pianoWith over 15 years experience busking and street performing in the UK and Europe in December 2011 I decided to put an upright piano on wheels to go busking in Brighton.

Wanting an instrument that I could ‘hunk over hill and dale’, I knew I needed decent size wheels and a central axis, much along the lines of the barrel organs of old. I found a compact upright piano through the Friday Ad (a 1936 Kemble) and after approaching the City Council waste department was kindly given a reconditioned street cleaning cart to use as the chassis. A pile of salvaged wood later (plus plenty of screws and much elbow grease), my stage 1 mobile piano was born. I hit the streets of Brighton in time for Christmas and was taken aback by the response.

What struck me almost immediately was how the piano seemed to appeal to all generations, from the little toddler bouncing to the beat, to the folks in their 70s plus who grew up around them. People would stop and tell me stories of the piano in their front room/ parlour/ local pub and how their auntie/ uncle/ grand parent/ friend and even stranger played it, and I began to realise that here was an instrument, that like no other, belonged amongst the people, and yet here was also an instrument that seemed to have lost its way a little in the modern day.

Usurped on stage by the digital piano, the acoustic piano is now mostly associated with restaurant/ hotel lobbies and the noble and yet complicated arts of jazz or classical music. Playing on the streets of Brighton, I glimpsed something different: an instrument that people gathered around, sang around and even danced around. I got asked to play at weddings, parties and local events, and so the business of ‘Mark Davies and his mobile piano’ was born, bringing together my love of the music, my passion for the instrument and my desire to put on a good show.

Fast forward 6 years and I’m now performing with my mobile piano mk2, a bigger, bolder upright that can hold it’s own in most environments. I have invested much time on the engineering side of the instrument, both mechanically and electrically, ensuring that it is easy to move around, quick to set up and is also amplified for larger crowds and spaces (working on either a 12v or mains run system depending on the situation).

Dimensions of the piano are below. It fits through a standard width door (see depth measurement) meaning access to most venues is not a problem, though I do need to know about any narrow corridors or sharp turns. I have ramps to negotiate steps and it also fits in most lifts. If you are unsure about access or logistics for your event, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to make an assessment.

Width: 56” 1430mm
Height: 56” 1430mm
Depth: 28” 710mm