Chris B


Chris encompasses many bubbly styles of music to please most ears: a song from way-back-when that you thought you'd forgotten, as well as some Funky up-to-date numbers that probably you've never heard arranged for the Piano - all served up with generous helpings of Jazz, Rock, Blues and Swing, and of course the odd Romantic Classic too. Joel, Sinatra, Bublé, ABBA, Adele, Cole, the Beatles, to list but just a few.

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About Chris...

Having begun playing piano professionally in local pubs at the age of 16 in what was originally home, the Peak District, Chris decided to point both his thumbs (and 8 fingers) in the direction of London in the mid 80s, most notably to end up regularly performing in George Best's trendy "Blondes" nightclub in Mayfair, as well as the classy Rubens hotel next to Buckingham Palace (and later to play at the 4-star Chesterfield hotel). Transferring to the international pianobar circuit of Scandinavia in 1985 Chris toured as a solo artiste (Reisen, Sheraton Stockholm, Kalmar Stadshotellet, Étage, Borgholm Strand to name just a few), living mostly in Sweden for a total of 7 years before ultimately realising there was perhaps a little more to music and the world than "play it again, Sam" and another one-gig Swedish town, respectively.

7 further years of full time touring thus ensued at overseas resorts and cruise ships, including aboard the Cunard QE2 as part of the covers band Spangle, as well as long-term residencies for the Hilton, Sheraton and Carlton hotel chains in countries such as Turkey, Portugal, Abu Dhabi, China, Egypt, Israel, Monte Carlo - not forgetting too appearing at the now renowned luxury La Manga club in Spain. During these 7 years there was also a season completed at Pontins in Prestatyn, Wales, and Chris has even had the honour of playing "within earshot" of HM Queen Elizabeth herself (although this wasn't at Pontins, apparently). These shows around the world were occasionally leading a 5-piece band but more usually as the male half of the lounge duo Body & Soul, who unfortunately had their long-yearned-for 1996 World Cruise aboard another Cunard vessel, the M/S Sagafjord, somewhat abruptly terminated half-way through due to a rather debilitating engine room fire, a few hundred miles off the coast of the Philippines. What a way to get fired, I guess (!). The duo project also enjoyed entertaining and supporting the round the world balloon attempt by Richard Branson's 100+ Virgin Global Challenger Team in 1997, being resident act at the Sheraton Marrakech in Morocco that year. 1999 however saw the quit to travelling for the time being and the packing away of the keyboards to embark, on the most challenging calling, to date, something known as fatherhood.

As soon as the kids had grown out of the nappy stage there was a year or two as keys player with function group The Basement Band in East Anglia, prior to moving the family over to Towcester, Northants, in 2003. Musical semi-retirement finally took its toll by 2007, however, hence a return to regular Sunday lunchtime and Christmas piano performances at the Northampton Hilton hotel and Whittlebury Hall near Silverstone (where he still enjoys resident pianist status to this day). The Pink Floyd tribute band Time To Breathe (quite renowned for their impressive laser light show) also beckoned in 2007 and throughout 2008 Chris played an integral part of this exciting showcase band, on a part-time basis, incorporating all styles of dynamic keyboard performances.

Fortunate to be selected as the resident pianist for both The Marlborough Arms and the Bignell Park Hotel in Oxfordshire 2010, Benny/Chris also had the pleasure of sharing other stages with household names such as T Rex, The Glitter Band (without Gary!), the Technotronics (who could ever forget "Pump Up The Jam"!) and the rock 'n' roller himself Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave fame, as well as managing to start off a Police tribute and getting a Jazz Fusion project underway, the latter together with like minded professional improvisationalists Sandra Grant & Sensus. Summer 2010 additionally included several theatre shows (Hawth, The Bacon Theatre etc) with currently the only Neil Diamond tribute that tours the UK with a live band.

Moving forward through 2011 highly esteemed venues such as the magnificent 5-star Luton Hoo hotel, Benugo's stunning Ashmolean rooftop restaurant at the museum in Oxford, Corkers in Northampton and the elegant Browns in both Milton Keynes and Reading have since been added to the return of the now continually-expanding Cocktail Pianist gig diary, not to mention an ongoing weekly residency at London's hip and elegant Caffé Concerto.

Eclectic? Yup, that's Chris. The Piano - I guess you could say - is his Forté. Now known as artiste Chris de Gliss and nearly 30 years further on as a consummate pianistic and keyboard professional...but hey, whatever next ??!