“There’s a special elevator we’re supposed to go down,” he says, jovially, “but I couldn’t, so I walked all the way down here from my hotel room!” He then proceeds to feel his way along the curtain at the back of the stage, searching for an exit from the stage. “Do you know how to get off stage?” he asks an unseen man behind the curtains. “There’s a man off-stage who doesn’t even know how to get off stage!”
Soon he works his magic on the Steinway, playing sweet music for the ears of the hundreds of watching fans. He wears a white shirt, a black tie, black skinny jeans, and a suit jacket, which is soon removed. His hair is backcombed, as usual, and there is dark eye-liner around his eyes. As always, he plays the piano barefooted.
Not only is Tim a hilarious comedian, but he is a genius on the piano. As he breaks into ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd,’ I can’t help, as a pianist, wishing I had his skill - and his piano for that matter. The Steinway is considered the best piano in the world, and as he plays it, I can understand why. But enough rambling about the piano, lets get back to the pianist!
An alarm goes off somewhere in the middle of the lounge, and Tim explains that it goes off when he’s telling a terrible long-winded joke, for which the punch line isn’t worth the time it takes to tell. “Which means,” he adds, “it will be going off a lot.” The audience bursts into laughter as he asks their forgiveness. He turns to the man on my left, “Man in a suit,” he implores, “forgive me?” The man in the suit nods, delighted to be acknowledged by his hero, and Tim returns to the piano, muttering “always so forgiving, the man in a suit.”
Tim plays his way through a number of his songs, including ‘Context’, ‘Prejudice’ and ‘Storm’. Though he doesn’t play ‘Canvas Bags’ (one of my favorites). He plays ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ - a song dedicated to his wife, claiming he’d have someone else if he didn’t have her. The song is made even funnier by the little wiggle he does between verses.
The finale, however, is the most impressive part of the show. He finishes on the same song he has finished on since he started performing solo six years ago. He jokes about trying to write a new song; “until finally, about three months ago… I gave up.” And why wouldn’t he? ‘Dark Side’ is probably his masterpiece. With fantastic solos, hilarious vocals and even a bit at the end where he jumps in the air, spins around, and uses his foot to play the final notes - true story!! Of course, he was called back for an encore, and played a truly beautiful song - ‘Not Perfect’.
Apart from the four lads beside me in the front row who tried singing along, (who hadn’t a note in their heads), this gig was definitely one of the best I’ve seen. Tim, you are my hero!
This article first appeared in the print edition of Sin newspaper.