Let’s face it, when you’re a struggling musician who’s trying to make it big in the world, it’s probably not a good idea to have your buddy point you out to the crowd and yell:
“There is a man acting suspiciously at the piano, doing dodgy things on his fingers.”
In this day and age, being over the top is the only way to get noticed when everyone’s eyes are glued to their smartphones.
So, being dodgy is exactly how Ben Toury caught the attention of tourists and commuters walking past him at the St. Pancras train station in London.
The cameraman filming the scene didn’t think twice when Ben started to wrap his index and middle fingers together with cotton gauze pads and medical tape. He’d probably seen that trick a million times.
But, for anyone else who was taking a gander at what Ben was doing, it didn’t seem like he was going to have any fingers left to play the piano with!
Have you ever watched someone pecking away at their keyboard using only their index fingers? It’s slow going, and plenty of grammar mistakes happen along the way.
The same thing was happening here, but instead of typing up emails, Ben was attempting to dish out some extreme Boogie Woogie tunes, which requires lots of fast-flying fingers to do it right.
How could this very public stunt not backfire and end in total disaster?
Even his buddy Dr K, a talented pianist in his own right, pretty much thought that Ben was acting a little bit off key.
“What is he doing? Just an everyday normal piano video, then he’s gonna go into circus performance mode.”
After he was done playing doctor, Ben’s fingers looked like a pair of giant scorpions were getting ready to strike out at the first thing it could find. They were stiff and immobile, which is exactly what he wanted.
With only three fingers on each hand that could actually flex and move, Ben got down to business and busted out an incredible Boogie Woogie tune that stunned the crowd!
His thumbs flew across the entire length of the keyboard almost faster than the eyes could see, and having those puffy finger puppets on his hands didn’t do anything to hinder his obvious skills.
When he started karate chopping the keys with the side of his hands, that’s when the crowd realized that this guy was totally crushing the 6-fingered piano man routine!
So, they did what everyone always does – they grabbed their smartphones so they could start filming Ben’s enthusiastic virtuoso performance.
If it seems like this guy probably has multiple talents, that’s because he does! He may look like your average bloke in a hoodie, but he’s no street busker trying to make rent.
Ben has his own rhythms and blues band, where he’s a singer, pianist, harmonica player, composer, and all-around insanely talented performer. He got his start at the age of 11, and over the course of the past 23 years he’s played over 2,000 concerts.
Oh, and speaking of tapping at the keyboard with just two index fingers, yup, Ben does that too. Not at the beginner level of course!
As for his friend Dr K, you might recognize his mug. His real name is Brendan Kavanagh, and he’s known for his playful piano ruse where he dresses up as doctors or mailmen and wows the crowd when he reveals his true skills.
Although Ben Toury and Dr K aren’t playing dress up in the video below, you don’t want to miss them team up in the best Boogie Wooie jam ever!
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Source: Brendan Kavanagh