Flying Pickets' pianist and vocalist Paul Kissaun mixes soul blues vocals, pop, rock and jazz in a way that suggests the wry disappointment conveyed by folkier acts like Joni Mitchell.
I portrayed him in lockdown when he kept his neighbours entertained. He says, "In April 2020 I began playing half hour gigs in my own street. You know, to cheer things up a bit.
"Being a residential area I wanted to limit the playing time to go easy on the inmates. Invariably the weekly Friday shows got longer. People started to get dressed up for the one event in the week that wasn’t virtual, responsibly dotting themselves apart from each other. My naturally conservative cul de sac was coming out of its bubble for genuine interaction. People were speaking for the first time to neighbours they’d been avoiding for decades. Food and wine were exchanged freely. If you wanted to dance you danced. If you wanted it all to go away, well it was only once a week. People wanted to come from other streets but were dutifully unhelped to do so. I didn't play originals but forgotten memories and unreachable destinations. Afterwards discussions would run on and in the morning we all went back indoors. Did I mention we married a couple?
"These things have an organic life cycle, even impromptu concert series. From wariness to joy to expectation to ennui to raking up minor grievances to irritations to community and back to joy. After 15 Fridays I stopped the shows because that’s part of the cycle. But for a couple of months you could feel the gap between the seconds, a gap in which the animals giggled, alienation stumbled and our shy little close looked in the mirror and liked itself."
Oil on canvas
Framed: 94 x 64 x 5cm (37 x 25.2 x 1.97 inches).
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.