The 4 pianos that have appeared at Brighton Station

The Brighton Station Piano. It’s One of Ours.

Who loves the melodic tones of the piano? That’s right – almost all of us. Have you heard someone playing the Brighton Station Piano as you waited to get on your train?

In particular, we think there’s something special about a piano being played in public: a random, attention-grabbing activity that seems uniquely British and wonderfully eccentric. Plus, it’s rather lovely. Someone has taken the time to charm all and sundry – for no reason, apart from their love of music.

Not least if a virtuoso sits down to play. Heads turn, and everything stops. If someone is gifted, the result is a feel-good factor like no other. Even if the player is, shall we say, more amateur, there’s still more music in the world. And, we like that.

So, Brighton Piano Warehouse is exceptionally proud to play a part in this joyful way to enjoy and share music.

Brighton Station Piano. Courtesy of…us!

Brighton Piano at Brighton Station
Brighton Piano at Brighton Station

How it Came About

Did you know that public pianos aren’t a new thing? There are now at least 34 pianos available for everyone to play on UK station concourses and a few train platforms.

The Brighton piano is there because in 2014, Hove MP Peter Kyle tweeted that, in his opinion, the station deserved a piano. Why? Well, in his words, it was to “reduce the misery” of time spent at the terminal. Good point, well made, if your train has been cancelled.

His thinking: having been inspired by the success of the instrument at St Pancras station, wasn’t it high time that Brighton had one, too? Naturally, we agree.

Never a business to miss a challenge, Brighton Piano Warehouse responded that, of course, it was an excellent idea – and that if any company were going to supply it, it would have to be us.

We and Peter Kyle approached Brighton station with our idea.

And, they said yes! We planned our “installation” and engaged a local artist to paint the piano. With its bright Punch and Judy theme, it had a Perspex front to reveal its intricate inner workings. The artist emblazoned the words “Please Play Me” above the lid for a special, inviting touch.

Musical magic where you least expect it.

Brighton Piano at Brighton Station
Brighton Piano at Brighton Station

Brighton Station Piano Update. Since Then…

Due to wear and tear – it’s been a popular landmark for ten years now – we’ve replaced the pianos several times. Each one has had a different “look”; one of them even had a rusty design to make it look like it had been left under the West Pier. (It hadn’t, it was just painted that way.) By the way, the latest version is being painted at the moment. Look out for its appearance later in 2024.

Who’s played it?

Too many people to count.

However, Brighton and Hove Council street cleaner Mikah Laiberg has made a regular appearance with the instrument right from the start; at one point he even rehearsed on it every day after work. Why not check him out on YouTube, replete with high-vis jacket and boots.

In fact, thanks to social media, we’ve gone viral. Videos of professional and enthusiastic learner players are spreading the melodious – and occasionally slightly less melodious – notes of the piano to thousands of people.

Do you play the piano, and would you like to spread some happiness? If so, and you’re travelling from Brighton station, why not get there a little early to make someone’s day?

Remember The Piano on Channel 4?

Exciting news.

There’s a new series.

It’s filming this summer and autumn across the UK, including at Brighton station. So, watch this space.