Ty Jeffries is a musician and writer of impeccable quality, a classical scholar, a rich and varied history in the business and a starry presence for some time now on the cabaret scene on both sides of the Atlantic. Yes, Ty’s alter ego, the indomitable Miss Hope Spring has brought him fame and accolades by the score and a following of the famous from the world of entertainment who flock to see him when he takes up his/her regular residencies at London’s glittering Crazy Coqs in the West End.

Ty actually lives in Sussex where as well as honing the MHS act he spends time composing piano music and songs that are not destined for the faded Vegas diva. And on a hot summer’s afternoon we were privileged to find Ty at the piano in the cool of the Unitarian Church In New Road for a lunchtime recital of piano pieces and songs.

The programme started with the piano works and what followed was a journey through Ty’s musical talents and no doubt influences. We started with a flavour of Berlin, travelled to New England, then Paris, rural England, Latin America, a sea journey, Russia and beyond. As a composer he is capable of conjuring from thin air that unique sense of place in the most charming and lyrical fashion. And tribal is never far away from his compositions with top melodic lines that soon fix themselves in your mind. Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in a film, a film with a very good score!

Then on to a set of three songs that prove him to be one of the better songwriters of his generation, songs that have a touch of Sondheim, a bit of Bacharach and no doubt some of the earthiness of Brel, and yet they remain uniquely Ty Jeffries. Much of that is due to his ability as a lyricist, that skill of creating great hooks, clever rhyme schemes and perfect scansion. Pimlico Green is a delightful tale of a London village coming to life, Queen of Fools has a real sense of sadness and January Jones is a woman that we all want to meet.

Ty Jeffries seldom ventures onto a stage as himself but given the ovation he received then one has to hope, not that Hope, that he will more often from now on.

For those who do not know him then seek him out online and if you want to see him at his comic and award winning best then pop over to Newhaven where that down at heel diva Miss Hope Springs is giving her ouvre at The Hillcrest Centre on Saturday the 10th of September, tickets from Eventbrite. And Miss Hope Springs continues her residency at Crazy Coqs from 23rd July.

Andrew Kay

15 July



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