Video: Great Yarmouth singer becomes online sensation after sparking London Underground station-sing-along
11:37 17 December 2014
A Great Yarmouth singer has attracted worldwide applause after his impromptu performance of an 80s classic in a London Underground station went viral.
Neil Francis was filmed on his friend’s mobile phone belting out Erasure’s top five hit A Little Respect on the platform at Kentish Town, which prompted a station-sing-along as scores of waiting passengers joined in with the well-known hit.
And his pitch-perfect performance has now been shared across the globe, and watched by more than 300,000 people, after being shared on Facebook on Sunday night.
The 47-year-old from Lancaster Road said he had been blown away by the response the video has generated and the scores of comments he had received from well wishers.
“I’m just really humbled in the respect that something that happened so naturally has made people feel good,” he added.
Neil, who has been singing since he was a teenager, had been in London on Sunday with three friends to see pop duo Erasure at the Forum.
After the show the group of friends headed to Kentish Town station to get the tube back to their hotel and, still buzzing from the gig, Neil decided to start singing one of their hits.
He said: “I’m the kind of person that will sing anywhere. I’ve been singing since the age of 18 so it doesn’t really bother me.
“As we were walking down into the tube I was singing, it has lovely acoustics and is a great place to sing, and I thought I’d give it a belt.
“I started singing Little Respect and everybody started joining in. It was just as if the whole station joined in, it was just unreal.
“It was a perfect ending for a fantastic night.”
The video has now been shared hundreds of times and has even been posted to the page of Andy Bell, lead singer with Erasure.
And even with the global attention, Mr Francis is no stranger to performing in front of large crowds having sung with the Yarmouth-based band u4ia [Euphoria] for 16 years.
The band performed at venues across the town, before he struck out on his own as a soloist and continues to perform in the borough.
He is hoping his hit web video may lead to more bookings, but most of all he is just pleased with the response it has triggered.
“The amount of comments I have had from all over the world, with people just saying it’s restored their faith in Facebook and made their Christmas,” Mr Francis added.
“It’s just blown me away.”