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Homeless pianist learned to play on public piano at St Pancras Station

PUBLISHED: 18:10 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 14 September 2017

Picture: Emily Banks

Picture: Emily Banks

Archant

A French pianist who mesmerised the audience at a recital in Lauderdale House last week learned to play on a public piano at St Pancras Station while homeless.

Picture: Emily Banks Picture: Emily Banks

Francois Pierron, 22, moved to London from Calais in October 2014 and after having his wallet stolen and ended up living on the streets.

Mr Pierron would visit St Pancras Station every night and play on the piano there which is free to use to the public.

“During the day I was making lots of bad decisions so at night I needed to play the piano as a way of escape,” Mr Pierron said.

“I used to play the piano in France, a keyboard, but I was very bad. I have mastered my piano playing in London.

“I’ve learnt how to compose and do my harmonics while on the streets.”

He said the piano provided an escape from the harsh perils of being homeless in London.

However, after two years, Mr Pierron was banned from the station because of loitering. This ban remains in place until 2018.

Mr Pierron was invited by mayor of Camden Cllr Richard Cotton to play at Lauderdale House as part of a fundraising evening for CW4S homeless charity.

He described the event as was one of the “best places I’ve ever played at.”

The Frenchman, who is currently staying at a hostel in Notting Hill Gate says that he wants to build a future in music.

He said: “I want to 
collaborate with more people and be able to connect. I don’t know how to read music so that is something I want to learn so that I could maybe be part of an orchestra.

“Coming from my background, you truly understand what must be truly valued,” he said.

Former Labour spindoctor Alastair Campbell, who spoke at the event about homelessness and addiction, praised Mr Pierron’s performance.

He said: “It was the highlight of the evening. He was really amazing and it is a wonderful story.

“I wonder how many more talented people there are sleeping rough on our streets that we just walk past?

“As a society, it is time that we stop looking the other way as we pass people who are living rough on the street.”

“We need to get rid of the stigma around homelessness.”

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