As a plumber, it always helps to have a great set of pipes on you.
And for Kev Crane, it’s led to a potentially life changing opportunity.
The 49-year-old, known to locals in his village of Quorn in Leicestershire as the ‘singing plumber’, was recently working on a job, belting out Talking Heads classic ‘Burning Down The House’ when his heavily impressed client overhead him and offered him a record deal.
Paul Conneally – owner of New Reality Records, a small, independent label – had hired Crane to work on three bathrooms (THREE!?) in his house and ended up asking him if he had any original recordings.
Luckily, Crane had worked on some songs in a makeshift studio in his basement during the pandemic, which Conneally listened to and liked enough to offer Crane a deal a few days later.
“I was gobsmacked,” Crane said. “It’s something you read about that happens to somebody else. You don’t expect it to happen to you.”
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Conneally added. “It’s a strange story.”
Conneally launched New Reality Records last year and has so far signed 15 artists to deals. He bonded with Crane over their love of music from the New Romantic era of the late ’70s.
Crane had formed a band in the ’90s, before shelving his musical ambitions and has been a plumber for 13 years, but when he couldn’t work during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, he revisited an album he first began a quarter of a century ago.
“I decided to convert the basement into a recording studio, and I just spent weeks trying to learn how to mix songs. That was the perfect time because I couldn’t go to work.
“I was a little bit apprehensive, because I was just doing it as a hobby in my basement.”
Conneally added, “I was struck by the songwriting and lyrics. I listened again and I couldn’t get the tunes out of my head. It reminded me so much of the ’80s sound, but it also felt right for now.”
“Kev’s stuff would have still been in his computer because he had no intention of sending it to anyone. I would love for him to go on and score some success.
“Kev is an ordinary working man. He is not pretending to be something that he’s not. He is exactly what he is: a guy that fixes bathrooms and writes brilliant songs at the same time.
“It begs the question. how many other people like him are out there?”
If someone could discover a rapping roofer or an electro loving leccy, that would be incredible.
(h/t Washington Post)