By Charles Creasey
A tour guide’s bid to show off a serene evening in Canterbury backfired when the Mozart that a mother and tot were dancing to turned out to be coming from a ‘druggie’ slumped over a keyboard on auto-play.
Paul Johnson was on his way home in the historic Kent cathedral city when he discovered the parent and child duo dancing to the calming melody of Mozart’s Piano Sonata no.11.
Moved to capture the idyllic moment, the 37-year-old began filming but was left gobsmacked when discovered the origin of the dulcet sounds.
Hilarious footage shows the moment Paul creeps around a corner expecting to find a musician, only to discover a woman ‘completely out of it on something’ with her head lolling over a keyboard that played the pre-recorded track.
Rather than dismiss the surreal moment, the tour guide is now sharing the footage to show the quirkier side of Canterbury.
However some believe the footage is a ‘sad indictment’ of the historic city and that any overseas visitors would be scared off from future visits while others suggest she was on heroin.
Paul said: “I just couldn’t believe it, it was completely bizarre.
“The woman in the video is clearly on something and she looks completely out of it. Where she managed to get a keyboard from I have absolutely no idea.
“We usually get theatre types and artists around here so when I started filming I was wandering around wondering what I was going to see.
“I thought it was going to be something quite interesting around there and I was excited to see what it was but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see what I saw.”
The footage shows a man who is believed to be homeless dancing away to the music while wearing colourful attire and sunglasses.
The woman turns and looks at the camera but appears so inebriated she is unable to sit up or properly open her eyes and her fingers remain stationary on the piano keys.
Paul said: “I was not expecting to see that. It was a woman hunched over the keyboard and a guy dancing.
“I knew as soon as I saw them that they were going to be a pair of those ‘Canterbury characters.’
“I think the guy in the video is homeless but I’m not sure. I do know the guy though.
“People in Canterbury tend to congregate there. That park is a little meeting point where people hang around.
“I really don’t know if he had an alcohol problem or anything.
“But I’ve talked to him on a regular basis and he seems fine. He doesn’t appear to be drunk at all. That’s just him really.
“When you see him you can have a proper conversation and he’s always there doing creative stuff.
“That’s how people know him really. He’s pretty well known around Canterbury.
“But regarding the woman, she’s definitely on something.”
Paul says he held the post back before he posted it online because he wanted to make sure it was taken in the right spirits.
He said: “I’m always a bit sensitive about posting things online and sharing them.
“It’s a fairly surreal incident but sometimes I wonder if posting it or sharing it online will make people think I’m just making fun of them.
“I think it’s more down to eccentricity than anything else. I don’t think it’s a particularly bad incident because no one is challenging them and they’re not hurting anyone.
“I like eccentric and unexpected things like that.
“It’s also had a decent social media reaction. I think it got over 500 reactions and certainly a lot of shares.”
Steve Lewis wrote: “An unpleasant sight and a sad indictment of modern times, any overseas visitor seeing that would be glad to go home I would have thought.”
Some found the video hilarious and said it was nice to see people enjoying themselves, while others said it was sad to see ‘drug-induced issues’ like this and that many often ended up dead.
One user wrote ‘next on Canterbury Tales’, while others said they couldn’t stop laughing and branded it ‘bonkers’.
Kez Alison wrote: “Look at the lady’s hands over the keyboard. She looks like she might actually once have played.”
Robert Davies, spokesman for Canterbury Council, said: “We’re not going to assume we know what’s going on here but to the best of our knowledge we did not get any complaints.”