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London St Pancras piano sealed off after musician and Chinese tourists clash

A piano at London St Pancras International station has been sealed off after a row between an artist and flag-waving Chinese tourists.

Boogie woogie pianist Brendan Kavanagh, who goes by the name Dr K, shared a video showing the moment the group told him to stop filming their faces during his livestream.

After the musician was accused of touching one of the women - an allegation he strongly denies - British Transport Police officers asked him not to upload the clip to YouTube.

The confrontation sparked outrage online and has now led to the Elton John piano being sealed off and protected by station staff.

On Tuesday, Mr Kavanagh said: “You can't make this stuff up.

“The station have cordoned off the piano and put two guards either side.”

A spokesman for the station told LBC Radio: “Due to maintenance works being carried out in the main concourse of St. Pancras International Station, the Elton John piano is currently out of use.

Elton John piano sealed off and protected by station staff (Brendan Kavanagh)
Elton John piano sealed off and protected by station staff (Brendan Kavanagh)

“Those looking to play the piano during this time can use the Rogers piano near the International Arrivals.

“We look forward to reopening the Elton John piano to the public tomorrow (January 24) in a location on the concourse that is away from the ongoing works.”

The tourists, who were holding flags of the People’s Republic of China, can be seen standing at the back of the video when Mr Kavanagh starts playing.

They quickly confronted the pianist, asking if their faces were visible, before demanding Kavanagh stopped.

Brendan Kavanagh speaks to tourists (X / Twitter)
Brendan Kavanagh speaks to tourists (X / Twitter)

When approached by police, Mr Kavanagh said: “Listen, we’re in Britain, we’re in a public space, it’s a free country.”

However, one of the women involved hit back at the piano blogger, accusing him of provoking them by referring to them as Japanese instead of Chinese, playing a “discriminatory” song and constantly telling them: “We live in Britain, not in China”.

She claimed they had been waiting to play the piano themselves for a Chinese New Year greetings video filmed at the station.

They asked Mr Kavanagh to stop filming them after they realised he was livestreaming.

The woman alleged: “We kept waiting for over 40 minutes. He still played the piano for a long time.

Brendan Kavanagh was a former Latin teacher before he quite to pursue his lifelong passion for piano (Brendan Kavanagh)
Brendan Kavanagh was a former Latin teacher before he quite to pursue his lifelong passion for piano (Brendan Kavanagh)

“When I approached him his assistant kept filming and this was when I realised he was probably a content creator filming videos. But I didn’t know he was live streaming at the time.

“So I asked can he delete his video because our content today is non-disclosable.

“It can’t be made public in advance. He kept asking me questions and I really didn’t know how to respond.”