Welcome to the second part of our Singing Waiters interview series.
This time, we spoke with the amazing Stephen Gilkes (AKA Stevey Gee). He tells us about his transition from sound technician to performer, his career highlights and his favourite ever Undercover Waiters performance.
I actually started out as a sound technician, I was very interested in getting involved with working in TV & film, especially sound effects, and I did a lot of work recording bands, singers and voice-over artists – you name it, I’ve recorded it!
When I finished school, I decided to go to college to study music technology. I had always loved music and performed a little bit on the side but never thought I could make a career out of it.
After college I joined Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University on a Music Technology course but as the years went by, I began to become less interested in the science of sound and drawn more towards performing and singing.
As part of my final university project, a friend and I formed a band. We recorded some original songs, music videos and lots of covers which ended up doing really well. They were featured all over the world and had thousands of hits.
This was the turning point for me and my career, and I’ve never looked back since. I’ve travelled all over the world performing solo and with other musicians. I’ve worked in some beautiful countries with some fantastic talent (some that I still work with to this day!)
Back in 2017 I was lucky enough to be selected as a support act for X Factor Winner Sam Bailey – I met Sam whilst working in Rhodes, Greece and she invited me along to her tour. That was a standout moment in my career & something I will cherish for as long as I live!
Singing waiters is all about the shock factor, that element of surprise and my job is to keep that surprise a secret until the big reveal (whatever that may be!)
I have a talent for moulding into any given scenario, fitting into the surroundings and never giving the game away.
I am a larger than life performer who loves to get a crowd up on their feet, singing & just having the time of their lives – and as for what I can bring to the table, well I’m usually standing on it, swinging a napkin!
One moment that stands out for me was when myself and Tommy (a fellow secret singer) were on a gig and they were really short staffed.
None of the other staff knew who we were other than the manager, so we were just being treated as another member of the team. Within about 5 minutes of our ‘shift’ starting we were asked to run the bar.
We didn’t have any time to explain who we were as guests were piling in and ordering drinks, but this made the reveal even more special!
By the time the reveal came around we had served almost everyone in the room, no sooner had we been handing them a drink, we had them doing the conga around the venue!
We visit the most beautiful venues and get to be a part of so many people’s special occasions.
I love it purely for the element of surprise; the shock on people’s faces when the penny drops is absolutely priceless. I feel very lucky to do a ‘job’ that I loveand work with so many talented singers and performers.
To be a great singing waiter you have to be able to think on your feet, because you never know what’s going to happen! Ultimately, it’s about getting every person involved and making sure they have the best time.
If you want a fantastic shock factor to your event, this is the service for you. If you want something people will talk about for years to come, this is it!
It can really set the mood for an event, especially in those awkward gaps where your guests need a little energy boost!
Hopefully I’ll see you at an event very soon!