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Home Ashford News Article
A jolly pensioner has today explained why he conducted a late-night Kent train into an impromptu sing-song - and revealed it went down so well he did an encore.
Sevenoaks strawberry farmer and chartered surveyor Martin Clews, 66, is the star of a hit video after leading Southeastern passengers into a lengthy performance.
The smartly-dressed singer in a beige suit remained a mystery until KentOnline revealed him as Mr Clews, who runs Stonepitts Farm in Seal with his 66-year-old wife Jacqueline.
Mr Clews was first greeted by an awkward silence when he stood up and started a largely unknown call-and-response chant on Friday night.
But within moments, around 50 people in the carriage on the last Southeastern train from London Victoria to Ashford International had joined in and were singing along in chorus.
"It seemed to me that like-minded bon viveurs in my carriage might enjoy a jolly song on their way home..." - strawberry farmer Martin Clews
Mr Clews this morning owned up to leading the passengers in song after going to London to celebrate the release of his musician son Dan's new single.
The 34-year-old is a popular singer/songwriter who has performed at the Hop Farm Festival and recorded live sessions with Bob Harris on Radio 2.
Mr Clews said his own singing went down so well that he was asked to perform again when new passengers boarded the train.
And he left passengers in such good spirits they started singing Oasis' Wonderwall after he got off.
Scroll down for videos and audio
Mr Clews told KentOnline: "I had been celebrating the release of Dan's new single, That's Enough For Me, over a glass or two of champagne with friends in London.
"It seemed to me that like-minded bon viveurs in my carriage might enjoy a jolly song on their way home.
"So I chose a lively number called Beastie, which has become somewhat of a favourite in my rugby club and this went down well with the passengers."
Revealing the background to the song, he added: "It emanated many years ago when a mate of mine went out to volunteer helping kids on the west coast of America. It's a spiritual song, I don't know what the Beastie is, but I suppose it goes back to Africa in a way.
"It's been sung at our rugby club - Old Whitgiftians in South Croydon - for many years and at Twickenham so it's quite well known in those circles."
After leaving London at 12.10am, Mr Clews continued to lead the chorus until he got off at Kemsing.
"It probably lasted about half an hour," he said. "I was persuaded to take it to another part of the train.
"After a group got off at Bromley South people from Maidstone asked could I do it again.
"Dan appears at Glastonbury this month. He's the real musician and has also been seen performing on trains returning to Sevenoaks from playing gigs in what appears to be a family tradition."
"Everyone starting joining in - it was lovely.
"I didn't know what the words were, but I gave it a good go. Everyone was really getting into it - it was great. I shook his hand on the way out."
The Southeastern sing-along was captured by Maidstone man George Haswell in a video he posted on YouTube and is hoping will go viral.
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