Published: 15:13, 19 May 2020
| Updated: 15:16, 19 May 2020
A postman has been bringing some cheer to customers cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic by doing his rounds mimicking the lead singer of rock band KISS.
Gary Underdown has been delivering letters and parcels to people’s homes on Sheppey while donning Gene Simmons’ statement make-up and wig.
His efforts have been a hit amongst Islanders and on social media after Gene retweeted a photo of the 32-year-old glam rock fan on one of his rounds.
The photo was first shared by the official KISS Twitter account to its 1.5 million followers, before it was retweeted by Gene, along with the caption “Wow”.
Since then, it has been shared thousands of times and the postie has received an outpouring of support.
“I have been a KISS fan since I came out of the womb,” he joked.
“To get such a response, I think it’s brilliant. If someone can have a laugh with it, that’s what it’s all about.”
When asked why he decided to impersonate the band’s frontman on his rounds, Gary said: “I thought I would try and get everyone’s mood up.
“Everyone’s a bit down in the dumps with what’s going on – it just lifted them up again.”
He added: “I did it for the first time about a month ago and got such a good reaction, I thought I’d do it again.
“I’ve done it about four times now and people’s reactions are great. You get a few who are like ‘oh my God’, that’s fantastic, and some people have been asking for a picture.
“It’s just a bit of a gimmick and it’s made a few people smile.
“There’s a few different posties around the country doing a few different things so I thought I would do it too.
“I’ve only been able to wear the full make-up and wig on my rounds though, I couldn’t walk 10 miles in the destroyer boots – but I have got a pair.”
Gary said he has been a big fan of the American rock band after listening to his dad’s music collection as a child.
“My dad has been a fan since day one in the seventies,” he said. “They sing all about believing in yourself and doing the best you can in your life, and about having a good time because you only live once – that’s what I’m all about.
"It’s just a bit of a gimmick and it’s made a few people smile."
“Nothing really gets me down. “Even this year, with what’s going on, there’s nothing we can do about it, we have just got to march on.”
In the past, Gary has dressed up as Gene in full costume – including his replica pair of destroyer boots – to raise cash for Help for Heroes. He’s raised about £5,000 for the cause, which supports wounded, injured and sick veterans and their families.
Gary has also performed with KISS tribute band Hotter than Hell, and has, even, had the opportunity to tour with the real rockers in the UK.
In July last year, he travelled with the band to do some promotional work for their latest app. He and the rockers visited London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Gary said: “It was a big thing for me to tour with my favourite band – and I got paid for it. I got to mix with all the crowds, I had pictures with thousands of fans and I was staying in the hotels with the band. It was out of this world. It was just a one-off week – it was amazing.”
More by this authorChloe Holmwood