Popular pub karaoke host brings music and dancing outside with socially-distant street party
A popular pub karaoke host has brought the music and the dancing outside with a weekly socially-distant street party.
Steve Morley, 57, from Wortley, has been hosting a street dance on Lynwood Rise every Sunday since lockdown began.
The father-of-two, who ran the Steve Morley Travel agents in Armley, is well known in the community for hosting the Friday night karaoke at The Dragon pub.
He decided to start blasting the music every Sunday at 12pm after receiving messages from pub regulars saying they missed their weekend sing-a-long.
His daughter, Nicola, 27, said: "My dad is quite well known because he usually does the music and karaoke in our local.
"He was getting a lot of messages from people saying they missed him and his music.
"We decided to host a street dance where people could stand in their gardens and Dad would play the music.
"We sent invites around to everyone's houses asking them to take part.
"It was just meant to lift people's spirits and have a bit of fun.
"We didn't expect it to take off as well as it did but everyone got really involved and was shouting "more" after every song finished. We ended up doing a full hour."
Steve, who lives with wife Angie, 58, plays his own mix of music but also asks for requests online and in the post.
So far he has played everything from Little Mix for the young girls, reggae music and old 60s rock and roll to get the elderly residents dancing.
He's also taken requests to celebrate people's birthdays and anniversaries, played cancelled wedding songs and even announced a pregnancy for an expecting family on the street.
Steve has also honoured the people who have died in the area by dedicating special and significant songs to them.
Nicola, a self-employed hairdresser who lives just around the corner on Lynwood View with her partner James and his daughter Bella, said the weekly parties have been really well received.
She said: "More and more people are coming outside each week.
"This week we even did a socially distant conga up and down the street. It was so much fun.
"It got such a good response that now we stream it live on Facebook in the Wortley Watch community group so people on other streets can watch and join in.
"Last time it had 600 people watching and people were commenting to say that they had been sitting in their gardens waiting for it."
Although there is a wide range of people coming out to dance, Nicola said it was particularly good to see the older people having fun.
Nicola said: "The older people come out every week and last week they were jiving away in their gardens.
"The lady over the road from us is in her 80s and has been housebound for a few years because she's very poorly.
"But she comes and sits in the doorway in her wheelchair each week and has a little dance with her arms.
"She started crying in the first week because she was so overwhelmed with it all and so happy to see people.
"It feels really good to see the older people smiling and enjoying themselves."
Steve and Angie, who are grandparents to their eldest daughter Lisa's one-year-old son Parker, also play music every Thursday for Clap For Our Carers.
So far they have shown the community's gratitude to frontline workers with tracks such as 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and 'It's all about you'.
Nicola said the family are really proud of Steve's community spirit.
Nicola said: "My mum is really proud of my dad because he does so much for the community and always has.
"The weekly music might only be for an hour or two but it gives people something to look forward to.
"It makes people happy."
Steve said: "It's been a pleasure to entertain the residents around the Lynwoods, dragons and even further over the past few weeks.
"The feedback has been incredible and it has certainly lifted the spirits of people.
"Weather permitting we will be out in our gardens each weekend playing some classic tunes and shouting out some birthday wishes.
"Thanks to everyone who has sent me messages, let's hope we have more nice weather for everyone to enjoy."