Star singer’s sitting room gig delights on-line fans

Ed Sheeran in action in St Leonards
Ed Sheeran in action in St Leonards

A HOTLY-TIPPED singer-songwriter played to 40,000 people this week - from a St Leonards sitting room.

Ed Sheeran is one of the rising stars of the music scene, supported by Radio 1, with a showstealing turn on Later with Jools Holland under his belt and his first national tour just announced.

But on Monday night the 20-year-old wonderkid was in 1066 Country for a gig with a difference - at the house of superfan Victoria Van Aalst.

Miss Van Aalst won a competition on Ed’s website to create an original video with a superb stopmotion effort featuring a Lego man larking about against a New York City backdrop.

And for her prize, the 21-year-old nursery assistant was able to invite her friends and family to her Silverhill home for an up-close-and-personal experience with the singer, who has been likened to Jack Johnson and counts Sir Elton John, Jamie Foxx and rapper Example among his fans.

The gig was streamed live on the internet but was hit with a delay after Ed struggled with the local train network.

“He flew down from Glasgow to Gatwick but he got on the wrong part of the train,” Miss Van Aalst told the Observer.

“It split half way through the journey and he ended up in Littlehampton.

“Luckily one of my friends was driving from Southampton so he made a detour and came to the rescue.”

But when he did finally make it to St Leonards, it proved worth the wait.

“It was a brilliant evening - he was fantastic,” Miss Van Aalst said.

“I had only invited about 25 people because I wanted to keep it nice and intimate but over the course of the gig about 40,000 people watched it online.

“He was a really nice guy too - he stuck around to chat and sign things which was really cool.

“It was a real once-in-a-lifetime experience - I can’t believe so many people were watching my front room.”

And Ed seemed to enjoy the evening too, taking to social networking site Twitter to thank his 67,000 followers for tuning in and paying special tribute to the cupcakes one of Miss Van Aalst’s friends had made him.