A town centre restaurant is furious after push-pineapple Agadoo singer Dene Michael cancelled a gig due to a bereavement – then was pictured on Twitter at a London event.
Paul Wood, who runs The Keys restaurant below Huddersfield Parish Church, said he booked the Black Lace singer for a concert on Friday December 4, but when he e-mailed the day before to check the £200 gig was still on, Mr Michael made his excuses.
But Keys staff were livid when revellers posted a photo on Twitter of the star at a Christmas concert for staff at PepsiCo in London.
Paul, who is one of the owners of the Byram Street restaurant, said the whole incident was “appalling” and wanted compensation from the singer after making a £1,200 loss.
“I e-mailed him on the Thursday morning to check we were still on. He said there had been a death in the family.”
An e-mail written to Mr Wood from the Leeds-born singer said: “Unfortunately we have had a death in the family today and I am too upset to work just now.”
But Paul was shocked after seeing people tweeting about a Black Lace gig for PepsiCo, to which the stars were invited by Walkers Crisps, and confronted Mr Michael asking for an explanation.
Paul said: “All of a sudden he got really angry.”
An e-mail from the singer said: “I feel as though you are bullying me and threatening me which is not very nice.
“As for the Pepsi event I was invited as a guest of Walkers Crisps and my singing partner thought it would be a good idea to go and take my mind off things.”
Mr Michael said he had received news his close friend Louis Brown had passed away that day, although Paul added that the singer had shared a Facebook post the week before about the news.
Paul added: “He said he played this other gig to take his mind off things, but then why didn’t he come to The Keys and do that here?
“He just had a better offer and got caught out.
“You can tell from the picture it was a much posher event than the small gigs he’s used to playing.”
Paul said customers were left devastated when the star they had paid £30 to see had been replaced with a Robbie Williams tribute act.
Paul said 20 customers were refunded for the gig, while 60 stayed for the tribute act.
Black Lace are a 80s pop band famous for party hits Agadoo and Do The Conga. Dene Michael, who appeared on BBC show The Voice this year, has been in the band for 31 years.
Mr Michael told the Examiner: “The way Mr Wood has reacted has been really upsetting for me.
“I was not contracted into performing the concert and couldn’t face performing solo that night.
“I gave plenty of notice and offered to do another concert for free after cancelling. Also the PepsiCo gig was an invitation and I was not paid for it.
“I will be seeking advice from a solicitor.”