HE used to dance the night away at nightclubs in Portsmouth.
But fast forward two decades and it’s his soulful music that gets crowds of people on their feet.
Singer Andy Abraham, who was the X Factor runner-up in 2005, missing out on the top spot by just one per cent of the public vote, entertained the crowds at Cascades Shopping Centre on Saturday.
Once a binman in London, the dad-of-two went on to enjoy national success, including performing at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The 47-year-old has produced a new album and book called Remember When, looking back at the favourite songs that have influenced him.
He said: ‘It’s been really good – a lot of the fans have come.
‘It’s always brilliant for me to meet the fans.
‘They are the ones who follow me round the country.
‘If it wasn’t for them I would be doing something else.
‘I grew up with the great swing singers like Frank Sinatra but I didn’t appreciate the music per se.
‘I didn’t appreciate big bands and the band leaders, but now I know more about these characters, they were the beginning of commercial music.’
Fans came from far and wide to see him.
Leah Tribe, 30, of Fareham: ‘I remember how beautiful his voice is – it gave me goosebumps.
‘It’s a great story.
‘He’s a normal everyday person living the dream.’
Caitlin Stott, nine, from Farnborough, said: ‘He’s very good at singing songs.
‘It was amazing meeting him today.
‘He’s a really nice, friendly man.’
Andy, who supports Arsenal, said he has always been a fan of Portsmouth.
He said: ‘When I was younger I used to come to Regals in Portsmouth. It was a long time ago.
‘That was in my younger days.
‘I had a great time in Portsmouth.
‘Portsmouth people are very passionate. It’s a great community.
‘I base everything by how they support their football club.
‘Whenever I have seen them support the club, they have always been the best in the whole country supporting their team, regardless of whether they are doing badly or not.
‘I take that as a symbol of what Portsmouth is about.’
Andy will be performing at The Kings Theatre in Southsea on June 6 for his show History of the Big Bands. He will be supported by a 13-piece big band and performing songs from the swing era.