Diary Of A Busker Day 128 Saturday July 9th Winchester High Street (opposite Clinton Cards, Time: 12:15-1:05pm).
A short session on the way to meet the parents at the coach stop. I’m playing Yellow Bird, a couple with their daughter in her buggy stop to listen. When I finish they tell me this happens to be her favourite song – “How does she know it? – it’s an old song”, I say. “She knows The Mills Brothers version on youtube”, says her dad. Her name’s Fenela.
Next up is Simon, the Big Issue seller/after-the-pubs-shut busker. He’s angry at some other busker who has been getting complaints from people because he’s been playing after 11 o’clock at night at a spot just down the road and the police think it’s him – Simon. He knows who it is but doesn’t mention his name, “I thought he was a friend of mine, but he’s not…” He now has to wheel his contraption/trolley of concrete block/drum, up the road to play somewhere else, as he’s been banned from playing at this spot, because of this other guy.
Later, as I’m walking back with the folks, a lady asks me if I give guitar lessons – she’s heard me play and thinks I’m really good! Which is not bad timing, I think. This is right at The Buttercross, where there is quite a commotion occuring – in the shape of Tony, the saxophonist busker with backing tracks. He’s causing quite a stir – there’s a clearly defined arc of people watching him. Tony pulls out all the (saxophone) stops – he’s right in the middle of the street, he’s loud, his legs are splayed and he’s now defying gravity, leaning back like he’s emptying the dregs out of a huge beer glass and he’s now going the other way – forwards, so that his saxophone almost touches the ground and now, he’s taking a break while his invisible, note perfect backing band carry on. He’s like the Jimmy Page of the saxophone. He’s a performer, an extrovert…an exibitionist, in fact he’s everything I’m not, but I have to hand it to him, he makes alot of money and good luck to him.