Diary Of A Busker Day 389 Friday June 21st Winchester High Street (Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:38-3:05pm).
Robs’ stuff’s at The Butter Cross and I meet the man himself as he’s coming out of the coffee shop. We have a boring conversation about busking amps. He uses a VOX. It’s bigger than mine BUT he needs a power supply. He tells me all about conversion ratios and adaptors…and transformers…and 2400 volts. Stuff I don’t understand. He says he’ll be here for another half hour then he’s off to Southampton. I say he’s welcome to it!
I set up, or rather start to set up, down the road, but hear a faint sound. I look up, and notice the hatted form of Rick Tarrant, a few doors up on the other side. He’s strumming along…very quietly, as he always is. He’s so quiet, I never heard him but I would have seen him if I’d taken the usual route from The Butter Cross, however, from up there, I could see Monica and her Big Issues, and, not being in a sociable mood – what a surprise, I wanted to avoid her, so I took a parallel road to get down here. In fact I don’t even go up and say hello to Rick! Instead, I head down to Oxfam.
An almost amusing moment: Delia dropped by early in the set, and noticing there wasn’t much in the bucket, clapped loudly at the end of the song I was doing and shouted ‘COME ON, CLAP!’, in the direction of the people sitting outside Maison Blanc – no one did!
I meet Brian. Not posh, pipe-wielding BrYan with a ‘Y’, but 80 years old Brian with an ‘i’ and an old bike like mine. The same Brian I took a photo of at Monsoon awhile back, only today I don’t recognise him because he’s without his bike! We start talking and he says he’s ‘been telling all my friends to Google Mervin’. Oh dear. Marvin with an ‘e’. I say ‘that’s probably why I haven’t heard from any of them. It’s Marvin with an ‘a”. Right, he’s got that. Anyway, he’s a very cheery bloke, is Brian. I hope I’m like that when I’m 80. I doubt it!
He goes off…then returns a few minutes later with an odd request. He asks if I’ve ever done any public speaking. I say I haven’t, apart from the very occasional one at a wedding. He asks if I would like to speak about busking in front of 20 or so of his friends. (SPEAKING about it?! For goodness sake, it’s enough actually DOING it and then writing about it!) He says it would be interesting to hear about some of my experiences. I ask him if he knows about my book. Yes, he does. He says ‘maybe I should read that, before!’, to which I nod in agreement – ‘you never know, Brian. You might be in it!’