Diary Of A Busker Day 405 Saturday July 13th Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:54-3:54pm, 2. Next to The Slug And Lettuce, Time: 4:13-5:40pm).
And once again it’s choc-a-bloc with buskers. At The Butter Cross: a man singing and playing the Skyfall theme on an electronic keyboard. Then, down a bit, the same young guy who was decimating Imagine, yesterday (actually, that’s another similarly-related one I’d like to hear him pulverise). This bloke’s too near Vodafone for me to set up there…and Sam’s down at the alleyway opposite Marks & Spencer, so I’m down at Oxfam…where I pass an uneventful 2 hours, for the usual rate of coinage. I do, however, resurrect a song I haven’t played in ages, namely my only nod to the Samba genre – Deve Ser Amor. I went through it last night and am now brave enough to attempt it…and it goes OK. I think it goes well with the hot weather – it’s 24 degrees, like yesterday. So: Samba, Brazil, hot weather – all that.
An almost funny moment: I’m playing the Black Mountain Rag part of the Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring/Black Mountain Rag medley, and a little girl gives some change then goes back to her dad, nearby. I then go back into the Jesu bit – much slower of course, and the kid looks distinctly unimpressed, so I say ‘Is this too slow for you?’, and she nods, so I go back into the Rag, but at a ridiculous speed – way too fast! In fact it’s so fast I have to stop after 30 seconds and apologise – I say ‘Sorry, it’s too fast! I started it way too fast!’ I must remember: start SLOWER, so you can GET faster, you idiot.
After the break – the usual toilet/scorching tap water fiasco, and Mr. ‘John’ walking past me and ignoring me (good!) just after I leave, I look for somewhere else to play…but now, at Vodafone, that youngster Sam’s there, and up the road, the other Mr. John (as in Elton)’s still at The Butter Cross. I can’t go back down the road, I’ve just been there 2 hours! I wonder…yes, it’s going to happen, like yesterday – Next to The Slug And Lettuce. I lived through it once, I can do it again. And like yesterday, I open with Albatross…no donations, then La Vie En Rose…no donations, but a family sitting diagonally opposite, outside Cafe Monde, clap! They mustn’t be from these parts, I reckon. Then Can’t Help Falling In Love…no donations, but again the alien family clap. During the next song they leave, saying ‘thank you’, which definitely had a foreign twang – I knew it.
One hour in, another lot – a couple outside the Cafe Monde get up to leave. The man comes over and says ‘thank you – it’s like travelling around the world’. I say ‘Eh?’ because I don’t know what he’s talking about, and he says ‘Listening to you – Ne Me Quitte Pas – French. It’s like travelling around the world!’ I say ‘Ah, I see. I never looked at it like that…yeah, I suppose you’re right’. He is – but it’s a lot cheaper, listening to me. In fact, if he’d been here a bit longer, when I’d done Londonderry Air/Danny Boy, he could have gone (via Nashville) to Scotland…or Ireland, or wherever it’s about.
After an hour and 15 minutes, I decide to wind it down as I don’t want to press my luck, as it were, with the cafe and bar lot, even though Ian said he couldn’t hear me, and that was just inside the window across the way. But there’s still time for people to come up and say how great they think I am: a disabled lady in a buggy(?), with her husband and 3 dogs – ‘monsters’, as she calls them, come across from outside the cafe to say how much they liked the music. They were so relieved when I started playing – ‘You don’t know who you’re going to get, sometimes’, she said. That was nice, especially as just before they came over, I’d been a bit depressed for a few minutes, for whatever reason, which I can’t remember now.
Jeremy drops by with a song suggestion – ‘Something by Erik Satie. One or two of the Gymnopedie tunes, do you know them?’ ‘I’ll look into it’, I say. ‘Yes, now, please do. I’ll be checking when I see you!’ Yes, now, please piss off Jeremy, and don’t bother to check up on me. There’s something fake and smarmy about him – I’m not sure what it is but he very, VERY rarely contributes when he’s on his own, but quite often does when he’s with somebody. Hmm…
I do the Jesu/Black Mountain Rag/Rain Song section, and I was going to stop then but looking at the watch, decide to make it a good hour and a half with one last song. So, after all the tuning up, I do Borsalino…and WOW! – a bloke donates a £5 note! Of course, this means instant Song Of The Day status is conferred. Well, I thought that was that, but when I started packing up, a bloke about 30 comes up and puts a £10 note in!!, saying ‘The Rain Song – that was great. You know, whenever I hear you on the street, it adds so much to my day’. I couldn’t believe it. And he wasn’t an old guy! Well, It’s too complicated having 2 Song(s) Of The Day, so the celebrated title is now transferred to The Rain Song – a £5 note can’t argue with a tenner.
Earnings: £50.95p (+ two 5 cent euro coins)