Diary Of A Busker Day 431 Thursday August 15th (1. Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 3:35-5:05pm, 2. Next to The Slug & Lettuce, Time: 5:35-6:35pm).
When I get to The Butter Cross, there’s a bunch of brass players promoting tonight’s show at the theatre. Actually, they’re not playing: they’re on a break, or packing up as some of them appear to be putting stuff in cases. I go up to one of the girls and enquire…and it seems they are are on a break – they’ll be back at 4:30, so I can play here for an hour, which is long enough in my present state of mind.
I open with the new one – Tzena Tzena Tzena (I heard you the first time) which is getting a bit better, even the really short contrary motion bit. I also debut another one – Siboney, from the same Chet album, but missing out the middle A major bit, which needs some more work. During the 1st Gnossienne, an old woman suddenly appears and tells me off – ‘Can you turn down, we can’t hear ourselves speak in the shop!’ I’m afraid I was a bit cheeky: feigning deafness, I said ‘Sorry?’ But she doesn’t get it and again she says ‘Can you turn down, it’s so loud we can’t hear ourselves in the shop’. I don’t get it, it’s one of the quietest songs I do! I ask what shop she’s in. She points across the way to the O2 shop – ‘That one’. Oh well, what can you do? I apologise profusely, exaggeratedly, and totally falsely – ‘Oh I AM sorry, I’ll turn down straight away. I’m so, SO sorry’, and she walks off, but not back to the shop. She walks off down the road, and I think “what was the bloody point of that? She should have come out before, and during a louder number!”‘ It must have been the one before she was moaning about, namely James Bond – my loudest one. Still, it’s no use complaining after the event, is it, you stupid old bag.
One of the Drongos – an old-ish woman with short dark hair and a trolley, she’s been wandering about shouting recently – stops beside me, holding a £5 note. I think “she’s not going to give that to me, is she?” And I was right – she wasn’t. Some woman has just given it to HER and she’s off to McDonalds to spend it. ‘Good’, I say.
The hour comes and goes and the brass lot don’t turn up. I keep looking about for them and keep on playing for another half hour, but they never came back and I never saw them anywhere else on the High Street. I pack up and go into Boots to see if some film I left for the cheap 6-day developing has come in. The security guy asks if heard what happened earlier. I say I don’t and ask him what it was. He says about 2:30, two blokes pushed down a pregnant woman and stole her phone just outside the shop. There was a lot of screaming and the police turned up – it’s all on the CCTV, of course. (Or is it? I remember when I had that trouble with THE JERK awhile back, down at the crossroads, and the CPSO said the camera down there wasn’t even switched on!) Anyway, that’s nice – knocking down a pregnant lady (in her 40s, apparently, says my informant) and nicking her phone. And there I was thinking this was a nice, safe, god-fearing country town.