Diary Of A Busker Day 555 Saturday May 3rd 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:15-1pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 1:15-3pm, 3. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:33-4:03pm, 4. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 4:07-5:07pm).
I was just about to get going at Gieves & Hawkes – all tuned up and everything, when my ears were assailed by that bloody rockabilly lot, blasting it out down at the crossroads. I never even got to do one song – there was no way I would ever hear myself above that racket, so I packed up and got as far away as I could, namely, down the to the arse-end!
Maurice turned up and donated two pound coins. I’ve just remembered: the other day he walked past, bellowing ‘I’VE GOT NO MONEY! I’M BROKE – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’ Anyway, today, he’s bellowing something else, and looking at me as he’s about to cross the road, when I see a bus coming towards him (should I tell him? – ha!)…I say ‘Don’t get hit by the bus’, and he sees it and says ‘I’m 70 years old, and do you know why? – because I ALWAYS MISS THE BUS!’ Then, a few seconds later, after the bus has gone and as he’s crossing back over, he turns to me and says ‘They wouldn’t DARE hit me!’
I might have made a good connection. At the end of the set, when I was packing up, a couple who’ve been listening at one of the tables, come over. The man has something to do with teepee tents or marquees at wedding receptions all over the country, and he asks if I play at that sort of thing. Background music, as it were. I say I do – definitely!, that’s what I need more of, I’m your man, etc… I think they liked my discreet set-up – in the corner of a room sort of thing. He asks a rough price for 2 hours, so I said £150-£200, which he thought was very reasonable. Anyway, I gave him my card.*
The rockabilly bunch are still up the road…and around the corner, just outside the cathedral grounds entrance, near the Pavilion spot, there are two girls. I decide to be uncharacteristically sociable to other buskers for once, even though these two are surely part-timers. In fact, they’re not playing right now, the guitars are on the ground. Anyway, they’re friendly enough – young folk usually are! They say they’re leaving, so I can set up. I say I usually go over there, pointing to the place against the wall. They say ‘We like it here – we do a lot of dancing’. I say I prefer it over there, as I don’t do much dancing.
Quite a long set – 1 3/4 hours, and I was going to take a proper break but I got bored in the bookshop!, so I was back out, playing down the road from where I just was, although I just did half an hour, which put the total up to 3 hours – my self-imposed unofficial limit, these days (got to watch the ol’ thumb). But as the coinage was a bit slow, and as there was now no one down at the crossroads, I thought I’d do a short one. I was thinking of 20 minutes or so. However, the usual thing happened and it went on…to 40 minutes, which made a total of 4 hours playing time. Rare these days.
Earnings: £51.74p (Including 2 CDs: £5/£9, and a 50 euro cent coin)
- I never heard back.