Diary Of A Busker Day 598 Tuesday July 29th 2014 Chichester (The Cross, Time: 12-4pm).
Strictly adhering to the half hour playing then 10 minute break rule…
1. 12 noon-12:30pm. I had the guitar on my lap while I was enjoying my cucumber, cheese and lettuce baguette, just before starting up, and woman walked by and said, ‘Don’t get that on your guitar, will you?’ I said, ‘Nope, it’a all going in my mouth’. Just after I started, the guy selling balloons from his cart – he was 10 feet in front of me – moved off 40 feet to the right. Earnings: £4.32p.
2. 2:40-1:10pm. Time’s going slow. It must be these silly 10 minute breaks. Probably psychological as it’s usually never less than an hour before I take a ‘normal’ break. Money going down: £4.20p – I haven’t even made the train fare back. Tuning down for Wheels/Yellow Bird, etc., there’s a jazzy bloke somewhere to my right who was playing when I got here and hasn’t stopped since…what about YOUR 10 minute breaks, pal?
3. 11:20-1:50pm. About halfway through, a girl walked by with a gigbag and Roland Cube Street, and I’m sure it was Boring Jazz Girl! – it must have been: all the music coming from the right had stopped. So it was her, not a bloke, I was hearing. Boring but daring Jazz Girl not abiding by the rules…and she’s cut her hair – it’s barely down to her shoulders, now…and the money goes down: £3.80p, and I STILL haven’t made the train fare back. I’m fed up with this – I’m packing up and going to the toilet.
4. Opposite Next, Time: 2:10-3:10pm, 3:25-4:05pm. I thought I’d come to where Boring Jazz Girl was. After the first song, Albatross, a woman comes by, looks in the bucket and says, ‘So you’ve done alright, then?’ I say I’ve come down here because people weren’t very appreciative at the other end. ‘I still haven’t heard you – good luck, then’, she says. Then I realise it was the same woman who came up before I started!
It must have been the influence of BJG, but I thought, ‘Sod it, I’m doing an hour right through!, and so it was, and no one came to tell me off. Not even legendary Chichester CPSO, Sean Treble, or that jerk, the time after…and I was rewarded with the well-above-average coinage amount of £17.68p, so it’s alot better here, but then it’s not nearly as noisy as up at The Clock, which is like a hub, with the 4 streets joining, and all the traffic. This suits me much better. So that’s two and a half hours playing – another half hour or so will do it: I don’t want to cross the red line…
…near the end, an old couple were chatting to me – this was all the way through Twelve-String Shuffle, which I just managed to hold together. The man mentioned The Shadows, so I told him I did Wonderful Land and then did it. At the end, he said, ‘You know, I think I prefer that to the original’, and I remember someone else said that, in Winchester. These are the kind of people I like!
At 4:05: For most of the last set there was a woman diagonally across from me with an easel, doing a painting. Now, while I’m packing up, she comes over, says she enjoyed what I was playing – ‘and all the unusual key changes’ – my response: ‘I don’t think some of them were intentional’. ‘Oh of course they were!’, she said (how would she know?) Anyway, I asked if she was doing a painting (of course she was – she had an easel and a canvas and a paint brush!) – she said she had, and asked me to come over and see it.
Well, it was only a watercolour of me!, with the old couple who were there earlier. It was really good, too. I got a photo of it and also one of her in action, doing the painting – posing, in other words. Her name: Kirstin White – ‘artist’, as her card said, and she’s got an exhibition this week at that little art gallery I went to last time I was here. The one through the alleyway, right behind where she was doing the painting, in fact. I said maybe I could see it next week. ‘Too late – it’s only on this week’, she said. She then told me about a potential gig. She sometimes does art shows for a home for dementia patients in Eastleigh, and they sometimes have other days where they have people play – would I be interested? I said I would. She said I’d get about £70, which is £20 more than the one I used to go to near Alton.
So we exchanged cards and I said I had to get the train, just as a tall bloke about 65 comes up and asks if I play clubs! I said, ‘Yeah, anything’, and he asked how much I charge and I thought,’Bloody hell, all this right at the end, just when I have to get the train!’, and I couldn’t think, as I’d done 3 hours and 10 minutes, so I gave HIM a card, so maybe I’ll get TWO gigs out of it, which would be good…of course, maybe I won’t.*
Anyway, Song Of The Day is Here Comes The Sun, as it was the last, and that’s the one the bloke heard when he came up about the potential gig…and it got about 5 donations, too. In fact, I did it about an hour before and it got a few then, as well, so unequivocally SOTD.
So there it was…the day started bad, but after I changed spots (unlike that bloody leopard), it ended well. I’ll have to remember that if I come here again, not to book up The Cross, but book North Street, or East Street.
Earnings: £42.01p – £13 (train fare) = £29.01p (profit)
P.S. I had alot of compliments during the last set. At the very end, a man said, ‘It’s incredible a man of your ability is sitting out here’. I don’t know if he contributed, though!
* I didn’t.