Diary Of A Busker Day 624 Wednesday September 3rd 2014 Chichester (1. North Street, Time: 11:48-1:59pm, 2. Opposite Next, East Street, Time: 2:35-4:05pm).
For a change, I set up a few feet from where I was last week – and in the sun: very unusual for me. There’s also no wall behind me which makes me feel a bit ‘on show’, which I don’t really like but I get used to it.
I sell two CDs. The first is to two teenage boys – one’s got a guitar. They were listening nearby, sort of behind me, then they came up during Twelve-String Shuffle and bought the CD. Then a woman and her daughter bought one after Jesu. The woman said, ‘When we came up before, you were doing something more upbeat but…I have trouble sleeping so – and I don’t mean to be rude – this might help!’ Music To Go To Sleep By.
When I was packing up, a woman came over and asked if I was going, so I said I was, as I was booked to be at East Street at 2:30. She said, ‘Oh, well, could you come and play opposite us? – you were last time, we really like you. We’re above that place there (L’ Occitane)…my colleague, he likes Albert Ross – he calls it, Albatross, and we like listening to you, so could you play there?’ I thanked her and said I would next time. I said I come up once a week. She never left a donation, though! Thanks lady, but you must think I do this for the good of my health!
In the alleyway, on the way to the toilet, I was behind two women. One, about 65, was in a mobility scooter, and smoking. The other, a bit younger, was walking beside her. The younger one – ‘The thing is, they don’t know, in the ol’ days, what smoking did. I mean, if you knew what was gonna’ happen, you wouldn’t have started smoking, would you? If you knew what was gonna’ happen when you got older’. Older one – ‘Na’. Younger one – ‘That’s the thing, they didn’t know, back in the ol’ days’. ‘Na’, said the older one, taking another drag from her fag.
Lunch: an orange, water, and pork pie I’d bought at the Tesco Metro on the way from the station. Then I set up at the next spot – East Street. Two boys were right near me – they said they’d heard me earlier and liked it. I said, ‘Well, it’s just old music I play, from the 50’s and 60’s’. A boy said, ‘That’s all I hear at home, anyway: old music…Jethro Tull, AC/DC. My dad listens to it, he has all the…new, re…’ I help him out, ‘CDs?’ ‘Yeah’, says boy. ‘Remastered?’ says I. ‘Yeah’, says boy. They hung around for a couple of songs then went. The blonde woman with the mobile store up the road at the clock tower – or Cross – walked by, so I did a few seconds of Bond. She smiled and winked.
Oh look, it’s that horrible kid from last week. The one who I thought was going to spit at me. He comes running up to me, and again it looks like he’s going to do it. He’s holding a coke can, and something I forgot to note down last time: he’s wearing a rather large Batman belt. So he runs up and before he gets to me, I stand up. He says, ‘Oh shit, do you remember me?’ I shout, ‘Yeah, I do!’, and he runs off. Good. I wonder if I could get a CPSO onto him. There’s never one around, etc…
The Dancing Lady turns up during While My Guitar Gently Weeps, but she’s not dancing today, although I suppose it’s not really a dancing song. But she does donate for which I thank her. She says, ‘No, thank YOU’, then to two girls walking past, ‘Listen to the lovely music!’
Near the end, out of a corner of my eye, I notice that Batman kid has walked behind me, and I think ‘I bet he’s spit on the back of my jacket’, so at the end of the song, I take it off and have a look and fortunately there’s nothing there.
The set wasn’t nearly as lucrative – if that’s the right word – as the first: no CDs and I reckon about half the coinage. I was going to pack up halfway through and go back to where my fan club is: opposite the office. The blonde woman goes by with her cart and says, ‘You alright? Crap today’. I say, ‘Yeah, it was alot better on North Street’.
Earnings: £44.82p (Including 2 CDs)