Diary Of A Busker Day 688 Sunday February 8th 2015 Winchester (1. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 2:02-3:07pm, 2. Opposite Bellis, Time: 3:15-4:25pm).
A cold day – of course, but no wind – good. Sam’s come up again, from Brighton. He’s set up camp at his usual Butter Cross spot. As I’m walking by, he tells me he’ll be done in 40 minutes if I want to set up there or near there. I cycled around for 10 minutes…down to Oxfam – too windy, but everywhere else was fine. I settle on where the restaurants are, which is brave as I haven’t been out for a week as it’s been too cold – 7 degrees or less, so I might be a bit rusty and make a load of mistakes in front of all those sitting outside, although there’s not many as it’s too cold. Do I have to say that again?!
If I’m not mistaken, as I’m tuning up I’m sure Sam’s doing Blowin’ In The Wind – my usual opener! I go into it…and there are a few people coming through the alley who will have just heard him doing it, then presto, they get a more up tempo instrumental version! A couple of numbers in and I get a nice compliment (what compliment isn’t nice?) A man donates and says ‘Absolutely wonderful! Just sitting there, having a glass of wine, sounds wonderful!’ and he pats me on the shoulder. I reckon I do sound better after a glass of wine. The more the better. But then I notice that although the door of Pavilion had been open when I started, it’s now…closed. You win some, etc….
I make a tramp’s day. During Je Te Veux, while I’ve got my head down following the score on the ground, a pair of jeaned legs appear. I carry on for a minute then look up and some bloke who looks like he’s come down from the mountain: long, straggly hair, unshaven, dirty hands – says ‘Jimi Hendrix…he did that’. What? Hendrix played Je Te Veux, a waltz by Erik Satie? Surely not, so I say ‘Jimi Hendrix did THAT?’ The mountain man mumbles something and I think ‘Bollocks, Hendrix never did that’, then I think ‘I’ll do Purple Haze – he’ll love it’.
So I go into it and yes, he loves it. I don’t bother with the Fame bit which I put in the youtube video last week. Just a couple of verses of Purple Haze and the riff a load of times. At the end, mountain guy extends a weather-worn dirty hand (actually, one finger) and says ‘Thank you sir, you made my day’, and goes off back to his mountain. And I felt really pleased about that, I really did. I mean, I bet the bloke gets a load of grief about whatever…or maybe he doesn’t, who knows. I do an hour and 5 minutes, and the hands are OK although it’s definitely time for a little rest. The coinage was as much as I thought it would be: just under £12 – still a bit above the usual.
Barely 10 minutes later, Sam’s gone like he said he would be, so I set up down from him, at the Bellis spot. This time I do Purple Haze with Fame – a debut for the medley – and I got one donation during the P.H bit. Song Of The Day: definitely the 1st Gnossienne, as it got SEVEN donations, which is bloody amazing. I lasted abit longer here: an hour and 15, but the feet were really getting cold – colder than the hands. Chris – formerly erroneously named Mick – came by to tell me he was going to be 63 (or 64) tomorrow. He looks good for it and I told him so – ‘If you said you were going to be FIFTY, then I would have believed it’. So he got Wonderful Land – it’s THIRD outing today – which he didn’t even ask for. He got it anyway, as he went off.
During The Third Man, there was a lone clapper: a drongo on the bench down the road a bit. The coinage here – very good. Must have been about £27!