Diary Of A Busker Day 274

Diary Of A Busker Day 274 Saturday August 25th 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:24-2:40pm, 2. Opposite Bellis, Time: 3:14-4:11pm, 3. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 4:28-5:28pm
The weather’s gone back to like it was a couple of months ago; mainly rain, either pouring or drizzling, so I set up near the Gospel Hall doorway, just in case. In fact, I’m not long into the first set – only three songs – when it gets really bad and I have to drag my stuff undercover…only to re-set up ten minutes later. I manage a bit longer this time, playing – solely, it would appear – to a drunk couple sitting on the bench across the road. He’s shouting unintelligible things and intelligible swear words. She’s the same but a bit quieter. They’re actually starting to get on my nerves…then it pours down and the man gets up and goes for cover in Cross Keys Passage, near the bench, while she stays where she is, eyes closed, blonde hair soaking. She’s got a glass of what I’m assuming is red wine next to her and I can see the rain splashing into it. She’s well out of it. People watch her from the Oxfam doorway, which is where I head for after I pack up, just for a change of scenery. It doesn’t look like it’s going to let-up for a while. After a few minutes in the shop, I leave…but not before I get a photo of the drunk, drenched woman from behind her back, taken from the Oxfam doorway! It really is pouring – I get pretty wet just running to the British Heart Foundation shop, two doors up.
After it dries up…Up the road, opposite the jewellers, a man stands in front of me the entire hour I’m there! and says several times ‘I’ve got ALL the old records!’ not just to me but to most of the people walking by. Then, something I’ll start to play will seem to remind him of other songs and he’ll start singing ‘whenever you’re sad, whenever you’re blue, whenever your troubles are heavy. Beneath the stars you play your guitars…just like Eddie…’ or, instead of singing, he’ll start talking after I start a song – ‘…and, umm…Telstar, that was done by the German guy, oh…who was it?’ I help him out – ‘Joe Meek, he did the record.’ He’s still pondering ‘…um, Heinz! That was him!’ ‘No, Heinz was the bass player in The Tornadoes, the guy Joe Meek fancied.’ This goes on for ages; him singing/talking, me occasionally interjecting to correct something he’s said, or interjecting out of boredom although, after a while, I sort of forget he’s there. It’s just weird though; hasn’t he got anywhere to go?
Young Sam, the singing/acoustic strummer, turns up and I ask how it’s been for him today. Not too good. The young flower seller – ‘THREE FOR A PAAND!’ down the other end, told him to go somewhere else, as he couldn’t hear himself. Couldn’t hear himself? I bet he was the only one. So he came up this end and set up just down from where we are now and The Busker-Hater of Winchester comes out of Timpsons and has a go at him – ‘He told me I was crap. He said I couldn’t sing, I should get a proper job and pay some tax and I wasn’t allowed to use an amp.’ ‘Yeah, he’s evil,’ I say, and then relate my recent encounter with the appalling man. Poor Sam. I feel sorry for him; he’s only nineteen, and to have some bloke like that come out and tell him he’s crap and all the rest of it. I think if someone had said that to me when I was nineteen, I’d have packed it in there and then! Anyway, he isn’t crap, he’s pretty good and does a bit of fingerstyle, too; the only one out here, apart from me, who does that. He always seems to be doing Angie when I walk by – the one I used to do but stopped, as the Focal Dystonia made it so difficult. Sam says he has to go up the road to get another guitar lead and, as I’ve had enough of it here, I offer this place to him when he comes back. So…when he comes back I say I’ll do one more song; Here Comes The Sun (he sings along quietly), then it’s over to him. As I’m about to walk off, I say to the bloke who’s been there the whole time, ‘You can stand in front of HIM now!’
Earnings: £29.18 + 3 CDs

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