Diary Of A Busker Day 438 Tuesday August 27th 2013 Winchester (1. Opposite LK Bennett, Time: 3:17-4:18pm, 2. Next to The Slug & Lettuce, Time: 4:25-5:27pm).
When I was making the weekly coinage deposit at the bank, there was a man and woman busking outside the derelict JB Sports shop, so I thought I’d give it a go there, having become a bit bored with the Butter Cross zone, and in particular that bit near the bakery because of that ‘Why don’t you learn more songs’ bitch – something I’m still annoyed about, so I give it an hour. I do Bluebell – newly resurrected…and mess it up. I’m going to have to write the TAB out small, so it all goes on two pages, as I’ve got it on four pages, photocopied from the Merle Travis book, and I have to stop halfway through and turn the page! Which is why I tried doing it from memory, so I wouldn’t have to turn the page, but I haven’t memorised it, so I messed it up!
Half an hour in, Purple God Woman Wendy turns up, unfolds a portable chair and sits down a few feet to my right. She’s there fifteen minutes, singing and muttering, and at one point, points up to something on the building across the way, so I look up, can’t tell what she’s pointing at, and say ‘What is it?’ She says ‘The head there, see?’ And yes, there is a carved stone head above a top floor window. ‘John the Baptist’, she says. (If you say so). She leaves after Deve Ser Amor – now a regular set number, being a summery sort of samba sound (some serious alliteration…)
After the hour, I do a quick coinage count (more alliteration!) and make it £8.78p – not too good. I think part of the trouble is the street’s quite wide here, and I know from that time at Marble Arch station where they had me on the Carling-sponsored spot, not at the bottom of the escalator where everyone was but twenty feet away, against the wall…well, I know from that that most people won’t go out of their way, not even by a step…or ten. I SHOULD know that, anyway…by bitter experience, no less. I pack up, turn the corner, and 7 minutes (very precisely) later, start up near The Slug, and do an hour…
…a woman dangles her baby in front of me, then, holding her arms, tries to teach her to walk/dance. She’s there for awhile…no contribution. But the weather’s fine: not too hot.
As I’m packing up, a man appears, smelling of beer. He’s been sitting outside the restaurant a few doors down. He puts two pound coins in the bucket which I’ve just put in the bag, and those two coins take the earnings from under the average to just over it. Thank you, kind sir.