Diary Of A Busker Day 440 Friday August 30th 2013 Winchester (Opposite Vodafone, Time: 4:10-6:10pm).
I have a brief chat with Frank, who’s requisitioned the Butter Cross spot for his own dastardly intentions. He says he’s seen the other accordionist I warned him about awhile ago. He says he saw him down the road so I asked if he – Frank, spoke to him. ‘Yeah, I said “two accordion players in Winchester is two too many”‘. Now, if that doesn’t sound like a threat, I don’t know what is. ‘This town ain’t big enough fer the both of us, stranger’. Ha! I ask Frank how he’s getting on – he hasn’t got much in his hat. ‘Not very well’, he says. I say it might pick up later, as the middle of the afternoon’s a bit slow sometimes. (Why am I telling HIM – a veteran busker, something he will know as being obvious?!)
I set up at the halfway spot and after a few songs, debut a ‘new’ one – the one that Jeremy and Ragtime Phillip wanted to hear: Monsieur Satie’s 5th Gnossienne. I was going to debut it yesterday in Chichester, along with Bluebell, but I chickened out, although I did Bluebell. I made a couple of mistakes in the Gnossienne, but at least the hurdle of the first (public) play is over, as I said to one of my aged female regulars a couple of songs later. She asked how many songs I knew and I said I wasn’t sure but it’s about two hours worth. I said I’d learnt a new one and she said surely I didn’t need to learn any more! (and don’t call me Shirley). I should have told her to go and say that to the bun bitch in Reeves. She thinks I should learn a whole new set! But it’s one thing playing stuff at home and another thing doing it out here, I reckon. It’s terrifying doing it out here for the first time. Then she said ‘Well, my grandchildren sing. It doesn’t sound like music, though! Goodbye’, and walked off.
Dangerous Dave’s brother, walking along with his new bike – it must be new: there’s not a mark on it – stops in front of me. I forget what I was playing but I don’t stop because I know what’s coming – his bloody Batman request. So he says ‘I’ve got a new bike’. I wait a bit then say ‘Yeah, I can see…gears all shiny…very nice…very new…I can tell it’s new, the gears are all shiny (again)…’. After two minutes of this, I finish the song, and here it is – ‘You gotta play it – c’mon, Batman!’ Then, to a couple of people walking by – ‘Batman! He plays Batman! NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA, you know, go on, YOU GOTTA PLAY IT!’ Yeah, he’s right, I’ve got to, just to get rid of him. It’s about 30 seconds long – he loves it. Then, suddenly thinking about my recently resurrected Bicycle Built For Two, I say ‘I’ll play a bike song for you’. But he’s not interested. He loves Batman and nothing else. He says goodbye and walks away. Nutter. I still play the bike one, though. Twice, as it’s really short, though not as short as that idiot’s concentration.
Song Of The Day is Wouldn’t It Be Nice, as it earns me a £2 coin, donated by a lady, and a few coins of lesser worth from a few others. But still – a £2 coin!