Diary Of A Busker Day 2285 Sunday December 17th 2023 The Buttercross/Market Street, Winchester.
The long haired strummer bloke who stands up is in between Jewry Street and the Buttercross. He’s got a tobacco Gretsch; quite nice but not as nice as my new one in Cadillac Green!
Amazingly, for a Sunday before Christmas, there’s no one down at the top spot so I set up…and after three songs and millions of people about, I’ve earned bugger all. It doesn’t surprise me; there’s too much noise (and I don’t mean me) and too many distractions and people are trying to get where they’re going and it’s often the case.
It picks up a bit, though…I’m handed a tenner by a man who knows my name, who says it’s tradition – he gives me a tenner every Christmas, which makes me feel a bit crap because I haven’t got a clue who he is and I don’t know HIS name.
Twenty minutes in and a couple of women from the Saxophony group sit on the monument a few feet away. I ask “Do you want to play here?” “Oh no, we’re in front of the tree, at one o’clock.” Right, that means I’ve got half an hour so I play on…and over the next ten minutes, more of Saxophony turn up. Well, they might not be starting until 1 o’clockbut they start tuning up twenty minutes before and all I can say is, if you’re going to fucking tune up while I’m playing Eleanor Rigby, can you please tune up in fucking C major? I mean, what a fucking racket or dare I say, what a Saxophony cacophony. I’m getting comments like “I think you’ve been beaten!” and “Good luck with that lot!” I can’t bear it so I pack up and head down the alleyway to The Square…but I can’t set up there because there’s a sort of circus act; two scantily clad women – an aerial duo, standing near a big hoop. They’re on a break, with their arms crossed against their chests, trying to keep their tits warm.
Down Market Street and around the corner, there’s Meeta and her harp. I can’t be arsed trudging down to the Gospel Hall, which means the only place I can set up is right here, at the cathedral grounds entrance, where another lot is conveniently just heading off. So, a quick set up and off we go…but 30 seconds into The Lambeth Walk and a load of water starts dripping on my equipment case on my left. I stop playing, look up, and it’s spurting out of the edge of a sign. “For fuck’s sake!” I scream. The musician bloke about to set off says “Oh dear, you’ll have to move a couple of inches to your right, won’t you?” Yes I will and yes I do and I make more dosh in that spot with less people and less playing time. You just never can tell.