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Posts Tagged ‘busking’

A few good men

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Un-self-effacing though it may be, I consider myself to be a pretty decent busker. So much so that we decided to turn the very positive responses we’ve been getting lately by recording a CD and seeing how it sells. Which didn’t work out according to plan due to a multitude of technical difficulties.

But, still being in a musical mood, though having left my guitar at Mike’s, I will instead list my favourite ever buskers (to the best of my recollection).

  • Didgeridoo d’n'b
    A French guy I saw a few weeks ago in Amsterdam beat-boxing drum-n-bass music down a didgeridoo.
  • Didgeridoo Elvis
    An Aborigine who busked all day in Melbourne. In the morning he would be dressed in head to toe Elvis garb, but after lunch he would be in little more than a loin cloth and body paint and playing the didgeridoo.
    (I shoudl say at this point that I don’t even really like didgeridoos).
  • Paul Simon remixed
    In York a bored busker, midway through a standard rendition of Mrs. Robinson, suddenly yelled out “It’s the remix!” and then continued to play the song in something like a ska style.
  • Slide guitarist blues-man on the tube
    Often used to play in the tunnel between the Central and Northern lines at Bank. Used to sing with a great incomprehensible blues yelp.
  • Story seller
    In Melbourne, dressed in a horrifically green t-shirt, she would write an A4 page’s worth of story for you on a topic of your choice.
  • Electric fiddle Lemmy
    A guy in Chester who plays classical music on the electric fiddle, looping countless different parts and using effects pedals to from time to time summon the lead guitar sound which befits his Motorhead look.Here he is:

Any to add to the list?

A crime that has no name

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

As well as web development I also play guitar for a living in a two piece irish band. As well as a few regular and irregular gigs in pubs and cafes we play a lot on the street. If you want to understand world politics try busking; it’s world of bullying capoeira gangs and nervous conservatoire students is as great a microcosm of power struggles and injustices as you could get.

But I digress.

The crime that has no name of the title of this post is the act of videoing a busker/street performer, but not putting any money in. (You know who you are. You can tell when you’re one of them because nobody likes you). Walking past and dancing a bit and not putting any money in is borderline cheeky, but taping it for extended enjoyment and not thinking it’s worth paying for is beyond belief. I can just imagine them sharing the holiday videos with bored relatives, and when they get to the musical highlight the proud projectionist delivers the voice-over: “Oh yes – these guys were great. Really enjoyed them. I would’ve given them some money but, you know my policy: When it’s at all possible to be a bastard… Be a bastard!”

Well, the next one of you who comes along, I’m giving you the finger.

Let’s see how that looks on your family holiday video.

And yes – that is a picture of an amoeba.

Travel on the cheap

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

I’ve been planning a short busking holiday with Mike – to Provence to wow crowds with our Irish-Folk fusion sound, but travel on the cheap is not as easy as it might seem.

Ryanair, advertising flights for £10 each eventually wanted to charge us £80 in total, with at least 3 layers of hidden extras. Remarkably, everything apart from taking yourself and one item of handluggage is a billable extra!

The main poin of this post though is to lambast the design of the eurolines website. Tobook a coach you have to go to the country you’re departing from’s subsite, and to do this you have to click on an image map of a map of europe. This map lacks:

  1. Country borders
  2. Hover over effects

It took me a few goes to select The Netherlands successfully. I’m just grateful I’m not leaving from Luxembourg or I’d still be desperately nudging the mouse around the damn thing!

My advice is to use ecolines whenever feasible. They have this very cool graphical feature, a map with hover over effects that show which cities you can travel to from which cities, which very quickly confirmed they don’t travel a route that’s useful to us, but should I ever head to Eastern Europe..