Never been to West Hampstead. Been through, never to. So I went yesterday on the advice of another fiddler who went there to get his bow repaired and fiddled up the price in the time it took. That's just over an hour.
I started off by playing some sound billiards on the main road just up the hill from the rail station, bouncing my fiddle off the sharp brickworked offices above a bathroom shop up towards the Black Lion in one direction and over the railway tracks in the other.
There were residential single glazed windows above me, so I didn't stay too long. £30 later I'm off up the road to have a look at the fire station. Nice old building. Looks a bit like fireman Sams' one.
West Hampstead has public toilets! This meant I could buy a pint of ale from the offy and enjoy the park before splashing me boots. There's also a little opening next to a jazz club that leads up some steps to a terrace that over looks some well kept back gardens.
The tube station looked inviting with a sunset developing. Tube tracks cut the skyline down over the bridge, exposing a clear atmosphere glowing away with the light of approaching spring. Here I had one of the best busks I've ever had, aided by a 10cl bottle of Bells. It took me an hour to fiddle up £40. I've done £60 in an hour before, but not had as much fun. Some strange acoustic affect meant that my fiddle was loud without having to try too hard. It really confused me because there were no structures above me to reflect the sound. I was busking into the sky, but the sound was staying close. It meant I could really get into the rhythms.
It was an intimate busk. People milled about for a bit, checking their phones, trying to teach their toddlers how to throw a £1 coin into a fiddle case. That sort of thing. The whisky made me feel like we were all at the same barbeque.