Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Lady Carey's Dump.

Dompe, but I prefer dump. It's a good one to busk on the fiddle.

Here it is on the harpsichord....


I just do the right hand on the fiddle. But with both my left and right hand. It doesn't work during rush hour.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Camden Council.

Camden Council are trying to enact a law that means if you busk there you will be fined £128 and they can confiscate your instrument if you don't pay. My instrument is worth £2000 (According to a bloke in a violin shop, he said it would be worth £5000 if he fixed it up and sold it.). It was a gift to my mum because she's cracking at the fiddle. She got given it when she was 17ish, then played it for many years, then my big sister played it for a bit and now I'm proud to play it. My instrument is part of me and if anyone tried to take it I'd go beserk. I would become a beserker. Beserkness would ensue. My instrument is one of the many reasons why I enjoy busking. It's a quality instrument and it sounds good. It should be played. So Camden Council can bugger off.

So I went on demonstration outside Camden underground station tonight with the Citizens Kazoo Orchestra. We all had kazoos. I purchased mine from the music shop on Chalk Farm Road. They've got a pedal organ in there. Bought two kazoos actually, just in case. Kazoos only really make sense when there are at least 15 people playing them at once. At one point there were 30 kazoos pointed squarely at Camden High Street. We played Express Yourself, Dirty Old Town, Land of Hope and Glory, Yackety Sax, all that sort of stuff. It was great. There was a bloke right close to me who got a lovely tone out of his kazoo. He took it upon himself to lead us in a few tunes from the microphone. This should be a feature of future Kazoo Orchestra actions. There was also a bit of trombone, some fiddle (Not me.) and some guitar. Very good musicians, but it put a stop to the kazooing. There should have been more kazooing. Also, a Conservative bloke got the chance to use the PA for a speech. He should have been told to bugger off. 
Milk? Errr! It's what Ian Rush drinks... Ian Rush? Who's he? Exactly! Give us some lemonade.

So I was busking under the museums in South Kensington a few Saturdays ago and a young lad (Must have been 15ish) puts a 2 litre bottle of Waitrose milk next to my case. I put it to the side of the pitch and tried to forget about it. The next busker there remarked on it. "Do you want it?" I replied. "Nope." He replied. So there it stayed. I'm glad people don't generally offer me milk when I'm busking. It was a lovely gesture I'm sure, but odd. Also, given he was a teenage lad, there may have been a turd in there or something. Maybe I should have thrown it in the bin. Nothing made sense.

Then the other day in Bank someone jigged their leather jacket off. I braved the flow of people past, picked it up and put it on top of the big blue boxed fan next to my pitch. They came back 15 minutes later and fetched it. Sanity was restored. Things were making sense again, then this woman comes and leaves a Waitrose bag next to my case. Maybe Waitrose are running a 'Save the Busker' campaign. She told me she was leaving it, as she was leaving it 'Some biscuits and things'. "OOh, thank you maaam, the kids'll eat tonight!" was something that I managed not to shout after her.

Ended up that I ate the half eaten packet of shortbread biscuits. They were a bit soggy. Threw the brie, grapes and salad sandwich out though. Maybe I was supposed to 'pay it forward'. Some young bloke once threw £2 in my case in Hammersmith "Just don't spend it on booze yeah?" his earnest face smiled "That's exactly what I'm going to spend it on mate. You'd better take it back." Why doesn't anyone ever leave a nice single malt in the buskers case? Exactly!

Who are Accrington Stanley? 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I got a pizza in Highbury and Islington last night. Asked for an 8 inch one but the bloke handed over a 10 inch one when it was done because 'You're a big lad.' Then I retired to the park with 2 cans and ate my pizza. Very tasty pizza. Lovely park. Autumn weather. Sun poking through trees...etc.

Then this woman comes up to me with her son in tow. She was far away, then she was close, then she was addressing me.

'You're the last person I'm going to talk to today.'


'The reason why we're all drinking and smoking so much and everyone is miserable is that we're all fucked. We're all going to die one day.'


Then she said a few more miserable things which made me giggle and then she was away with her son, him looking really embarrassed and confused.

There was a bloke 90 degrees to me on a bench with a can. He took a swig, the silvery base glinted and I caught a glimpse of green. Heineken. 

Autumn is good for thinking. I thought about what she was trying to tell me. She'd said it with a lot of conviction and didn't like me giggling.