I used to be a licenced busker on the London Underground. That means I was one of around 400 people allowed to perform and receive donations on the official Buskear pitches (sponsored by Capital 95.8 and thelondonpaper) at 25 or so of London’s Tube Stations.
I play ukulele and sing. My repertoire is taken from popular song from the early part of the 20th Century, but that makes it sound a lot more serious than it is If you want a flavour, listen to this or this
I do have a profile on buskear.com but it’s a bit bare at the moment. (To be honest, the whole site doesn’t work that well and I’ve lost too many attempts to write stuff there – also, the map thingy is often out of date)
Here’s what I wrote here in my first week of busking:
“When they hear I’m busking, I get some funny reactions from some people – they immediately assume it’s about the money, or that it’s a bit low and dirty. It just occurred to me that sometimes these are people who don’t have any problem with blogging, but the reactions seem to me to be the same as, say, mainstream journalists to social media.
So, thanks guys for helping me see that my busking is just the same my blogging – just because I’m busking doesn’t mean that I’m trying to get to the top of the CD charts, I’m not doing it for the money, or that I’m slumming it with the low lifes – and it’s not about whether everyone likes what I do or not, it’s for the odd glances of recognition and those people whose day is made a tiny bit better by hearing some old git singing his little heart out today – and it’s for me – I’m having a great laugh “
That’s not to say that I’d ever say no to a few coppers in the case! And if you’re not likely to be passing in the near future, you can still toss me some spare change courtesy of Paypal.
If you want to have a go at being a busker yourself, you have to apply, pass an audition and have a police check. The details are on the Transport for London site – but be patient, it took me around 9 months to get from application to licence.