Category Archives: ukulele

Tales from the Underground

lloyd buskingSo my busking adventures continue – I was at my second home, Bond St tonight – quite quiet, lots of small change dropped, but also lovely stuff like the lady who gave me a rose and the other who said I was the best thing she’d heard on the tube [compared to the coaches on the Bakerloo Line, presumably :) ].

Thanks to everyone who’s come to see me so far – Emma, Russell, Jamie – and all those who’ve sent warm wishes via twitter. I’m having a great time with it.

Counting the money is giving me lots of fun. I have a spreadsheet going with the following metadata: date, day, time, location so that I can do some analysis. So far I’m averaging a bit more than minimum wage… but not quite up to my consulting day rate. No matter, the most important return I get is something I’m not quantifying precisely: the number of smiles and winks.

Today I met a Busking Manager for the first time. These guys get to go round the network, checking in with buskers that everythings alright and making sure that people have turned up to the right pitch at the right time. I’m also getting to meet more and more of my fellow performers. Most are really nice, but I have to say that a number of them are just bloody miserable, I suppose it’s like anything, but I do think there are a few who buy in so much to the suffering artist myth that nothing could make them happy.

The most obvious thing I’ve learned is that people with shorter legs walk more slowly than those with long legs. It’s really noticable when a train comes in, the crowd just gets shorter as it passes by – you just don’t see these things when you’re in the crowd yourself.

Photo by Russell Davies

Busking 2.0

So just a quick thought before I stroll over to Embankment tube for 2 hours of ukulele fun.

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 :D

Uke News

Long-time readers here will have been aware of my plunking and warbling, but I’ve only recently been coming out of the ukulele closet more widely.

My seesmic fun has been well-received but before all that started, I did an audition for a busking licence on London Underground and yesterday, I heard that I passed :)

I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, so I just wanted to warn those who are uke-averse that shortly (just waiting for my police check) you won’t even be able to escape by going underground…

Unfathomable juxtaposition

Picture 041These boots were made for walking, but they were just sat on a wall in the back streets of Westminster the other day and just screamed “photograph me” when I walked past.

Quite why I chose this pic to illustrate this post which is nothing more than a wrapper for another outing for my voice & ukulele (1min, 330k) is beyond my comprehension. This number’s called “I want a little girl” and has nothing to do (unless you have a bizarre imagination) with walking, boots, leather or Westminster.

Perhaps I need to increase my dosage.

You made me love you when I saw your thighs

macro 012…is the alternative rendition of this little beauty (660kb 0:42) but here is a one chorus blast of the original.

Not directed at anyone in particular (no, I haven’t been making any girls cry) just the first thing that popped into my head when I picked up my ukulele for a late afternoon recording session and dedicated to anyone whose ever had tears in their eyes.

Cartoon sticker on my computer by Hugh Macleod