busking, street life

Waiting to play #1

I’m in Totnes today, I’ve had possibly the best decaf flat white from Seeds 2. I’ve gone off buying coffee out as often they’re a bit disappointing; I make a flask usually but didn’t today.

Anyway, following a rather lovely weekend surfing with my daughter and my pals I’ve been watching surfing videos YouTube. Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong!

It’s still early and it’s looking to be another glorious day. People are gradually making their way into town and gentle hubbub is growing. I don’t come here very often. I have fond memories of my time at Dartington, although I imagine it’s very different now that the college has moved.

Anyway I’d better get some sunscreen as I can’t find mine….

busking, street life

Soooo childish!!!

So the council installed a bike rack a while ago right on a busking pitch. Now call me paranoid but I think maybe it was in a bid to stop bands busking since there’s a perfectly good bike rack 5 feet away… Luckily for me I take up very little space.

So anyway, today I cane over all childish.,, check out my bike lock!!! 😂😂😂😂. Oh it’s the small things that make me laugh!

Anyway, I really enjoyed busking today. I learned that despite it being really windy, SSE winds are ok. Everyone was really lovely…no nasty ole trolls climbing out from under their bridges today… Yey!

busking, music, street life

Sound of silence

Yesterday I was busking in Sidmouth. The hottest bank holiday ever and I have the comedy tan (burn) to prove it! I camped overnight in my van to make sure I was there early. In busking the early bird catches the worm in many places. I’ve heard that in Dublin all the pitches are decided by 7 am for the whole day and it can be like that in Bath too.

So that’s why I was dragging my stuff out of the van like a loony at stupid o clock, still in my onesie …..Well if you’ve ever got up early to get to a pitch only to be beaten by a nano second by someone else, getting changed seems a bit of a frippery! Then I waited…… and waited….. and waited……

Finally enough people were around and I started to play. I really enjoyed it. I tried out a few new songs including the mighty Sound of Silence. I love that whole album but until now I’ve shy’d away from it what with them being absolute legends at the whole singing and guitar thing! It went ok and I even got a bit emotional towards the end partly out of relief, partly reverence. I’m working on The Only Living Boy In New York at the moment. Not today though as the heat and the remains of my cold mean my voice sounds like a crackly old 78 today.

Boy was it hot! The guitar would not stay in tune even for a song which meant deciding which strings were still in tune and only playing those. Sometimes none of the strings were in tune which meant I cutting the song short. I think the battery inside the guitar got cooked as it was new but towards the end the guitar started sounding really strange and was remedied by a new one. And then finally some thing made an ominous creaking/twanging sound which means I’ll be taking the guitar into Mansons for some much needed tlc.

That’s what I’m doing today. I’m chilling out in our woods, watching a fire, listening to the birds… the feathered variety.

busking, music, street life

Some songs are worth it…

Back in Newton Abbot today. It’s Market Day but there are hardly any stalls which is a shame all round. There are many ideas as to why the market has died but I’m not sure the revamp of the town centre will help much. I was a bit worried as just as I was about to start playing some workmen appeared on the rooftops by the canopy that’s apparent going to come down. I was hopeful that they weren’t about to start! I needn’t have worried. I chatted to the supervisor who said that work happens overnight; makes sense, it’s quite some undertaking.

Anyway, today was the first time I felt comfortable playing Female of the species’ (Space not The Walker Brothers!) I love that song. It was in the charts in my last year at Coventry University where I was doing an HND in music composition. We had a house party at the end of the summer term – a great party from what I can remember. I think we played it a lot that night.

It’s got such a good vibe to it along with all those good memories but no amount of practice it seemed helped me to settle in to it. There are songs like that and usually I either bin them or come back to them later but I have kept going with this one. Finally today I felt at home with it… hurrah for me!!!😂😂

busking, music, street life

Only positivity today

Today I’m feeling really quite groggy with a cold; not bad enough to stay home, but enough to make things a lot harder. So I’ve been making an extra effort to be positive after all being miserable isn’t going to make me feel any better. This picture is post-busk…. I look pretty wan!!!

when I arrived at the high street I actively invited positivity today. You might be surprised but people can behave quite aggressively towards buskers … I’ve been sworn at, shouted at and had to fend off unwanted physical contact from shoppers in the past and I wanted none of this today!

So when the lady in a nearby shop stalked up, stood way too close and, with her hands on her hips snarled “if you HAVE to be here today then don’t stand here and repeat the same songs for 3 hours” I smiled, I assured her I don’t repeat songs or at least not on purpose! ( I know over 4 hours of songs so why would I, in fact if it’s often a real conundrum which ones to leave out as I love all the songs I play) I didn’t bother pointing out that neither do I play for 3 hours except very occasionally when I’ve lost track of time, (usually my battery gives out well before 3 hours!) There was no point. She was shouting over me that I do repeat songs and I simply smiled.

I remembered a conversation with a friend who is a very good folk musician. She was telling me a story about how she’d gone to a Rockabilly night and all the songs sounded the same. She reflected that she didn’t enjoy the style that much and wondered if folk songs sound the same to someone who felt the same way. I had to agree that because I don’t know the genre and I can take it or leave it, many of the folk songs do sound very similar to me; It all comes down to personal taste.

I get that what might not be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why I don’t play the same spots every day, or even every week and don’t play for more than a couple of hours. I have a live and let live attitude. I also know that many people enjoy my music. Even so, it’s hard when someone is so determined to make it a personal attack. I kept my positive approach. It took some doing… ‘only kindness today’ I thought.

As she continued to snarl at me I could have countered with a personal attack on her. I didn’t. After she walked away I watched her while she was obviously being negative towards me to other people. I ignored her. Why? Because her opinion of me has very little to do with me and a lot to do with her.

I called my husband who has many years busking experience and is always so positive and supportive, it was good to chat . As I was setting up a couple of people came over saying how nice it was to see me and how much they enjoy my music. Again, while this was lovely it has very little to do with me and a great deal to do with personal taste.

So I played for a couple of hours (if that) and packed up; I was cold and my throat is sore. During that time I lost count of the people who were very positive and enjoyed my arrangements of well known tunes. In fact, apart from that lady, I had no negativity today, not even (my particular favourite) when a group of women give each other side eye and then move their bags furthest from me… seriously ladies what do you think I’m going to do- grab your bags, sling them on my trolley and run off down the high street!! 😂😂

Anyway I’m home now, we had some lovely family time visiting some lambs, the girl is in bed, as is my wonderful husband (he’s got the same bug as me) and I’m going to sleep now. Here’s to a good night and to feeling better tomorrow 💤💤💤💤💤💤

busking, street life

Three days in a row

So that’s 3 days in a row that the Met office app has been wrong… I mean less than 5% rain means that 95% not rain… which I would take as pretty good odds of not rain.

I’ve said it before, I can understand for other places but in Exeter all they have to do is look out of the window!!!!☔️☔️🙄…maybe it’s glorious sunshine up by the met office, who knows…..

It’s glorious sunshine back home so I’m not dressed or prepared for a cold rainy day. So I’m sitting in the van with my trolley loaded up waiting to see if the rain stops..,🙄 oooh hang on looks like it’s stopped…

busking, street life

Strange day

I was in Newton Abbot today it drizzled all day. I know I always go in about the weather but it’s pretty important to the busker!

Anyway, the town centre was pretty empty – no surprise there, who goes into town unless they have to on a rainy day? Thing is, I was there already, it wasn’t raining hard and I wanted to try out some songs. Also my wonderful husband had restrung my guitar so it was sounding lovely. I’d played maybe 5 songs when an older gentleman took a bad fall in the street. A whole bunch of us went over to help and the paramedics were there shortly. So he was on my mind.

After that it took quite a while to get into my stride. Actually I don’t think I did, between that and the rain it felt almost like I was outside of myself somehow. So I cut it short. Packed up, allowed the guitar to ‘air’ in the van, bought the girl new wellies and some bedding for the gerbils then back home to get the washing in. Some days are like that.