Nocturnal Issue II - Page 36


Tired of walking around and getting shoved and trampled on into overcrowded shops me and a group of friends finally decided to take a break and sit down in Covent Garden, London. Unfortunately our ‘break’ was rudely interrupted by a non other than a busker. After plugging in a battered acoustic guitar, adjusting his straw hat, tugging on his checked shirt and looking down at his brogues he started to play. ‘Oh for f**** sake, I just wanted to relax with no interruptions but instead I get another Mumford and Sons wannabe who will probably be singing Wonderwall or Fix You and sharing an emotional story about his nan within the next five minutes’ I thought to myself. Did I forget to mention he was wearing a tweed waistcoat?

The strumming of the acoustic guitar started and filled me with dread as I waited for the lyrics ‘when you try your best but you don’t succeed’ to be breathily whined into the microphone. However I was pleasantly surprised when he burst into ‘let me take you down cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.’ As a big Beatles fan myself I immediately started, as they call it, ‘fan girling’ and after he had finished ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and moved onto ‘Superstition’ – Stevie Wonder, I was hooked. This guy, who I heavily judged beforehand, was actually pretty fantastic! His voice was husky and had a great range and his guitar skills was rather impressive, I donated a couple of pounds and apologised for judging him (in my head of course). He ended his set saying that he once used to tour but gave it up and that music wasn’t just for the stage but rather the world was his stage. If I am being honest when Emma asked me to write another article I agreed and then had the sudden surge of panic as I had absolutely no idea what to write about but it was this memory that got me thinking. Why do so many people choose to busk? Why do many homeless people choose to buy musical instruments and perform on street corners? And do you have to have a proper stage to perform on to be a musician?