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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Old hippies sharing cheap wine and bad dope.
Discarded wannabes
Cardboard mattresses
Abandoned cars
Forgotten pin badged punk rockers and
Lou Reed contradictions
Freaks or just another phony
Skinhead casualties
Super strength tennents lager
Throw away newspapers and magazines
Amputated beggars and fried out photographers
Pavement growing weed and unknown mushrooms....

Cinema appeal and knowledge
Raven haired and swan necked With
Knee lengthed black leather zipper boots
Re-mingling yellow ship cranes
A passage into Tangiers
Blown into the mystic
An over complicated Belfast youth
A dash of welcoming graffiti
Maintained modern and half tolerated..
Dominating Romanian buskers
Mainstream and negative
Out there something is happening
Some of us have to do it....

My story 1

Lisburn, (my birthplace ) is an old market town not ten miles outside of Belfast. Presumably its one of the largest in northern Ireland. ( it seemed small when I was growing up in it ).. Indeed I grew up during the height of the troubles,(seventies ). There were shootings and bombings almost everyday. Indeed Europe had its very own South Africa going on and color wasn't the problem, it was that other weapon of mass destruction., Religion.,..
Well I wasn't really interested in all that flag waving bullshit, I was into musical situations not political ones.
I flirted with the then heavy metal drenched local band scene. I didn't really fit in. I couldn't erase that tell tale underground influence I had and still have. I was the weirdo who played guitar.....
Suddenly I found myself 133 miles away pitched on Baggot street in central Dublin. It was  brilliant, nobody gave a shit whether I was a catholic or a protestant.. Passers -by were donating towards me and my own original music, not wishing to hear heavy rock anthems.. I felt free.. Free.. At last I found an outlet for my own music, my own original music.. I was 23 years old and I had just discovered busking..

You can;t eat art

Unless you have been otherwise informed or have a really good managing system then mate forget about it, you shouldn't even consider doing busking on a full time basis. Busking is an art, a desire even, its not an occupation, you will not be able to maintain a steady income here. Busking is also unpredictable and undependable. Don·t give up your day job, loosen it but don·t release it.
If your young, free and hungry then go for it,only drift with it and don·t look back ,who knows what lies ahead??
There is no contracts or any other official complications involved in busking, you more or less commit yourself spiritually. So prepare yourself for that marvelous
but unpredictable journey and always remember you just can·t eat art.

Peacock buskers

Their usually  music  tutors  or  conservatory  students , who  choose
the  street , to  exercise , their  fine performance art . They  make  it  clear to  privileged , passers-by  that  they  are , in-fact  complicated ,
music dot , readers . Be  prepared  for  that  silent look of rejection coming your way If  you  try  to  talk  to  them  or  donate  less  than  a  pound  or  a  euro .You may find yourself within acceptance range if you purchase one of their over-priced CDs. Of course  you  would  only  see  them  performing  at  the better and more  popular pitches such as Museum entrances ,  city church court-yards and only the widest and the busiest traffic cut streets .
An Obis player may  lay  down  the  major seventh scale  on  top  of  a
harpsichord  rhythm  track . An  elegantly  dressed lady may
delicately  pluck , ´ The nutcracker suite `from  the  wonderful
sound  of  a  slightly  amplified , frame harp .
It’s  not  the  music  or  the  appearance  that gets me . In-fact some of it  sounds  and  looks  great . It’s  that  pompous  attitude attached , of  which  is  not  always the case .
Street  performance  is  an  art-form, it·s  not  a  competition . One  is
different , not  better.
A  peacock busker  considers  himself , more  of  a street, performing musician  rather  than  as  a  busker , of  which is  fine . It’s  when  he  claims  that  he  doesn't  bear , any relation  whatsoever  to the  guitar playing  drifter  pitched in the nearby  streets  is  what  gets  me .
Nobody  is  asking  one  to  join  a  revolution , not that  many  people
give  a  shit. Remember  one  thing  though, one  is  playing  music  on stone concrete , where  others  may  sleep  later . Busking  is  not a  social  climbing  pastime .
Most  things  in  this  life  have  a  price  and  thankfully  the  street  is  usually  a  free platform , that may  unite  us  a  little m


Belfast is surrounded by a series of hills overshadowed by Divis and Black mountain and flanked
by cave hill, .A city divided during the violent seventies and the troublesome eighties with no go areas such as the Sandy Row and the Falls ..etc.. Barricaded scenes showing just how bigoted and small minded people tend to be among a heavy sectarian and an extreme political atmosphere... Indeed middle Europe had its very own apartheid here,only skin colour was not the issue,it was that other weapon of mass destruction,,Religion..
Other than a well earned, world wide, heavy political and violent reputation.  Belfast has indeed got  another side to offer. .A brighter side.. It can be unique and strangely mystic.  fashion , art,  clubs , music venues...etc...and some of the most beautiful woman you will ever see...
In music terms the city's top claim to fame might be that ex window cleaner from the east, Van the man Morrison and then a bit later, Stiff little fingers, the Outcasts and Rudi would jump on the punk bandwagon gaining themselves a healthy cult following .. There has and always will be an ascending semi pro scene happening in and around the capital with bands like, The emotional fish, Energy orchid, The ghost of an american airplane. The bank robbers and the Them leftovers, SKboo...etc....
Indeed a healthy alternative music scene sprouted up in and around the capital,an angry answer to a going no where political environment...Guitar distortion Alternatives...,the Wah,Wah thing..
Music explosions are better than bomb explosions..!!..
Belfast also has and had a heavy R&B scene led by heavyweights like Van Morrison, Gary moore
and Thin lizzys Eric Bell.In later years you could head up to the Pound, a rock club in a bit of a dodgy area by the docks and watch guitarist Vivian Campel playing along with Sweet Savage..
Leaving politics aside Belfast has and can be a great night out, .A certain buzz fills the air...
Busking in and around Belfast is and always has been pretty happening.There are more Jazz and
blues type buskers than the traditional Irish type who seem to be more active in the smaller surrounding towns.
I was born not far from Belfast and I didn't at first participate in any busking, I was then more involved with the local band scene....It was not until later during the mid nineties, after I left Northern Ireland and after becoming a certified street musician with many,assorted European pitches under my belt that I finally pitched myself by a closed shop just off the traffic cut center,near Corn market...A very refreshing and satisfying pitch it was too,it was nice to preform on my own turf.I then accumulated a nice juicy pile of donations including many 1 & 2 pound coin pieces.I also sold some CDs. The busk ended with an exciting collaboration with travelling Dublin buskers.
Of course I have returned to Belfast in keen busking mode and have again been hit by over satisfying results and not a hint of problems with the uniforms.. Im not all that sure about the busking laws in Belfast although it does seem tolerated .The police here couldn't  be bothered. It seems that the authorities here are more concerned with other, more serious issues and tend to leave aside living art culture. Maybe I was just lucky because as you know there are knob heads everywhere,
The only real disappointment I might have had was the then recent arrival of the over repetitive Romanian buskers ( not all of them....) with their out of tune instruments,who usually seem only to bash out the same over practiced tune,(usually ·Bessame mucho ).Like every thing, busking has its bad and good examples.As with any kind of art you may well find both boring and interesting aspects or examples..

                                                * * *  1/2  out of 6

Friday, 4 August 2017


I;m just a fifty something street musician who is doing the blog thing,indeed I,m taking the cyber opportunity of providing this monthly busking magazine. You think Why, I thought about that one too and it resulted to only one word,.Destiny...There is nothing to gain here, I;m just waving a seldom seen flag here.I have already surrendered myself to busking and am  now  just offering you opinions, reactions, facts..etc...I only hope you enjoy and support the following.

The Greatest One Man Band in the World

Watch out for the tiny saxophones...

Sunday, 7 May 2017


Pitching  in  Lorca  is  something  I  don’t  want  to  do  again .
Junkie dads letting  lose  their  brood  of  children only to molest me .
They  go  right  up  to  you  and  stare  at  your small amount of  tips. nobody  seems  to  give a  shit  about  your  music . I  really  shouldn't  be  here.
Busking  does  happen  here  sometimes , I’m  told . Its  even
tolerated . I  didn't  see  anybody  doing  it  when  I  was  there ,
I  was  the  only  guy  pitched  that  day . I  really  don’t  think
it’s  a  good  idea  to  pitch  here , even  with  it’s  hill  placed
castle  and  it’s  has  beens . Don’t  be  a  hatter  and  go 
somewhere  else .

Hi..Each week I will alternate busking questions with destinations simply 
because not enough has been visited or answered as to keep up with such a busy blog.I am only one person after all.