Metro: Praise be! Buskers form Church of Holy Kazoo

Metro: Praise be! Buskers form Church of Holy Kazoo

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Published by the Metro on 27th March 2014.

Even the humble triangle must feel smugly superior to the lowly kazoo.

But the last shall be first, the Bible tells us – and the once sneered-at standby of the one-man-band now finds itself deified by followers of a new religion.

A group of buskers has decided to get around a ban on performing in the street by forming the Church of the Holy Kazoo… and exercising the human right to preach in public.

Church founder Ben Van der Velde said: ‘Our religion doesn’t have too many rules, but the main ones are that every song ever written is a hymn and busking is a form of worship.

‘That means that. if the council or anyone else try to stop us from performing on the street, then they are impinging our religious freedoms.’

The inspiration for the new church arrived, 30-year-old Mr Van der Velde insists, when he was spoken to by the Great Golden Kazoo in the sky.

It just so happened that his spiritual vision came just in time to counter a threat from Camden council, which this week banned amplified street music and introduced a requirement for unplugged performers to buy licences.

It has enraged buskers in the north London borough, who say bosses are trying to ‘gentrify’ a renowned musical hub.

The council did not comment on the church’s plans to hold its first service on Camden high street in the next few weeks.

This post was written by
Singer-Songwriter/Professional Street Performer/Campaigner/Wandering Minstrel

6 Comments on "Metro: Praise be! Buskers form Church of Holy Kazoo"

  • FAO – The less religious minded ‘freethinkers’ out there.

    …an extraordinary and unprecedented thing, the writing of a democratic and republican contstitution that made no mention of god and that mentioned religion only when guaranteeing that it would always be separated from the state…

    Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose
    ( Street Perfromer – Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon )

  • I keep hearing this ‘crude’ perspectivism used time and time again in debates by apologists of religious belief, this plus the now rather worn out line that we all ought to at least ‘respect’ others in their religious positions.

    Whats there to respect? Self centred, solipsistic egos who feel the need to believe the ‘experientially’ preposterous, the existence of Gods, Supernatural super beings without a jot of convincing evidence? I stand back aghast in their ignorance of their own credulity!.

  • The worlds full of people some merely naieve innocents others much more sinister ( if not downright evil ) who expect others to ‘suspend’ judgement as they expound all sorts of crazed notions, gibberish and nonsense.

    Take this quote I picked up from an internet source by the Artist Singer Pink:

    ‘ I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people who dream and support and do things ‘
    ( Pink )

    Well a wake up call to all those reading such hyped up emotional trype and a notice of ‘reality’ to all others influenced by such puerile ideas. Calling both established and up and coming artists, if its ‘open’ praise you are looking for, you may be in the wrong place, if its ‘unconditional’ love you need you’ve certainly got no business in the pop industry.

    So get thee to a nunnery, no no forgive me, I take that back, don’t heed that advice, Do Not Do This!, instead, I urge you to go back to Mommy and Daddy. The critics, may not stoop to attacking your ‘intrinsic’ worth as a human being but they certainly will want to question your artistic merit. Frighted child from this there is no escape!.

    I for one will not suspend my ‘natura’l critical intelligence when it comes to responding to such stupefying pronouncements such as those of Pink ( above ), nor will the ‘grown-up’ Arts Industry!. The fact is, like the rising mortals knocking at the gates of St Peter you will be judged.

    Anyway, on a more postive note, ‘feedback’ ( whether ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ ) is a vital element in the spritual development of an artist, an important part in the motivational process of the individual. Even the most stubborn, intractible, conceited egos have to change course, pull out plan B, learn lessons drawn from the wisdom and intelligent responses of others.

    No what those who fear the judgement of others need to pay heed to is their own inner ‘critical’ voices, they need to become more seriously aware of their own low self-esteem and corollary self defeating behaviour.

    The bloomingly churlish Pink, what she needs to do, rather than shutting down, is to listen with open heart to others criticism, after all we’re big girls now, you don’t have to take it all on board, simply filter it through, the wheat and the chaff that is, sort it out!.

  • Just watched a fairly horrifying yet interesting documentary on You Tube ‘ Rwanda Tutsi Gods Army Rwanda Genocide ‘ . It certainly brings out the importance of maintaining ones ‘natural’ critical intelligence and capacity for ‘reasoned’ judgement as an individual human being.

    Check out the Presenters following introductory comments ‘ what makes the genocide in Rwanda so unique is that the regime managed to convince the general public to kill! ‘.

    Also check out the concluding remarks of interviewed Army of Jesus Commander for some ‘telling’ insights on the nature of power and control:

    ‘ For a guerilla to win it needs the full support of the people
    The only way to gain that support is to say that they are
    fighting for something that is decreed by God ‘.

    In a more general sense, a wider aspect of the fascinating albeit alarming picture presented by this brave documentary is with regards the involvment of the ‘European’ Christian Democratic International ( CDI ) in this whole ghastly affair.

  • Its on this question of religion and the dangers of suspending’ ‘natural’ human critical intelligence in relation to religious belief that I can’t personally bring myself to join in with the Church of the Holy Kazoo even as a spoof. Its the key reason why I’m not a ‘formal’ member of the ASAP despite my general support of the Camden Campaign and interest in busking rights in principle. Let me explain.

    As a ‘jobbing’ Street Performer in Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon over the past 3 years I can certainly say that there are a few should I say ‘control’ issues that have cropped up over time and they have become a central concern of mine during my experience performing out there on the streets.

    Only early this year, in Birmingham, I was victimised by another Street Entertainer who pulled up in a taxi, jumping out screaming and shouting that I was on his spot, me having legitemately occupied the space – a long-standing ‘off-piste’ ( unofficial ) spot in the city centre – half an hour before hand. This guy started threatening me, as if on the basis, that he personally ‘owned’ the spot, the reality being of course that it was/is ‘first come first serve’. The situation was eventually resolved, after alot of tete-a-tete, pushing and shoving, threats and swearing, and eventual police appearance by us ‘sharing’ the space ( my suggestion! ). I played til’ 2pm then we switched over. In this instance a case for timed/shared ‘busking spots’ comes to the fore not in every place but in some significant places and far from being a recipe for conflict ( as some claim ) Its clearly shown that in certain circumstances they can in fact provide for actual ‘ peace conditions’.

    Another control issue ( for me ) that cropped up this year was directly to do with the Camden Campaign itself, which I came across by chance at the beginning of this year ( Xmas day actually! ) on the internet whilst researching something else. I’m long suspicious of so called single issue groups and campaigns, I’ve long learned there’s always something else, always other agendas. It was no different in this case when I thought I’d become a member of this particular newly formed Street Performer Association in support of Buskers in Camden.

    To my chagrin, only days after signing up, the founder, self styled leader of the group let it be known that he’d affiliated the organisation with a Christian group of so called ‘Street Pastors’ based in Lincoln. Despite admiring many of the founders obvious good qualities regards campaigning kudos, and sharing an obvious affinity with the cause of Street Performer rights in general, I felt really disappointed and let down. Why? Well I’m all for fighting for the rights of Street Performers but ‘Christian’ Street Pasters? I’m sorry but I’m not interested in backing the presence of ‘religious’ thought police on our streets, I don’t want to live in Tehran.

    I’m not a town drinker these days but if I was to have one or two I don’t want Christians in blue and illuminous yellow security flak jackets hovering over me. If I’ve had a few too many, I’ll stagger off and call my own taxi thank you very much, put me in the cells and let me sleep it off overnight if necessary, much more preferable to these Street Christians.

    These people remind me of ‘insects’, they get under a persons skin, so no thankyou, not in my leisure time. Otherwise insignificant individuals belonging to an institution with not much public popularity these days taking over the streets, getting into people everyday lives, no thankyou, not for me!.

    Another related issue I’ve come across recently again related to the topic of power and control on the streets concerns another on the surface seemingly ofe Busker campaign group, this time run by a bunch of it appears ‘international’ photographers rather than an individual Street Performer.

    Again initial enthusiasm and interest is quelled when on perusing their website I discover that a leading member of their team is pictured presenting himself as some kind of ‘motivational’ guru with a side business in ‘mentoring’ and running ‘transformational’ workshops /??;;@@!!. Well, I’m sorry, as I refuse to gain my spritual succor from any of the agents of ‘celestial’ tyranny, I totally resist the kind of emotional hype that now seems to permeates our popular culture these days, you know the sort, that brand, so commonly associated with American Motivational Salesmen, those smarmy gits with videos and filmed ‘seminars’ all over You Tube.

    No, I’ll stick with the general principles of Human Motivation, meticulously researched by and learned from the schools of Contemporary Psychology, now a form of liberal education, quite freely, democratically available to the genuinely inquistive thinker and general public alike. And no, after engaging with such rich learning material, I won’t be writing the book ie. ‘ The 7 keys to Street Performing Mastery and Success’. Instead I advise interested readers to garner these principles for themselves and then write their own rhetorical ‘copia’.

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