Repeal London’s Anti Busking Laws

Repeal London’s Anti Busking Laws

We have launched a new petition to safeguard London’s buskers from laws that threaten cultural freedoms. Please sign it via this link:

https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-repeal-london-s-anti-busking-laws

 

Cultural Freedoms Under Threat

 

The future of spontaneous performances of art and music on London’s streets is seriously under threat because of bad laws which strangle grassroots culture and criminalize artists and musicians. If we act now we have a unique opportunity to lift the burden on culture-makers by supporting Lord Clement Jones’ amendments to the Deregulation Bill which is going through Parliament at this moment, and striking this outdated legislation off the statute books for good.

 

Why the law needs to change

 

On the 9th April 2014, Boris Johnson launched the #backbusking campaign with the aim of making London ‘the most busker friendly city on earth’ by reducing some of the red tape and restrictive laws that have turned London into a ‘no go’ area for buskers. He was joined at the launch by the winners of a mayoral competition set up to find ‘London’s best buskers’, a young band called “The King’s Parade”. A month later that same band were arrested by the Met Police for busking in Leicester Square under Section 54 of the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act which makes it an offence to use a noisy instrument ‘to gather alms’ on the street. The same law also makes it an offence to fly kites and ride sleighs, and yet this antiquated legislation was used to hold four talented young musicians in custody for six hours after arresting them in front of a shocked crowd, despite the fact that they represented the very best of London’s busking talent.

 

It gets worse…

 

In November 2013, Camden Council passed a resolution that made it a criminal offense to sing or perform any kind of music on the streets without first paying for a license even if the music making is undertaken with no intention of collecting money. Any person who wishes to play music in public spaces anywhere Camden must pay a fee of up to £47, wait for up to 20 working days, submit to a public consultation and be deemed ‘a fit and proper person’ to busk after a police check. They were able to introduce this intrusive and restrictive policy because Section V of the London Local Authorities Act 2000 allows local authorities in London to criminalize spontaneous street performance, impose fines of up to £1000, confiscate musical instruments and to sell them to pay the fines. This restricive policy is being challenged in the Court of Appeal but meanwhile other London Boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea and Southwark are considering using this law to control street culture and it could quickly spread amongst all the 32 London Boroughs if the underlying legislation is not struck off.

 

 

Why Should We Stand Up?

 

London is one of the world’s great cultural centers with buskers making a signifiant contribution to the cultural and visitor economy of our capital city and yet young musicians can face lifelong criminal records and the loss of their livelihoods and precious musical instruments simply for playing music on the streets, this simply cannot be justified.

 

Live music contributes £632 million to the UK economy each year and busking provides a vital forum for young British artists to gain valuable performance experience in that most democratic and open of forums, the streets! Artists as diverse as Ed SheeranJessie JPassengerEddie IzzardBill BaileyBilly BraggRod StewartPaul Simon and even US founding father, Benjamin Franklin cut their performing teeth on the streets. Would they have started busking if they faced arrest and a criminal record for doing what they loved?

 

Section V of the London Local Authorities Act 2000 and Section 54 of the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act threaten the survival of a great British cultural tradition in our capital city, London. They must be taken off the statute books.

 

 

We Need Your Support.

 

Lord Clement Jones – the author of the 2012 Live Music Act and a passionate supporter of grassroots art and culture – has proposed an amendment to the Deregulation Bill to repeal London’s anti-busking legislation. With government support this is a unique opportunity to force London’s Boroughs to come up with a more creative and supportive stance towards their musicians and artists. The Greater London Authority has convened a taskforce to develop a code of conduct for busking across London. Councils and the police have all the powers they need to tackle genuine noise nuisance and obstruction from busking without criminalizing spontaneous street performance and introducing blanket prohibitions. We are calling on them to work alongside buskers, businesses and professional bodies such as the Musician’s Union to develop a code of conduct for London that supports and nurtures a fine cultural tradition instead of stifling it by turning artists into criminals.

 

 

 

This approach works

 

The Keep Streets Live Campaign is a not for profit organization that exists to protect informal offerings of art and music in public spaces. We successfully challenged restrictive license schemes in Liverpool and York and are now working alongside the local authority and business groups alongside professional bodies like the Musician’s Union to develop codes of practice for busking which promote harmonious relationships between buskers and businesses whilst preserving spontaneity and openness by spelling out how existing laws can be used to target genuine nuisance. We are challenging Camden Council’s restrictive busking law in the Court of Appeal and working with the London Mayoral taskforce to develop a pan-London code of conduct that simplifies busking rules across London. You can find out more about us by visiting http://keepstreetslive.com

 

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

205 Comments on "Repeal London’s Anti Busking Laws"

  • I’m against any kind of governance, legislation or policy that hinders the possibility of an individual ‘in their own terms’ leading a life of passion and freedom. Not everybody but a significant ‘few’ have managed to carve such an existance through Street Entertainment, Street art with ‘busking’ very much becoming an ‘authentic’ means by which they can express a creative activity which they truly love.

    Any policy that runs counter to people, human beings having the possibility of leading a life of such ‘authentic’ happiness is worthless, and to be criticised and rejected, and if necessary ‘actively’ fought and struggled against. Camden Council through the introduction of their recent, what really is a ‘draconian’ busking policy have managed to render what could be otherwise a ‘positive’ cultural activity effectively redundant and indeed meaningless.

    As such I for one don’t view such local authorities as acting ‘postively’ in the public interest in any way at all for example protecting the publics right to peace and comfort, tackling anti-social noise nuisance etc, I know from experience that such social problems can ( and ‘are’ ) tackled easily by police with existing legislation. No in reality authorities such as this are the enemies of grass roots culture and art, and their policies end up oppressively stifling and inhibiting creative action and freedom

    No!, I no longer view councils like Camden necessarily as public protectors they now in my thinking, inhabit a place alongside what I categorise as the other major enemies of ‘authentic’ cultural freedom in our society in recent times and they for me are religious fundamentalism and Neo-Conservatism ( that mass materialist, extreme form of Utilitarian Capitalism ).

    In themselves, Camdens labour councillors for me represent a particular brand of philistine i.e suspicious of freedom, resenting it even, classic ‘stalinist’ committee like control freaks – in fact today Post Tony Blair/Gordan Brown the Labour party in general still represents this to me. Its easy for these kinds of politician to ‘scapegoat’ Street Performers and by doing so manipulate ( perhaps preying into the weaknesses and ‘popular’ prejudices of ) the local constituency so as win elections.

    Its also all so tragically culturally dumb and meaningless, and the spiritually depressing effect is very similar to that of religious fundamentalism. Again an enemy of art ( & life ), however in this case we are presented with a body of general ideas about life, which as with all forms of ‘other’ world philospophy, ends up ironically ( and rather absurdly ) presenting us with a morality that turns out to be essentially ‘anti-life’.

    Whereas Council Boroughs like Camden are prepared to jettison grass roots art and culture in the cynical pursuit of secular political power, religious fundamentalism in principle rejects this life the very one we can be certain about, the one we are living now, ( and the art it creates and produces ) in favour of happiness, joy , even bliss in some other world, one which of course any ‘rational’ man can tell you is the one we can’t be certain about.
    Fundamentalism(s) and the like rejects art and culture for power and pleasure and succulence in the hereafter. As for the now, the world we do know about, the life we have actually been ‘granted’ , the existence we can ‘objectively’ be sure of, as far as fundamentalism goes, well it can ”go to hell” ( and its art and culture with it! ).

    Similarly for councils like Camden, grass roots street art and culture seemingly can also ”go to hell” ( or should I say its purveryors go on to spend a life actually ‘living’ on the streets!) though in Camdens case for the contrary ( should I say more ‘faustian’ ) political motive, that of ‘worldly’ power in the hereandnow.

    As for that other enemy of art, culture ( and yes that includes ‘authentic’ street entertainment and busking ), Neo-Conservatism comes across as an economic and ‘policitical’ philosophy that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Art and self expression because of its very intangiblity, because by its very nature it is ‘objectively’ invisible ( only felt! ), an apparantly non-material and ‘subjective’ state, and because by definition it is an emotional state, it is simply not acknowledged, it does’nt exist, and in many cases I don’t think even understood by such theorists. All that counts are the number of products coming of the production line and the consequential profit. Human emotion, value, passion, freedom, all the things we might live for ‘love’ included don’t really come into it. What matters are keeping costs down, and if we don’t have to pay anything at all for human labour ( eg Mafia Economics ) the more the better.

    What relevance does all this have for busking in Camden? Well, if the choice is between maintaining a thriving Street Culture and saving money to build a new Shopping Centre, well under current conditions, the Shopping Centre wins all the way and any groups that represent an opposing view ( or as in the case of ‘negatively’ labelled Buskers and Street Performers just merely to ‘appear’ to represent some kind of rebel group or counterculture they are removed! ).

    So yes repeal Londons anti-busking laws ( I don’t think that the whole Camden debacle should necessarily have gone to court in the first place, its legislation ending up legitemately reinforced by the high courts, however despite this and the spirit of the current political reality ) end this current process of draconiously regulating long standing, and ‘free’ cultural practices such as busking. Uphold the natural right to an individual to pursue their values and live an ‘authentic’ life of passion and freedom, anything else is meaningless, and in essence ‘anti-human’, its ‘anti-life’, and above all its a lie!

  • One more point I’d like to make here, I mention Religious Fundamentalism along with Neo-Conservatism and Stalinist Commitee type Camden Labour style Politics as being for me the key ‘external’ enemies of freedom in recent times. I’d just like to state here that my criticism of fundamentalism just as much applies to religion in general, in particular ‘theism’ and more specifically Christianity including some of the central notions of the New Testament.

    Jonny I note that you have a recent image of yourself downloaded of yourself on your Twitter page with you pictured standing next to a statue in York of the Great Roman Emperor Constantin, the historical figure responsible for establishing Christianity in that and consequently this part of the Western World.

    Critical of Constantin you go onto mention that he and the link between religion and empire building is the reason why so many people have rejected faith today. You then go onto express your hope that people of faith could rediscover what you describe as the ‘revolutionary’ message of Jesus.

    Jonny, I actually think you are wrong on this point, the truth is that the reason why I and many people like me reject Christianity and indeed ‘theist’ religion in general is simply because, there is no good ‘reason’ to believe in the existence of Gods, Supernatural Deities and the like as an explaniation for this world or indeed human existance in general. Neither is there any real sound proof and every reason to be suspicious of the truth claim that the historical Jesus was the Son of God.

    The reality is that there is simply just no evidential proof for the existence of such a Being ( or beings ) and these days modern science and cosmology and the like are offering far more convincing and indeed interesting theories as to the evolution of man and life and such like.

    Its funny in relation to the recent debacle in Bath with regards claims made by the Rector of Bath Abbey about consistent busking ‘noise’ nuisance outside his Church. I could’nt help but make note of the competing claims, and quickly reached the conclusion that indeed it was the Rector not merely Buskers involved in the dispute who could not be trusted.

    Stronger still, having just had a timely ‘re-read’ of the New Testament, I have come away thinking, that in fact, the whole of the Clergy are ‘liars’ by trade. Take that central concept of Christian belief, the core narrative presented in the book, that of the ‘resurrection’ i.e. Christs supposed raising from the dead.

    While reading I thought what would a trained detective, a Sherlock Holmes character make of this section of the book, the one that follows Christs crucifixion and claims to bear witness to the ‘live’ reappearance of Jesus. One thing and one thing only would a ‘rational’ trained detective make of such an apparantly miraculous event and that is that the whole chapter bears all the hallmarks of an attempted fabrication.

    And thats what it is is’nt it Jonny, in reality thats all it is, a fabrication, not even a ‘miracle’ theme presented as myth, no a supernatural occurance that we’re meant to take as the ‘literal’ truth, a story ‘evidenced’ as an actual happening, maybe even well meaning ( in terms of propaganda that is, serving the revolution, seeking to keep its flame alive in the hearts of the hopefuls ) but nevertheless in truth, a fabrication!.

    Thats what I posit is what the whole of Christianity is based on a fabrication, plain and simple. As such I argue it is to be rejected, and especially so, if you’re the kind of person that wants to lead an ‘authentic’ human existence, a truthful life of passion and freedom.

  • The End Of Culture

    Glastonbury 2016 – like watching an episode of Top of the Pops !

  • Scott Peacock (‘Remain’ Supporter, Founder of London & Uk Busking Facebook Fan Page, ‘French Git! ” jibe )

    I note Scott Peacock frequenter of Londons SouthBank, ardent Busking Fan & founder of London & UK Busking Facebook Fan Page has came out as a ‘Remain’ supporter during the recent EU UK referendum. He states on social media that he woke up ashamed at the result to ‘leave’, believing that ‘all’ Buskers ( incl. ‘contintental’ performers ) careers would be harmed by the decision.

    Bytheway Q. What was that ‘nasty’ word he called the guy caught talking to his friend/’girlfriend when regular/now ‘irregular’ Busker Emily Lee appeared on stage at her ‘debut’ headlining gig 24/6/2016 at the Camden ‘Barfly’ A. Oh yea thats it ” some French Git! ” .

    Note

    The latest ‘posting’ on his ‘facebook’ fan page ” Second EU Referendum Petition Investigated For Fraud ” ( BBC News 27 June 2016 )

  • London – the city state ?

    Byetheway what does ‘busking’ abroad or should I say in Australia come under, in their ‘points’ based system i.e. what kind of ‘visa’ should I require as a ‘jobbing’ StreetPerformer ? Q. a ‘working’ holiday one ? ( or just plain ‘holiday’-maker & take the guitar with you type ? )

    As for Europe ( ‘post’ the referendum ! ) any envisaged ‘cross-border’ issues/’problems’ & I have just the solution ( incidently ‘similar’ to the finance industries market ‘access’ agreements in the EU ) I call it ‘ the European Busking Passport ‘ ( or EBP ) .

    Or ‘necessity’ being the mother of invention by the ‘alternative’ name i.e. the MiFid 11’Busking’ Visa the technocratic substitute or equivalent ! .

    On top of the Camden ‘licence’ Street Performers may even need a special ‘permit’ to busk in Greater London ‘ the city state’ soon if the capital city’s ‘Saliariat’ get their way. . The popular ‘image’ of Corbyn as a member of the ‘establishment’ what with his ‘direct’ participation in the ‘remain’ campaign, & Dianne Abbot ( her ‘son’ now finished ‘independant’ school ) as one of the ‘new’ Medicci, reinforced in many w/c voters eyes! .

  • The ‘Homogenisation’ of Street Performing

    BBC TV Coverage Glastonbury 2016 the ‘homogenisation’ of rock into pop, Scott Peacock London & Uk Busking Fan Page, the ‘homogenisation’ of busking ! .

    • Speaking to old ( & ‘new’ ) friends of mine who went to Glastonbury this year & really cd’nt afford the £200 plus ‘ticket’, the festival ‘grounds’ itself described as a kind of ‘mammon’ & that includes the ‘green-fields’ ! .

  • Politics & The Country ( An ‘Immediate’ Solution To ‘National’ Division & Way Forward To ‘Proper’ Healing ! )

    The one way forward of course to breaking this ‘perception’ ( of Corbyn & the current PLP see above ) & to restoring confidence in a political class ( at least a ‘section’ of it ! ) that ‘truly’ represents ‘the interest’s of The People, is in the ‘grass roots’ creation of another kind of ‘new’ Labour party i.e. one that honestly reflects the wishes of its fresh ‘membership’ & the interests of otherwise ‘overlooked’ ordinary working people !. I certainly hope Corbyn ( always a ‘target’, a potential party ‘scapegoat’ ! ) & his remaining 40 PLP supporters – following the current ‘vote’ of no confidence – have the resilence to hold on, win a ‘2nd’ leadership battle & rebuild political ‘foundations’. The ‘truth’ also is of course that Jeremy Corbyn can ‘win’ an ‘election’ thats why the ‘Blairite’ wing of the party want rid of him ( Nb. let those ‘others’, the 170, ok some re-examine their conscience but the rest leave to form another party or ‘join’ the liberal democrats or if they’re really honest more than a ‘few’ of ’em link up with the Tories ) .

    Most importantly what’s needed is a party political ‘cleansing’ process, that leads to the establishment of a ‘true’ liberal ‘balanced’ political ‘middle-ground’, one that benefits the ‘whole’ country not just ‘business’ & the 1990’s Blairite ‘saliariat elite ( Nb. even if it means ‘not’ in the first instance, first wave, first stages winning elections. There is ‘real’ value in an ‘honest’ politics – not power for powers sake! – that in ‘reality’ holds the ‘status’ quo & the ‘social-climbers’ to account ( I observe for instance a real ‘bad’ strain in the Bham Labour Party both ‘male’ & ‘female’ MPs who no ‘rational’ conscientous voter would want making ‘decisions’ on their behalf, no never ! ). In this sense I strongly believe there is no ‘nobler’ profession nor honourable career, nor for that matter – ‘win’ or lose – better fight or stuggle ! ) .

    • Note

      Of course for some & thinking of Corbyns actual membership supporters & his ‘dwindling’ ( or more correctly ‘lessening’ ) vote, post the losing ‘remain’ campagin, which some yg bright things might want to ‘blame’ him for, theres always ‘safe’ harbour with the Greens i.e. jump ship & ‘swim’ over ( or back ! ) there ( doing the ‘doggy’ paddle ! ) .

      • More Notes

        Remember Jeremy Corbyn despite ‘not’ being ‘smarmy’, smooth is individually more ‘respected’ ( Nb. increasing in importance in ‘today’s & no doubt ‘future’ politics ) so therefore relatively more popular. Ironically, this quality is one of the ‘key’ reasons why he’s a good bet in the party political ‘battles’ of today & represents a reasonably good ‘model’ stake for ‘party’ generations to come ! .

        • Eventually, as the micro/’macro’ conditions are progressively established let there be both ‘full’ freedom of movement & universal ‘growth’ ! .

          • You see the big ‘problem’ ( the underlying ‘causal’ difficulty ! ) at the moment is , the ‘markets’ ( & their sister/brother ‘political’ institutions ! ) are not responding to demand i.e. huge ‘social’ demand ! .

          • Of course when they did ( in the not too distant past ) because of ‘greed’, & licentious management look what happened. The one problem ( hesitation ! ) I have with Corbyn ‘style’ politics is that I’m not sure the ‘sole’ solution is more Council Housing ! . If we are to ‘seriously’ move forward as a country, this issue must be ‘openly’ ( i.e. undogmatically ! ) addressed ! .

          • ‘Liberal’ capitalism has yet to ‘fully’ achieve its ‘wealth’ producing potential ! .

          • Nb ( The EU, the ‘Common’ Market, the Laws of Supply & Demand & The ‘Spontaneous’ Order )

            The huge ‘social’ demands I refer to above ( see above ) as not responded to by the ‘market’ by the way are 1. ‘massive’ housing shortage eg. ‘Shelter’ statistics presented on BBC1 News the other day paint a seemingly honest tho’ sad ‘picture’ of the country’s ‘domestic’ situation. There are currently one million people stuck in ‘temporary’ accomodation in England & Wales, ‘ordinary’ families on the ‘Council’ house list waiting for homes that do ‘not’ exist.

            My common-sense ‘analysis’ is that the ‘Jury’ must be out on whether the ‘markets’ ( see classic ‘economic’ theory & the ‘pressures’ of supply & demand ) are not responding to the biggest public ‘outcry’ of the UK EU Referenda eg. 2. fear of & the ‘desire’ to slow down ‘unbalanced’ Mass European Migration ?. The question then remains Q. If in ‘reality’ the markets are ‘indeed’ functioning in this area, in their characteristic indirect, ‘invisible’ way, at what price ? ( if ‘true’ tho’, other than this little or should I say contingent ‘issue’ I guess it was always an ‘open’ & closed case for ‘Remain’. Shame how things i.e. the public ‘verdict’, actually turned out ? ) .

          • ” All hands on deck, quiet on down, no need for panic, no cause for ‘riot’, men just get down on your knees, pass round the bowls full of hot soapy water, scrubbing brushes of the ‘hard’ bristle variety & go fetch the ‘few’ remaining bits of cheese from the Petty Officers ‘Mess’ kitchen cubpoard, spread it around below deck, the starboard, the hull, & carefully lay down the metal ‘comb’ toothed ‘traps’ in every corner, covering every nook & cranny, cos’ gentlemen yes I too smell a rat ! ” .

          • Nb ( On ‘Objective’ Human v ‘Market’ Value )

            Q. What does ‘common-sense’ have to say about ‘objective’ human value in relation to economic ‘Market ‘ Value ? A. That ‘poor’ folk living on the edge, on Council ‘waiting’ lists ought to be valued ‘slightly’ higher whilst mainstream Pop Stars & Footballers justifiably valued a little less ( Nb. the only thing I’ve got against todays ‘popular’ celebrities, is that they should be paid a little less ! ). Keep on ‘encouraging’ & supporting ‘good’, potentially good local Artists. Yeah lets try ‘our’ best to keep ‘them’ afloat in these difficult times ! .

            ( Please Note ‘all’ the above applies to ‘Commercial’ Bankers too, they’re paid way above their ‘objective’ common-sense human value ! )

          • Q. As for truly ‘great’ Artists & what becomes of their work ? What an act of ‘benefaction’ & honourable Philanthropy it wd be to see it end up in our ‘public’ galleries & ‘libraries’ ! .

  • The Salvation Of the State

    Do not ‘ban’ busking ‘amplification’ because many Street Performers depend on such ‘equipment’ to be ‘heard’ & so earn their living. Also many street ‘players use their ‘amps’ responsibly, apply conscientous ‘self’-control’ in the setting of ‘volume’ levels & do not cause a ‘noise’ nuisance. Therefore such a ban wd unjustifiably ‘disriminate’ such Buskers i.e. the ‘good’ performers & thus be ‘unfair’.

    Conversely I say, in the name of ‘justce’ lift ‘bans’ on amplified sound in areas or ‘popular’ locations like Camden, in the process reducing ‘unjust’ & un-necessary restrictions on what have been up until the recent present ‘established’ busking spots. More rationally then proceed with targeting ‘acutal’ proven ‘noise’ nuisances, making them individually accountable for their actions.

    I say all this out of ‘civic’ spirit, ‘ancient’ wisdom, the words that cry out ” The Law Is the Salvation Of The State ” ( Aristotle ).

    • Civic Statues ( & classic Icons )

      Nice image of the ‘statue’ Liberty byetheway ( see above ). Just a reminder tho’ that its not stone ‘icons’ ( no matter how ‘colourful’ & evocative ! ) but ‘real’ people ( not essentially empty & ‘false’ collectives ) & their ‘true’ unifying causes ( not ‘career’ political platitudes ) that bring ‘real’ change in the world.

      • Contempory Consumer Sorcery & Witchcraft

        Q. The best way to inspire ( lure ! ) a ‘modern’ audience ( demos’ ) in these days being thru the conemporary ‘advertising’ jingle ( or ‘pop’ song ! ). Pick you’re basic theme ( eg. brexit, boys, sex, the girl next door etc ), then use your imagination, start ‘whistling’ to yourself & come up with ( ‘create’ ) the tune.

        Mass ‘primitivism’ ( Nb. see modern art african equivalent ) as art ( craft ! ) thats the way to ‘mesmirise’ & seduce The ‘People’ nowadays. Check out & ask any av. Country Singer cos’ they’ll know what you mean, might be able ( & ‘willing’ !) to give you a lesson or two for ‘political’ applications. Yes in 21st century consumer ‘sorcery’ & witchcraft !.

        • One bit of ‘timely’ advice don’t forget to target your tune ( once fully written & ‘polished’ ! ) at the more easily ‘impressionable’ ( naieve & ‘shallow’ ) minds out there. Its very difficult ( neigh impossible ) these days to influence the ‘rarer, more sophisticated ‘critical’ pallate by coming up with something ‘truly’ artistic & original. Especially for this essentially musically ‘limited’ popular genre, already well wrought, much ‘plundered’ & indeed culturally ( & characteristically ) ‘folk’ derivative! .

          • Welcome to the 21st Century, time to wake-up to ‘the trash’ in Nashville ! .

          • London ( Busking on the SouthBank )

            Q. Busking in London ( on the SouthBank ) ? A. A lot of its shouting n’ screaming, not ‘real’ singing’. Yes that plus other ‘cultural’ not vagaries but more accurately ‘vulgarisms’ ! ( Check out the Emily Lee Twitter Page July 31 2016, ” when yer bf’s ex starts yelling in your face for no reason ‘seriously’ ! ( bytheway my retort ‘oh yeah, believe it’ ! ) its kind of hard not to say ” You are jealous love ! ” ( me, ‘ha! ha! ha!’ whilst laughin’ in her face ! . Oh & Booo’oo get off !, not ’em off, just off, you know off the stage ! ) .

          • You know ” feck off the public stage luv, & do yer love life somewhere else ( in fact why not go home & write a song about it ! ) cos’ I, ‘we’ ( i.e. other Buskers! ) have got work to do ! ( if only they wd let us, the SouthBank ‘authorities’ that is, let us more ‘traditional’ Buskers, neigh Public Musicians in & without the formal registration & ‘auditions’ ) .

          • Coming to think about it why don’t some of you ‘Buskers’ ( Singers ) out there actually go & get a love life, ( a ‘real’ one, not busking fantasy ! ), & yes ( including some of the fans ! ), go & get laid.

            Cos right now you’re just taking up to much of what is becoming ‘precious’ public space. Plus of course it wd be good for your health, ‘real’ sex that is. Its true, consult any decent Psycho therapist & they will tell you it gets the juices flowing, & stops the backbone from shriveling up! .

          • Yeah, calling all you ‘itinerant’ London busking folk out there, make some ‘noise’, some loud, real, ‘authentic’, audacious, joyous, heartfelt, sounds preferably in the dead of Saturday Night tho’ ( perhaps Sunday Morning ), not on a mid-Sat afternoon by the side of the River Thames ! .

          • Reference

            ” Threats to close down SouthBank London ‘Eye’ Busking Spot after 6pm Following Complaint From Local Hotel About Noise Nuisance ” ( source: I heard it on the Grapevine ) .

          • Check also, recent Public Statistics ( no, tho’ worth consulting too, not the latest ‘divorce’ figures! ) & realise its not time to Busk London ( as ex Mayor Boris Johnson, new Mayor Sadiq Khan ) wd have you believe but to ‘leave’ London & pretty ‘rapido’ ( i.e. quickly! )

            The av. student may now face leaving university £50,000-£60,000 in debt with 25% or more of them returning to kip down on Mom & Dads settee, the rest ‘opting’ for a ‘box-room’ in a shared house. So, yeah go out & have yer long ‘leisure’ weekend, by all means, its good for you.

            But please do manage get a ‘good’ nights rest on Sunday night, waking up ‘clear’-headed Mon Morning, to realise that as a ‘public’ citizen in this country ( not merely ‘consumer’ ) by the ‘politcal’ classes you’ve being utterly & totally ‘shafted’ ! .

          • Bytheway when the ‘Shrinks’ say sex is ‘good’ for you bear in mind that they’re generally referring to ‘Mental Health’, as for the ‘physical’ variety its still a matter of ‘daily’ exercise & nutritious diet I’m afraid. Try ‘Onken’ bio yogurt topped with nuts & ‘blueberries’ ( raspberries if they’re not to your taste ) for a ‘delcious’ healthy breakfast alternative & happily ‘zestful’ start to the day ( or should I say your ‘working’ week ! ) .

  • Motivational ‘Hype’ ( & the American Dream ! )

    We live in an age of ‘motivational’ hype. Its not the ‘priesthood’ anymore ( no-goes to church on Sundays these days, not in England in the 21st century ) but Experts, columnists, advisers, agony aunts of every sort telling us constantly how ‘great’ we are, if only we were to work a little harder, just believe, we cd achieve anything, live the life of our dreams.

    No talk of society here tho, not in this ‘big’ conversation, not a mention of the word ‘structural’ violence, well out of fashion & thats despite the social ‘fact’ that relative social mobility in this country & elsewhere in the Western hemisphere ( incl USA ) is practically at a standstill. Truth is ‘upward’ social mobility in real terms is worse today than the 1950’s. This the age of ‘blend’ families, ‘sandwich’ families, sofa kids & where 49% of ‘marriages’ ( civil partnerships ) end in ‘divorce’ . Oh ‘Liberty’ how life beckons, man still born free yet everywhere in chains ! .

    • Postscript ( the Prodigal Son )

      However having said this & in the process no doubt making an appeal to peoples ‘natural’ tendency towards liberality, I state out loud ” Beware, the Prodigal Son”. Cos, yes despite obvious ‘present’ day ( i.e. continuous! ) ‘structural’ injustices & inequalities, & furthermore despite ‘appearances’ ( often ‘ragged’ ! ) some people ( amongst them yes, ‘some’ of the ‘fallen’ ! ), in fact, ‘do’ deserve their lot ! .

      • Their ‘vices’ being not of the will, but of ‘morality’ ! .

        • Sometimes of course the only ‘appropriate’ social solution being both ‘punishment’ ( also often ‘self’ inflicted ) & rehabilitation ! .

          • One thing the true just ‘state’ should never be, if not at ‘all’ times cold & unmerciful in relation to its ‘citizens’, thats some kind of intemperate & over indulgent ‘surrogate’ parent ! .

          • Its funny how from another ‘street’ perspective ( & a few years myself on the ‘streets’ ! ) I ‘observe’, like the poet Baudelaire did of the Parisian Art Set of the early 19th Century, that ‘Buskers’ ( a fair few at least ) are like ‘spoilt’ children.

          • 21st Century ‘Supra’ Social Reality ( or Actually Looking Out Early One Morning Of My Living Room Window )

            Its funny every morning when I rise, am ‘loosening’ up the tendons, whilst looking outside my ‘living’ room window onto the ‘High’ St, I don’t see any of those ‘special’ people, dreamers, super achievers that the Pop Psycology books talk so enthusiastically about.

            No I don’t, I see only ‘streams’ & streams of commuter ‘traffic’, the ‘bread’ delivery lorry, the postman, yg women in ‘nursery’ nurse uniforms i.e. all that ‘strata’ of real Society ( & carefully organised ‘division’ of Labour ) without which ‘organic’ UK nevermind ‘global’ ‘Capitalist’ Economy would simply fall apart, In fact it cd’nt exist ( at this ‘pre’ super technology stage anyways ! )

            ( * On 21st Century ‘Supra’ Social Reality, The ‘Special’ People & Looking Out Early One Morning Of My Living Room Window ! )

          • Nb. Out onto a world where ‘success’ & ‘excellence’ don’t necessary go together either ! ).

          • Hold on a minute !, Oh wow am I having a vision? No, no I’m not, come here see, there they are, quick look out of the window ( not the ‘square’ one, the ’round’ ! ) see ’em the ‘dreamers’, believers & the ‘super achievers, men dressed in ‘bowler’ hat, pin-striped suite & tie, women in white chiffon blouse & skirt suit, woooh one in Pink Leather Jacket, ‘tight’ black leather pants, & white ‘stilleto’s. All of ’em living life to the full, striding across London Bridge, down Oxford St, across the Mall, acting out their ‘natural’ destiny as paid up members of the English Upper Class !.

          • Corrrr I absolutely luuuv that haughty Chick in the pink jacket, don’t say anything tho’ don’t want any ‘trouble’ her boyfriend might be a Rugby Player or something, her lover a Captain in the Coldstream Guards !.

          • Ivy Mae thats her name, Ivy Mae !.

  • An Artistic Journey ( Into the Future )

    Whether we like it or not, dragged along ‘ideologically’ into the future kicking & screaming, or only a hundred or so years down the line, thoughts, notions & ‘culture’ processed & reckoned simply by ‘economic’ default & with ‘absolutely’ ( a word I always use hesitatingly ! ) no talk of a ‘Nanny State’, the future is ‘logically’ going to ‘Socialist’ ( or at least liberal ‘Anarchist’ or more accurately this form of constitutional state most likely ).
    .
    Q Why? A. Because in a ‘scarce-free’ society built on ( &/or ‘consciously’ developed out of! ) a relatively infinite ‘productive’ base & infrastructure of ‘nano’ technology & engineering ‘bio’ technology then ‘class’ as an economic concept ( yes very much a reality! ) disappears. It really does i.e. no need for it ( a sophisticated & ‘real’ division of labour that is with its ‘observable’ & calculated ‘relative’ pay structure(s) ) .

    Thats of course if we as individuals ( mankind ) don’t self-destruct beforehand, its possible, a freak ‘tidal’ wave drown the planet, a ‘maladaptive’ virus wipe-out the population & send us plummeting back into the age of the dinasaurs!. Its all very possible this, nevermind as individuals, the whole ‘world’ the majority of us taking ( caught up in the ‘swirl’ of ) the more ‘prodigal’ route & with it its associated end, us as ‘individuals’ ( as a ‘race’ ) headed ultimately to ‘self-implosion’ .

    The Leaders are already with us, ready to take us in this direction that is, & as ‘prophesised’ ( in ‘political’ diatribes not ‘bible’s or religious tracts ) many who initially ‘theorised’ now ( impending ) ‘genuinely’ emerging from the bottom up ( always a ‘good’ sign, in fact as well as myth ). Tho’ they ( these progressively ’emergent’ beings ) won’t be necessary in the future – i.e. most folk left to their own devices ( ‘personal’ choices ) as to how they spend their ‘extended’ leisure i.e. sitting around on ‘hyper’ luxurious sofa’s watching TV ‘super’ screen media or ironically wishing to engage in ‘dangerous’ as ever sports & pursuits so as to give their life meaning ( in an age where people are capable of living to 200yrs ) – they do have their ‘utility’ now, in this ( our ) age & millenium .

    The Leaders ( yes they’re with us, dotted around, ready to ‘publicly’ emerge, transcend their ‘class’ situations ) are ‘advanced’ thinkers too, they know what is possible, what lays just beyond the current ‘human’ horizon. Its in this ‘spirit’ ( cultural zeitgeist ) that I’ve decided to no longer fret & fume about my ‘daily’ runnings & doings, I intend to ‘relax’ into myself, creatively just ‘be’!. I’m confident with the right application & knowledge things will ‘imaginatively’ happen.

    I’m travelling ( popping ) down to London soon, to ‘busk’, I rarely do these days, I mean really rarely do ( only doing so a ‘couple’ of times in the past ). I’ve been taking a look at the SouthBank & carefully ‘analysing’ the setting in terms of what wd be the best ( most suitable i.e in terms of aesthetics & ‘environmental’ impact ) kind of classical ‘solo’ based guitar music to play there. Should I take the ‘Convent Garden’ approach a play a set of ‘classical’ music entertainments, ‘display’ pieces along the lines of Brahms, Aguado, Paganinni ? or should I take a more Gentil Montana in Paris line & perform a ‘filmic’ set of classical South American/European Art Music ‘rhythmic’ pieces ?

    My ‘current’ ( usual ) Stratford upon Avon set won’t work in this London setting, ( too lush, too cafe romantic ) so I’m really tempted by the 3rd ‘option’ ( for me anyways, there are many others & what I intially started out to be, my busking performance ‘dream’ if you will! ) & develop a ‘special’ ( carefully selected ) set of ‘Gypsy on the corner pieces’, the ‘genre’ is rhythmic by nature but laced with a ‘touch’ of ‘romance’ enough to create the kind of beautiful l’ambiance, that I ( & the public ) long for ie ie ‘real’ street ‘art’ music ( & without ‘malicously’ undermining in any way ‘established’ acts ie. performance Art of true integrity ! ). Thats it the ‘Hunagarian’ Gypsy in me, thats it, bring that out, thats the way to go. Viva London ! .

    • Notes ( Nostalgia, Folklore & Romance – Ida Presti )

      I’ve mentioned elsewhere how it was the yg Chinese Classical Guitarist Li Jie who had an influence on the kind of elegantly poised & ‘relaxed’ solo guitar playing I aspire to. But I have to tell you its Ida Presti who for me, & many others ( incl ‘serious’ art music critics ) who is quite possibly ‘the best’ classical guitarist of the 20th Century, if not all time ( her stage ‘performances’ surpassing that of the ‘legendary’ Segovia ). Check out some of her ‘radio’ play & recordings on YouTube, such ‘beautiful’ nostalgia. The emitome of ‘romanticism’, folklore & ‘style’, her guitar-work ‘orchestral’ in its artististic depth & ‘taste’ ! .

      • Further Notes ( Ida Presti & her Cultural Inspiration )

        Its thanks to Ida Presti that I’m now entering the ‘post’ Planning stage & about to return as a Busker to the ‘7 day working week’. Some years back I went thu’ a phase ( a pretty long one of over 12 months ) of working a full working week, no time off, no ‘holidays’ when running a ‘breakfast’ cafe in the newly ‘devolped’ ( British Waterways renovated ) canal district of Birmingham.

        I’m back their now, re-invigorated & about to embark on a ‘new’ & fresh work cycle after an equally long spell of 4 or 5 days ‘enthusiastic’ busking then due to various ‘interferences’ ( incl ‘personal’ disatisfactions ) over the last few years, experiencing ‘lulls’ of only going out for a ‘few’ days or detrimentally having whole ‘weeks’ off !.

        Its thru’ listening to the old recordings of Ida that I’ve been inspired to change my whole approach to ‘busking’, completely ‘reworking’ what I do eg. I’m now planning to work Monday to Monday, in a playing ‘cycle’ of Morning ‘interlude’ music, lunchtime culture & ‘entertainments’, Weekend Performance i.e. popular ‘street’ playing whilst still managing to ‘retain’ that continental, romantic cultural ‘tone’ & feel to what I do!.

        Its wonderful listening to those ‘nostalgic’ radio recordings of Ida, in that they give that ‘vital’ hint at what ( I now realise in a way I did’nt full before except in some kind of abstract ‘platonic’ intuitive sense ) ‘the ‘solo’ guitar ( in the right intelligent, imaginative, ‘sensitive’ hands ) can do. I say ‘hint’ at, because these ‘old’ by ‘modern’ standards shaky recordings, can only suggest the ‘magic’ that someone like Ida can bring out of an instrument like the classical guitar.

        Furthermore its a joy & a delight that the world conjured up when listening to such culturally ‘rich’ & imaginative music is one where ‘romantic’ beauty triumphs & what a relief this ‘cultural’ mileau is, from the Pop ‘aesthetics’ of today what witt its seeming consumerist led ‘obsession’ with pop perfection, a kind of ‘fake’ idealism. Don’t get me wrong the ‘cultural’ marketeers back in Idas day were no doubt insistant that photographers produce the ‘flawless’ photograph, however Ida’s imagrey in this wider ( for me! ) authentic artistic ‘romantic’ context comes across as more ‘charming’ than ‘cold’ compared to the now ‘commonplace’ images of perferction that go hand in hand with the many consumer Pop representations of today. Here we are ‘nauseated’ rather than charmed, the ’emotional’ experience with the Pop type image ( for the ‘honest’ listener/viewer that is! ) more like an ‘eclipse’ of the sun, rather than the artistically radiating ‘warming’ of the heart, the human soul you get when a work is ‘framed’, artistically informed by the values of an ‘authentic’ romanticism.

        Today its not even a simple critical matter of ‘musical’ content, even the CD cover becomes a matter of dispute when ‘framed’ by contemporary aesthetics ( or should I say ‘graphics’ ! ). The result of a seemingy & essentially dishonest & ‘conspiratorial collaberation between photographer & subject, & an artistic ‘offence’ committed in the process of producing a kind of visual lie. The language of photography becomes ‘corrupted’ & once more this artisitic corruption is ‘naturalised’ i.e. its done at the mere blink of an eye.

        Of course ‘natural’ beauty does exist, classical almost, the beauty of a face, the ‘human’ symmetrial form of a body, & when you meet it you know it, because somewhow penetrating thru’ the light, the filter it ‘spiritually’ lifts you, the experience bringing with it ‘nautral’ buoyancy & health, its a truly beautiful feeling, you’re left in a genuine state of happiness & content. Romantic beauty brings with it ‘nobility’, expression. sponteneity. Pop attraction merely brings with it just that i.e. ‘shallowness’, utility, illusory sentiment, a ‘natural’ disatisfaction & complaint ! .

        • You know when I ‘worked’ in the Cafe I did’nt get paid much, cd be there 12 hrs per day, looking after the ‘main’ bar for the Proprietor after my ‘morning’ stint in the breakfast bar. I just ‘enjoyed’ the cultural mileau, connecting with the ‘canal’ folk, the ‘characters’ that frequented the place, working in an ‘historically’ listed building, the ‘freedom’ i.e. an almost ‘gypsy’like sense of natural ‘space’ & liberation. Yeah, true ‘riches’ keeping me ‘sustained’ at least for more than a year ! .

          • ( A Tribute Ida Presti, No Certainly Not A Member Of The Fame Academy, The Greatest Classical Guitarist Of All Time ! )

  • The Next Generation ( eg. the Southbank Busking Scene )

    All this ‘meditation’ on nostalgia, folklore, romance & past ‘musical’ greats has got me thinking about ‘ the next generation’ i.e. what the next generation of ‘Busker’ will like in places like the SouthBank London ?.

    Of course current day ‘political’ realities in the ‘capital’ suggest that what we need today are a few less ‘Songwriters’ & a few more ‘Architects’, community ‘house’ build leaders, & ‘active’ willing participants in any of the ‘new’ schemes proposed to solve Londons gross ( & socially unjust ) housing shortage.

    However those who do insist on their musical ( ‘artistic’ ) calling should perhaps take note of some of the creative ‘happenings’ ( yes on the ‘streets’ ) I’ve recently researched & discovered taking place in certain ‘regions’ of the globe – ‘true’ artistic expression, honest ‘public’ musicianship no less, in one not too distant ‘eastern’ ( exotic European ) country !.

    For those with a ‘real’ musical bent & possible public ‘vocation’ I’d say its time to ‘overcome’ those innermost ( perhaps ‘repressed’ ) fears & strive to do whats necessary to become a ‘real’ musician ( i.e. in the street-sense truly ‘expressive’, in the ‘public’ role honestly confidently so ). Again of course this means ‘sourcing’ the right kind of environment in which one can constructively ( & honestly ) ‘nuture’ these kinds of ‘skills’ !.

    These days that can mean ( involve ) not just finding somewhere decent to live but getting ‘active’ in the whole ‘self-build’ housing ethos for example. However for those for whom in all truth ‘busking’, street-entertaining is essentially a bit of fun, a p/t ( less ‘serious’ ) income, or perhaps for those of us getting on now a bit, busking etc ‘representing’ a form of ‘extended’ youth I’d ‘warn’ the stakes are getting higher. Perhaps the best thing ‘today’ wd be to finally take that ’round the world’ ( ‘gap’ year ) trip & then once thats over face ‘reality’ & perhaps settle down & have a family ie. children.

    Thats what my ‘sister’ did on leaving ‘university’ ( graduating ) i.e. got a round the world aeroplane ticket with a friend, met her husband to be half way round ( eg in Australia ), extended the ‘ticket’ ( journey ), travelled further afield, got married back in England a few years later, settled down had kids, bought a house ( mortgage ) in West London, then Reading. She’s not looked back since ! .

    • Notes

      ” As women we love to be motivated and inspired by the wisdom of other people. Empowering each other & sharing knowledge & experiences is what makes us united & a ‘real’ Career Girl community ” ( 10 Quotes From Strong Career Women That You Need In Your Life by Lois ) .

      • News Source – SouthBank Busker ‘Susana Silva’ announces her possible ‘final’ departure after 8 years trying to hack it in the city & make it in the record industry .

        • See her latest Facebook video post 30/8/16, yes a ‘cry for help ! .

          • From the ‘creator’ of the now ‘legendary’ ( cult ) street album ‘ Words Of Power ‘ .

          • Reasons for leaving the ‘capital’ ? From ‘stalkers’ on the SouthBank to living in depressing ‘conditions’ eg. accomodation where ‘neighbours’ have’nt spoken for the last 2 years !. The solution ? Start the ‘plans’ for her first ‘world’ tour ( i.e. escape into a world of ‘adventure’ in a ‘Volkswagon’ mini-bus/van converted by her loving ‘paternal’ father back in, is it Lisbon?.
            Not really sure but aghh well, ‘living’ somewhere in Portugal, Sinto, Porto, Alentejo or ‘the Algarve’ I presume !) .

          • News Source – SouthBank Busker Charlotte Cambpell fresh from her pre Xmas holiday in the USA & tho’ fully ‘jet’-lagged ‘ already back on the ‘streets’ of London. Is she really the one who’s going to ( could ) ‘transform’ the reputation of ‘Country’ ?. ( See. ‘comments’ Portabella Rd Blog )

          • i.e. Its reputation as a ‘regressive’, country bumkin, ‘red-neck’ music ?.

  • London ( the ‘mercantile’ city )

    The fact is London is a ‘merchantile’ city, the consensus ( historical ) of the past 300 years is that this is a place where ‘money’ talks, make no bones about that , its true !. Yes, have no ‘illusion’, cos’ you see this is a place where a person is quite ‘free’ to roam, but in many senses ( i.e. ‘reality’ ) finds themselves never quite ‘free’ ! . .

    Of course there are those ( the ‘free’ & the fanciful ) who suppose that ‘freedom’ ( of the sort we all are searching for ) actually resides in the heart ( the ‘human’ mind ! ) , oh yes ” the Goddess of Imagination weaves her golden warp with capricious hand from the excellent granite pavement along which one makes their way homeward to the crystalline heaven ” .

    However ‘wiser’ folk amongst us ( ‘real’ Artists ) point out how withdrawal into the world of ‘imagination’ ( which is what this kind of faux ‘posturing’ , really amounts too ! ) can ‘end’ in spiritual desolation & moral indifference.

    Anyway enought dithering over the notion of how ‘human-stupidity’ can mask itself as ‘deep’ profundity. I note that Scott Peacock, ‘ardent’ Busking Fan, & founder of London UK Busking Facebook is back on the SouthBank today & this is in despite of all the ‘recent’ outcry’s about ‘stalking’ etc. In this instance ( I’m not saying he is the one who stands outrightly accused here ! ) & it seems he’s posted a performance ‘photo’ of Emily Lee from the front ( rather than rear ! ) which I understand has caused some ‘controversy’ & accusations’ of abuse etc ( if not downright ‘humiliation’ of Emily since she has put on weight etc & may not want her ‘backside’ paraded on the internet for all & sundry to see ! ).

    Oh yes ‘life’ goes on, in Londons SouthBank, along with that seemingly ‘eternal’ existential truth i.e. the apparant idyll of a mans ( womans ) romantic fantasy disguising profound loneliness & estrangement from reality ( for both oberserver & seen ! ). Q. And what of ‘artistic’ freedom you might ask ? In all its glory, beauty & expressiveness ? A. Ah Well, I guess that will have to wait ! .

    ( Nb. References, Sources eg. A Radio Programme, Some Classic Literature etc withheld ! )

    • Note

      Of course there is a ‘case’ for I guess you cd call it ‘indecent’ exposure of certain Street Artists, Stars, Starlets, Buskers & Performers if there is ‘evidence’ that some busking ‘folk’ are not merely concerned about others ‘respecting’ their appearances but are in ‘reality’ trying to ‘manipulate’ ( incl using bully tactics ) others, & the public so as to ‘deviously’ manufacture ‘an image’ of themselves that ‘maximises’ customer ‘praise’ & sales. Naked exploitation such as this may have to be ‘exposed’. Any ‘vested’ interest collusion in such a process also stands to be publicly revealed too, & the result may prove very embarrassing ! .

      • Further Notes

        And under these ‘conditions’ what do places like the SouthBank come to represent? Thats right, a completely ‘inauthentic’ kind of existence & ‘fine’ propaganda for the ‘anti-busking’ lobby ! .

  • Heartbreak Hotel ( Grace Solero, Tottenham Court Road Tube Station )

    Its funny, but its kinda heartbreaking when you see a ‘real’ potential pop/rock ‘star’ busking, wherever it may be, albeit on this occasion the London Underground, yeah Grace Solero Tottenham Court Road Tube 4/9/2016 .

  • London, Modernity & Alienation ( the only real ‘solution’ )

    Enough has been said about the topic of ‘alienation’ in modern-day life, in literature ‘masterpieces’ have been written. I myself love ‘solititude’ ( many ‘fear’ it, can’t stand being alone ) but theres part of me that cd quite easily spend a ‘lifetime’ being alone, in a healthy ‘space’ ( not prison ! ) with only myself for company.

    On the other hand I’ve always liked to go out, spend time with ‘good’ company, be part of a ‘scene’, yes at times in my earlier years part of a ‘cultural’ trend. Again, if I’m out & find myself alone, I’m quite happy to sit my time away in a ‘outdoors’ cafe etc simply ‘people’ watching, I get much pleasure from that, I always have done ! .

    Well aware of the dangers of ‘going’ to far inward, of ‘cut’-offness, personal ‘solipsism’ even ( on top of very real ‘deliberate’ structural violence in the sense of ‘externalised’ enforced social isolation, ‘race’ & Society etc ) I’ve learned that the ‘darker’ side of the ‘alienated’ individual can be resolved only by rediscovering a sense of compassion & responsibility towards fellow human beings.

    Thats why after relative ’bouts’ of ‘distancing’ since I’ve started busking as a living I still manage to make ‘serious’ strides to ‘connect’ with those you inevitably meet ( confront! ) on the streets. In Stratford upon Avon for example I know practically ‘all’ of the folk on the street, in fact its reached a point where today most of them no longer ‘beg’ for a living, they nearly all ‘own’ ( in ‘various’ conditions ) & play a guitar or other instrument ( to various levels of skill ! ) for their ‘money’ .

    More than a few of these street ‘folk’ are intelligent people, & in fact I was in discussion with one of them the other day, a guy with ‘drugs’ problems, & before his ‘seasonal’ travel back to Bristol with his girlfriend. Beset with problems, included the most socially ‘serious’ eg a ‘murder’ in his peer group, boyfriend murdering his girlfriend, he has a ‘real’ interest in the guitar, not just playing but also ‘cultural’. He’s passed some interesting ‘tales’s onto me about his ‘journey’s’ thru Spain a year or so ago.

    Its out of this ‘context’ that I’m able to input knowledge about ‘various’ types of workable ‘intrumental’ set, stuff that he cd ‘pick-up’ & play, & instilling the confidence in him to do so. Yes perform on the ‘streets’ using ‘Spanish’ Nylon rather than ‘acoustic’ steel string guitar, performing a few key ‘genres’ of sound/style that can work pretty well without ‘amplifying the guitar i.e. on just a fairly ‘cheap’, 2nd hand ‘model’ .

    To only ‘connect’ thats my approach to beating ‘alienation’ on the streets. I personally don’t go out to perform on ‘stage’, I go out to create a vibe, in the public space. I also like to genuinely ‘link’ with people esp. those going thru a ‘hard’ time & even more so if they are honestly ‘responsive’ & maintain a ‘desire’ for life. I’m wary of & tend to stay away from the ‘drainers’ & Birmingham has more than its fair share of ‘bad’ persons on the street at present ( tho’ Stratford upon Avon, or ‘anywhere’ of course can be the same ).

    But again, I have to say, in general I don’t let that put me off from intervening in the lives of those you find ‘living’ on the streets or getting close to those ‘lonely’ beings threatened with, &/or on the verge of becoming completely ‘divorced’ from reality incl the ‘street’. I’ve always been like this, I’ve always in some shape or form or another tried to, neigh naturally been inclined to, ‘connect’. I don’t just sing songs about it, merely write poems about the ‘marginal’ & dispossessed, I don’t do ‘talks’ about it, I simply ‘connect’ with others, I do, I try to connect ! .

    • An ‘Authentic’ Co-existence

      Yes an ‘authentic’ co-existence ( avoiding ‘negative’ conflict ) is possible. In Stratford upon Avon the ‘street’ folk cum’ Buskers avoid the ‘main’ busking spots, whereas the likes of me operate around a ‘code’ of 2hrs ‘revolving’ busking spots & perform in their own ‘workable’ performance orbits eg. ‘off-piste’ spots – by the Sainsbury’s Supermarket, on the ‘corner’ by the Island at the top of Bridge St, at the other end of the town by the ‘Station’ etc. Yes everybody tries ( mainly successfully ) to avoid treading on each ‘others’ toes, creating a very ‘real’ win-win situation ( in ‘street’ terms anyway ! ).

      Sometimes even a ‘miracle’ happens ( ok ‘authentic’ human ‘growth’ phenomenon occurs ! ) like 2 or 3 weeks back when a ‘street’ travellor & his ‘french’ girlfriend arrived in town, him playing a ‘battered’ ole classical nylon string & playing yes Carcassi pieces, tarrega ( well beginning the attempt, starting the climb, the ascent ! ). It was a pleasure to watch, see, & most importantly ‘listen’ too. He got ‘good’ public feedback too, I think he made £55 quid, in a couple of hrs by the Sunday ‘Bancroft’ Market ( usually this kind of folk are givine shortthrift i.e. ‘kicked’ off for ‘begging’! ) .

      • ‘New’ Beginnings ( & possibilites )

        Of course all this begs the question Q. Where do actual Beggars go in Stratford upon Avon, the ones who can’t afford even a 2nd hand ‘ole’ guitar ? A. Well, the ‘truth’ is begging in Stratford ( if you do it with a little guile, if not honestly & intelligently ! ) will fetch you enough ‘money’ within one week to afford a ‘starter’ instrument .

        Its funny too that the ‘favorite’ spot for ‘begging’ ( & street Beggars ‘new’ in town ) is by the ‘bridge’ on the River Avon adjacent to where I often play on a spot known as the ‘ampitheatre’ on the Bancroft Gardens. I don’t mind these guys ( sometimes ‘females’ ) at all, as long as they don’t harrass you by ‘competing’ for space in ‘front’. They can sit besides me on the ‘bridge’ all day, they ‘capture’ the people traffic passing by them, I the ”flow’ of public passing by me !. ( Nb. There are ample ‘other’ good begging spots in the town of course, & where you’re not hassled by police but its this one that is apparantly the ‘favourite’ ! ) .

  • London, Modernity & Alienation 2 ( A ‘New’ Self )

    You know its entirely possible to build a ‘new’ Self. By that I mean not to simply ‘find’ oneself, who one really is , your ‘direction’ etc but a completely new self i.e. to re-programme your very self image eg. a would be Aeroplane Pilot becomes a ‘landscape’ Gardener, an ‘Opera’ Singer a ‘deep’ sea Diver ! . Not just ‘reborn’ but actually personality-wise ‘reconstituted’ totally anew .

    I ‘comment’ elsewhere ( See 2nd Chester Blog ) on the topic of ‘Grammar Schools’, this got me thinking about what a crazy trip school is in general, on some of the characters I knew back then, plus some consequent ‘life’ surprises. My school ( a transitory technical – comprehensive school ) was organised into streams & I recall Ashok ( an asian Sikh ) guy, who was in one of the ‘top’ strands ( * I was in one of the other ‘top’ stream classes tho’ his comprised of proportionately more local Handsworth Wood lower/mc ‘white’ kids compared to mine with its high proportion of ‘bright’ Handsworth Kids & so was acknowledged as ‘slightly’ superior ).

    Ashok like many Asian kids back then tho’ from Birmingham was a Liverpool fan. I arrived in Bham from my ‘grandparents’ in Runcorn, Cheshire ( Merseyside ! ) a Liverpool fan but soon converted to the Villa. I ended up ‘expelled’ from school in the 5th year so lost contact with many ‘peer’ students, but I soon thru the grapevine got to hear about Ashok. Apparantly a ‘heroin’ addict by the age of 17 ( following his many football ‘trips’ to Liverpool ! ), he managed to beat the addiction, go back to college, do the ‘right’ Access Course, & got into Medical School, successfully training to be a Doctor ( which he is til’ this day ! ) .

    Another ‘school’ character I remember was ‘Plumber’ ( his nickname surname ). He was the biggest ‘life’ surprise, a ‘black’ guy in one of the ‘lower’ sets, & to boot one of the schools notorious ‘playground’ fighters ( him & his ‘elder’ brother notorious for their ‘fights’ with other school ‘hardnocks’ eg. Everton Stirling, Judge etc ). Plumber stood out ‘cos of his fighting technique eg. the Brazilian Ju-jitsu style take-down before this ‘martial’ art was known, before the ‘Gracies’ etc, I have to say ( shamedly ) I used to watch his ‘regular’ fights with to a certain degree ‘glee’ & fascination.

    Again like Ashok, Plumber went thru’ a complete ‘transformation’ on leaving school, some years later himself, getting thru’ the F.E college system & then a ‘Social Policy’ Degree at Birmingham University, he is today an F.E. Lecturer. I see Plumber around today, when I’m out busking in Birmingham, I tell you he’s not the same guy, he’s intelligent, nice n’ ‘good’ natured, considerate i.e. always drops in a ‘coin’ into my case, & most of all he’s one of the ‘few’ people who actually I think understands ‘me’ ( what happened to me, what it is to be a ‘me’ ! ) i.e. both a ‘victim’ yet not a victim at the same time ! .

    • Stratford upon Avon, drop-outs, losers ( & ‘faith’ in others ! )

      Its cos’ of direct experiences such as these that ‘I’ when out, guitar ‘vibing’ & connecting & yes wary of the Drainers, & the Bad in my midsts, can still manage to retain some ‘faith’ in others where otherwise it may have been lost. The ‘Beggars’ new in town soon to take up the guitar, suffering addicts ( & to a ‘real’ extent a result of their own irresponsibility not just ‘structural’ violence Nb. this is acknowledged & ‘talked’ about ) , I’ve seen quite often pass thru’ the hidden’ social/cultural processes that exist in the place, & come out the ‘other’ side changed & better off people ie. not all of these ‘lives’ remain stultified & stagnant, way to many do, but not all ! .

      Eg. The case study of the ‘addict’ who sustains himself begging, then ‘strumming’ a guitar for while, but without ‘illusion’ & quite naturally after a while, & after being in enough healthy space where can be left alone to find himself & ‘grow’, comes out the ‘other-side’ having re-discovered his desire ( up until then repressed ) to simply be a ‘builder’ again, a make his dues to his family ! .

      Yeah when it happens beautiful to see, become aware of, one of the true ‘aesthetics’ & natural ‘entertainments’ to be found in the place ! .( it certainly counteracts & to some extent ‘rebalances’ the bad & the ugly, which too is real enough in the town, as it is anywhere else ! ) .

      • Begin Today

        Come & join me, ‘re-programme’ & reconstitute the very mind, body & ‘soul’ ! .

        • A bit like a ‘great’ piece of music, a fine musical score its the human body’s, mind, spirits ‘natural’ tendency to want to move from ‘tension’ to ‘resolution’ ( Nb. of course ‘music’ in itself does’nt feel emotion ! )

          Now its ‘not’ a matter of comparing these positive/negative ‘states’ & getting to see them all as useful eg. confusion as useful as happiness, pleasure etc ( as some ‘everyday’ philosphers, even ‘songwriters’ might sing about, argue or think ). No its more vitally impt to just simply acknowledge the existence of these states ( their ‘reality’ ! ) honestly interpret ( ‘decode’ ) what they tell you ( this is ‘real’ emotional intelligence at work & potentially within us all ! ) & then allow the body, the ‘deep’ self to ‘respond’ accordingly & do its ‘natural’ healing work. In a naturally ‘healthily’ fashion that is ( or in the platonic sense ‘justly’ or properly ) & achieve what the classic philosophers might call a ‘state’ of natural ‘excellence’ .

          In this sense for example we move from ’emotions’ like anger to ‘justice’ ( rather than to say unneccessary ‘rage’ & violence ), confusion to ‘clarity’ ( rather than ‘dogmatic’ exposition ), sadness to ‘relief’, gratitude & perceptive gain ( rather than pathological loss, depression ), from fear to natural courage & confidence ( rather than wreckless arrogance & abandonment ).

          In ‘dramatic’, Shakespearean, or the ‘great’ Tragedian’s terms its a matter of moving from discord & ‘potential’ ( or should I say horrific actual ! ) catastrophe, to state ‘harmony’ ( rather than ‘tyranny’ & authoritarian control ) . In this ‘context’ music is seen, played out in the ‘sympathetic’ background, as a symbol of human possibilites or should I say ‘civilization’ ! .

          ( Ref. Music, as a symbol of human excellence, civilization )

  • London ( ‘Success’ In Busking & The Public Musician )

    No paternal ‘prescriptions’ here but what I’ve found in general when it comes to ‘success’ in Busking incl. making some ‘serious’ dosh ( ‘money’ not neccessarily being the only parameter ! ) is that with the exception of yg kids ( ‘cuties’ ) playing on the streets, ‘regardless’ of place, ‘covers’ or originals, what the public respond to best ( seem to ‘like’ more than others ) are simply ‘good’ musicians ( what I call ‘Public’ Musicians ! ) regardless of style, genre or ‘background’ .

    I know Gypsies & the like can face a bit of criticism on the streets, whether this is ‘just’ ( eg. certain strands accused of a distinctive kind of ‘cultural’ rapaciousness ) or whether this is ‘prejudice’ ( eg. the same cd be said of some English street people & their more ‘aggressive’ style of begging ) is open to ‘debate’, but what is fairly ‘conclusive’ to me is that the ‘good’ ones can make a bit of money & get a ‘positive’ response from the public’

    Eg. I’ve seen an Accordian Player or two attract more than a few coins playing ‘Romanian’ Folk Tunes on the streets, in the style of Astor Piazzolla that is, Astor Piazzolla ! ( I’ve also seen a ‘few’ English Beggars make more than a ‘few’ bob, with the right ‘attitude’ & manners that is, right attitude & manners ! ) .

    • Note

      For further info’ ( & ‘enlightenment’ ) on what I believe to be the ‘record’ takings by a Busker in one day ( neigh afternoon ! ) See Liverpool Blog above, the one titled ‘Success Justice Prevails ‘ .

      • Further Notes

        Now just ‘imagine’ what you cd do if you were an ‘excellent’ Public Musician, with ‘taste’ ? ( & ‘real’ true artistic justice prevails ! ) .

        • You might be able to prove the common adage that its ‘familiarity’ that breeds contempt ! .

          • Even More Notes

            But the ‘general’ point here, at the end of the day, regardless of what you play, ‘Good’ musicianship first every time, if you you want to make ‘serious’ money on the streets ( & the more you can go beyond ‘appearances’ & take on the ‘really’ more challenging the better not necessarily in ‘monetary’ terms, I’ve seen the public blagged many times by ‘improper’ impresarios, but for the ‘riches’ it brings to your ‘artistic’ conscience, Artists soul ! ) .

          • More & More & More Notes

            Now ‘imagine’ the skills it takes eg. technique, sightreading, transcripion etc to learn a ‘new’ programme of ‘challenging’ music in rapid time, to then drop that & take up another, to then return back to the prior set.

            Then ‘visualise’ what a wonderful feeling it is to push the boundaries, of your own art, abilities, ‘taste’ & then present that to others, in the ‘public’ street realm.

            All this whilst reciting the following ‘artistic’ truth to yourself ” Culture is always shifting, transitory, & is never the same, or in the same place at the same time. Culture, just like Identity is never fixed, or stable, it has a life of its own ” .

            ( Ref from Culturalism to Transculturalism, Cultural Studies, The Basics )

  • London ( Stjepan Hauser & The ‘Cultural’ Revolution )

    Believe me when I tell you the ‘revolution’ is coming, in London ( neigh everywhere ! ) & there’s going to be much upheaval, yes fear & trembling, there’s going to be a ‘cultural’ revolution .

    Q. Will ‘terror’ reign, will blood be spilt on our streets ?

    A. Let me tell you there will be sights, ‘sounds’ as you’ve never seen nor heard before, & ‘total’ oblivion. I can see it now, not mere imaginings but deep set in the ‘minds-eye’, in our country’s city-centres, our streets eg. #Stjepan Hauser – Oblivion ( YouTube ) .

    • After The Dream ( Keats or Bob Dylan ? )

      Q. After the Dream what then, Keats or Bob Dylan ? A. Let me tell you the ‘Writers’ will have taken over Hollywood & the Poets the Pop Industry. Q. But what then ? A. Well then there will be only ‘Faure’, spirit Guardian of the romantic heart, giver of the ‘true’ revolutionary soul, lyric harbinger sublime, ‘fool’ don’t you see, we ‘make’ it real, we build, we progress, we render ‘concrete’ the ‘beauty’ of his earlier work, we let him reign supreme !

      Apres Un Reve ( ‘After The Dream’ )

      In a sleep which your image charmed,
      I dreamed of happiness, ardent mirage,
      Your eyes were sweeter, your voice pure & ringing,
      You shone like a sky lit up by the dawn,
      You were calling me & I was leaving the earth,
      To flee with you towards the light;
      The skys parted their clouds for us,
      Unknown splendours, divine half-seen gleams…

      Alas! alas!, Sad awakening from dreams !
      I call on you, Oh night give me back your lies,
      come back, come back resplendent,
      come back, Oh mysterious night !

      ( Gabriel Faure ‘ Apres Un Reve ‘ or After The Dream )

      • Veronique Gens ( Posh Posh ! )

        Pop posh ( popular talk about pop music ), Posh Pop ( posh talk about ‘pop’ music ), Phd’s on the ‘semiotics’ of Coronation Street, seminars on Pavorotti & the 1994 World cup. Forget all that, sweeten the air, ‘lighten’ your mind, with the good ‘voice’ & grace of Veronique Gens ! .

        • * Correction

          ‘Pop’ Posh is more properly defined as ‘popular’ posh music e.g. The Pavrotti ‘World’ Cup’ Theme.

  • The Time Out London Best Busker Competition 2016

    Time Out magazine have just announced their London Best Busker Competition 2016. Before the off ( & calling on all the ‘capitals’ Street Performers ) I announce that like the ‘ancient’ Greeks it may pay to remind to oneself ( develop an awareness of ) the ‘moral’ concept of ‘Play’ ( according to ‘contemporary’ scientists essential for the human development ! ) as the ‘wise’ Ancients saw it, including an understanding of its common general ‘categories’ eg. 1. Frolic 2. Competition & 3. War i.e. you’re in battle, win at all costs, dominate & destroy, with ‘winning’ as the only ‘desired’ outcome.

    The latter perspective on ‘play’ ( i.e. all out ‘War’, competition as a ‘battleground’ ) is what is considered very much the ‘contemporary’ one, by many commentators & critics. Of course ‘true’ competition ( i.e. as a ‘virtue’ ) ought to bring ‘lessons’ ( & growth ) for all competitors, bring out the best & ‘inspire’ the best in everyone; it not being ‘reduced’ to a mere ‘money’ or ‘ego’fest as it often is today. Q. Can anyone remember when ‘competition’ used to be virtuous ?, Can anyone remember……? . ( Nb. source for this particular question withheld ! ) .

    • Notes ( The Greeks, Competition & Self Improvement )

      The Greeks saw ‘athletic’ competition as a ‘virtue’ along with things like courage, integrity & so on. Competition was meant to ‘improve’ you as a person ! ( I wonder if Time-Out magazine with their competition have the same ‘standards’ in mind ? or Londons Buskers, or at least those who take part/’join-in’, will aspire to or at least ‘follow’ these classic ‘ideals’ ? ) .

      • Further Notes ( Busking fun, fun, fun ! )

        Of course ‘busking’ can be fun ( in the classic Greek sense of the word i.e. frolic ! ), ask SouthBank Busker Charlotte Campbell ( or there again, thinking about, better still perhaps ‘consult’ Emily Lee ! . )

        • Add ( some ‘prescriptive’ medicine )

          No need to get ‘religious’ here either i.e. too dogmatic about Christian notions like ‘peace’ & ‘love’, cos the ‘ancient’ Greeks placed a high value on social balance & ‘harmony’ too ( as an antidote to ‘internal’ warlike & destructive social norms & behaviour ! ), in fact they viewed this ‘state’ as synonymous with ‘health’ ( see Plato’s Republic – he’s pretty good on this particular socio/political concept ). He ( Greek Philosophers ) had a term for this ‘healthy’ condition, they called it – The Ideal ‘Just’ Society .

          ( Nb. of course 2000 yrs neigh 3000 plus years on, this ‘constitution’ for many, tho’ still hankered for, ardently struggled for, remains a ‘dream’ ! ) .

          • Plus ( the wishes of a ‘possibly’ dying man, & yes preparation of the actual ‘funeral’ pyre )

            In this ‘context’ ( pretty serious ! ) please take mercy on me & hear my cry i.e. not of ‘liberty’ but ( actual ‘death’ cry ! ),

            ” Ok I hear what you say yg woman, if it were a ‘perfect’ world, yes let us right now go running across the beach, frolicking in the sands, but as it were etc etc….However please hear me out, feel my cry, the retort of, neigh possibly the ‘last wishes’ of a dying man ( I’ll explain later, I am awaiting some ‘results’.., but in the meantime did you know that ‘busking’ can be ‘bad’ for your health?, hardcore busking, the way I do it anyhow? anyway for now ! ), I beseech you, have mercy on me, let us not fuss, not fight, but let us hold hands, Buskers each one of us, performers together, & run merrily, with hop, skip & a jump along the Thames Mead way ! ” .

          • Ok truth is ( I will fully explain later ! ) its not busking in itself ( i.e. ‘intrinsically’ ) thats the problem but as I now know ( up until now being rather naieve on the issue & ‘today’ learning the hard way ) its ‘hardcore’ busking without the proper ‘precautions’ thats posed the health ‘risk’, & I’m deadly serious here, in this sense busking can ‘kill’ you ( it may have killed me, & as I’m still going thru the ‘tests’, having further symptoms, scare not over, it still could ! ) .

          • In the meantime just back on ( briefly ‘touching’ upon ) the subject of ‘dogmatism’ for a moment, I say ‘Beware’ of it ( not just the ‘mainstream’ religious sort ! ) i.e. despite ‘its’ ( his ) merits be very careful ( don’t be fooled into ! ) being too ‘dogmatic’ about Plato & his ‘grande’ philosophy. Yeah a truly great ( ‘genius’ ! ) system builder, problem is much of it ( his ‘imaginary’ system ) just does’nt correspond with reality ! ( in fact some of his ideas, if fully acted upon cd prove quite dangerous ! ) .

          • Back to this ‘reality’ which I was just about to explain ( again will do later ! ) but at present feel a kind of head region /upper body ( ‘mental’ ! ) queasiness coming on again, a numbing of the arm, a nausea compounded by the ‘fact’ that I don’t know whether its the ‘side’ effects of the drugs eg. Clopidogrel or another ‘suspect’ TIA coming on again, so can’t. All I can say is that the ” Hiata ‘Shallow Chemistry’ ( oxygen ) Official Music Video ” featured on YouTube kinda expresses how I feel at the moment ! .

          • Prologue on Life or Death ( a meditation on ‘Happiness’ )

            Live or die ‘episodes’ like this in life ( see above ) inevitably get one reflecting on the question of ‘happiness’ in life, the ‘vital’ keys ( ingredients ) to success in attaining it. Not forgetting of course the issue of ‘failure’, or its loss ! .

            Oh that ‘primordial’ soup that is human joy & happiness, oh what should one do in life ? Seek to eat more Macdonalds burgers, treat oneself to a ‘spontaneous’ night-out at the Comedy Inn , buy a ‘new’ umbrella & hat i.e. instantly acquire ( & keep on acquiring ) some form of ‘direct’ pleasure or ‘instant’ gratification, ?, or is it all about having more Art & beauty in ones life e.g paintings, music, natural scenery etc?, how about ‘love’ eg. in the form of ‘friendship’, family, romance ( ok a ‘sprinkle’ of this wd surfice for me See. above eg. skipping along the banks of the River Thames with Emily Lee wd bring me much joy ! ).

            All of these things for ‘me’ wd contribute to an ‘honest’ sense of satisfaction & fulfillment but most of all ( again importantly for ‘me’ ! ), I shout out loudly ” give me a ‘Cave’ & a Library full of Books any day & oh yeah I’m in sheer bliss ! ” . Then intermittently ‘out’ into the world to taste ‘life’ ( or what what one cd call to truly live ! ) prepared, armed & ready to do joust ( on the behalf of mankind of course ) with 1. the Priest, who Romantic Philospher Friedrich Nietzsche aptly described as ‘ the true great haters in the world ‘ ( mostly cos’ of their impotence ! ), & those ‘Cowmunchers ‘ 2, the Scholars ( ”…experts at playing with loaded dice !. ” ) .

            Oh yes, these ‘essences’ of life, this ‘immortal’ drink, alluded to in ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra ‘, for me ‘sublime’ existence no less ! .

          • Q. A final happiness ? A. Well I certainly have no care to, nor feel any urgent need to write any ‘confessions’ not like that ” self-centred fantasist & earth-centred ignoramus ” St Agustine anyhow !. ( Nb. source withheld )

          • In the meantime I’m also taking ( trying to take ! ) ‘solace’ in the music of folk songbird ‘ Hattie Briggs ‘ & have been listening to her rendition of the jazz standard ‘ Autumn Leaves & checking out the launch of her new album/CD project ‘ Winters Tales ‘ .

            Q. Have I found it ?, comfort in suffering that is ?, ‘aesthetic’ consolation at a time of great personal distress ‘ ? A. Well ‘illness’ ( & sickness ) such as this, being the ‘solipsistic’ subjective experience that it is ( as you’re steadily drawn in ! ) , where ’emotionally’ you become cut off from the ‘external’ world , I find her ‘voice’ ( her musical sensibliliy & being ) refreshingly ‘real’, yeah both joyous & upliftingly real ! .

          • Oh Hattie Briggs, joyful & ‘triumphant’, you know you make me ‘feel’ so, so, ‘real’ ! .

          • Oh yeah Shrouds, possibly Englands finest ( folk ‘voice’ that is ) Hattie Briggs playing at the O2 London. Go see, visit her Twittersite Nov 11 2016.

          • Susana Silva – Past Triumphs, Present Woes, & ‘ Tears of Happiness ‘ ( the return of 2012 ? )

            Memories of an even more sublime ‘continental’ dream conjured up, romantic evocations of that ‘cosmopolitan’ London romance whilst listening to ( & watching ) the latest Facebook posting by Susana Silver of a 2012 video/song collaboration called ” Tears of Happiness ”.

            Whats going on Susana ? beautiful to hear, beautiful to see, you know woman was born free, yet everywhere ‘she’ is in chains. Let it go Susana, whatever it is let it go ! . Pump up the music ‘drills’ & let this ‘poetry’ flow ! .

            ( ” Tears of Happiness ” 2012 Video/Song by London based Portequese Singer Songwriter Susana Silva )

          • Lyrics

            I point to the sky to the fastest scary feeling of,
            Of the night, night paradise, the night,
            I show you, where I’ve came from, what I’ve done to meet your arms,
            I wish you by my side.

            …Let them fly together
            & if tears of happiness appear
            let us drive into the sea of dreams

            My fingers go thru’ your body & touch, so vibrating,
            Vibrating your essence,
            As if they were strings of us
            I wish you by my side,

            …Let them fly together
            & if tears of happiness appear.
            Let us drive into the sea of dreams

            ,,,Let them fly together
            & if tears of happiness appear
            Let us drive into the sea of dreams

          • On A Final Note ( Susana Silva, ‘World’ Contension & Happiness ! )

            Back In the 1990’s ( is it 10, 15, no 20yrs ago, boy time fly’s ! ) Susan Silva wd have been a ‘serious’ contender on the World Music & perhaps ‘festival’ ( or alt. festival new-age ? ) music stage. In fact I wd have personally invited her ( & her band ? ) to perform at Bhams Moseley Dance Centre ( me knowing the UK ‘promoter’ & where me & then ‘friends’ ran a ‘dance’ night ! ).

            Yeah one of the key ‘gig’ stages, the ‘dance’ centre back then, for this once fastly developing ‘international’ genre & cultural scene. Wooh back in the day , Oh back in the day ! .

            ” Fly Me To the Moon
            Let me play among the stars
            Let me see what Spring is like
            On Jupiter & Mars
            In other words, hold my hand
            In other words, baby kiss me ”

          • Today ‘reality’ is its Nov 25th 2016, our Post-Modern ( ‘Late’ Capitalist ? ) ‘global’ economy reaching its own ‘historical’ apotheosis.

            Raising the issue ( a question springs to ‘my’ mind anway ! ) Q. What ever happened to ‘real’ travel, ‘cultural’ experience, the ‘artist’ imagination & rich heritage ‘cross’ fertilisation ?. The world music world today, apparantly now ‘reduced’ into merely another ‘sub-category’ of the industrial musical universe.

            Eg. The ‘local’ gig / Arts event dishing up ( offering ) no more than a ‘pre-category’ to ( a cultural warm-up for ) the A ‘barren’ high street consumer world of ‘types’, stereotypes, & subverted cross ‘boundary’ relations & identities ( a rather peculiar & by virtue of, not entirely obsolete brand of totemic ‘everyday’ fascism ).

            Where ‘ Indians play the tabla, ‘ Black Men ‘ play the blues, & Desert Gypsies in blue toga dress sit cross-legged, chanting mystic ‘Persian’ poetry, in the solitude of the desert moon ! .

            Oh, Susannah, whats to become of all this ( of us ! ), all of us, this world ?.

          • ( * Re-Reading ‘ The Long Revolution ‘ by Raymond Williams )

          • * – Illness

            Got ‘bad’ associations for me this book, makes me feel ill contemplating ‘re-reading’ it. Reminds me of my brief ( ish! ) foray on a Coventry University, course ‘Communication Studies’ during the 90’s. I was in a ‘top’ presentation group, getting ‘good’ grades, up until our ‘final’ first yr ‘lecture’ hall talk that is. Where a guy ( labour MP’s son from Oxford, truthfully! ) who ‘we’d let into our student ‘team’ failed to turn up that morning, with as promised, our final ‘edited’ discussion video.

            Totally ‘fu.ki.g’ up or ‘seminar’ we searched him out at his ‘home’ finding him still in bed – he’d malicously not turned up on purpose. I got ‘tete’ a tete with him ( not raising a finger ), he turned up the next day with a ‘neck’brace on claiming I’d assaulted him. I was ‘formally’ suspended from the course for a year ( i.e. effectively set back a year ! ) on a ‘false’ allegation.

            The ‘truth’ came out 7 or 8 months later when ( a little late ! ) fellow presentation gp members walked into the course ‘Heads’ office & explained what went on ( they’d been away ‘uncontactable’ during the ‘previous’ Summer when I was summarily dismissed from the ‘degree’ course ! ).

            I went back for a few months the ‘following’ academic year only to leave in the November, a few weeks into Decemember I was working full-time on the ‘doors’ of a Cash & Carry Warehouse ( an ‘Asian’ Marks & Spencers the owners used to boast, jokingly ! ), comfortably situated behind the ‘central’ Library in Summer Row. Birmingham .

          • For a ‘comment’ ( an interesting aside ! ) on Busking, Social Structure, ‘Competition’, & Illness. See Below.

          • Q. Happiness ? A. A ‘green’ vintage Volkswagen plus a ‘modern’ Le Corbusier style apartment or 2 Bed-Roomed Flat & the beautiful French or perhaps German ( or indeed thoughtful & intelligent English ) ‘girlfrend’ to match ! .

          • Now thats the prize ! .

  • Olympic Ideals ( On The Concept Of ‘Excellent’ Amateurism ? )

    ” A song, a song, my kingdom for a song !.. ”
    ( from ‘The Cry of the ‘Naive’ Artist’ – A Tragic Drama )

    I’ve always’ been a ‘fan’ of ( ever since I stumbled across the ‘concept’ eg. in a popular ‘history’ book of positive ‘victorian’ values when I was a kid, or coming to think about it was from an ‘encylopedia’ picked from the shelves of my long dead Grandfathers w/c library above the ‘stairs’ at the top of the landing ?) the ‘idea’ ( cultural ‘value’ ) of excellent ‘amateurism’, where to be an ‘amateur’ was signature of ‘respect’, & did ‘not’ mean ‘professionally’ 2nd rate, but just that i.e. in the other ‘common’ sense understanding of the word, meaning ‘anti’ professional, yet still the best ! ‘, you know very much like the old school ‘ Olympic’ Ideal .

    The @key issue here of course is the ‘problem’ of often ‘conflicting’ ( eg. 2 ) values ( one a ‘popular’ pursuit , the other less popular – much harder to attain ! ), I’m talking about here the ‘perennial’ problem of Success V ‘Excellence’. The ‘persistant’ dilemna ( ‘moral’ problem ) inherant in this ‘conflict’ being you can ‘obtain’ success, ‘money’, fame etc in our ‘contemporary’ Society without necessarily being excellent but by contrast those excellent amongst us, who do ‘excell’ in their fields ‘often’ ( in ‘social’ reality ) go unrecognised, & live in much humbler conditions ( some subsisting in ‘relative’ penuary ! ). The wider ‘human’ issue here is what ultimately ‘drives’ you, pursuit of ‘success’ eg. fame ! or eg. the noble desire to be a ‘great’ ( or at least maybe less great though ‘authentic’ ) Artist ?.

    SouthBank Busker Susana Silva once more springs to mind when I ‘meditate’ on this issue. For example as late ‘teen’ ( yg adult ? ) she ’emerged’ as a contender in the Portuguese X-Factor. Sad news for this ‘tender’ 18yr old, she lost, not even getting into the ‘semi-finals’, & thru’ a twist of fortune ( or her ‘own’ runaway decision, form of escape ? ) ended up on the ‘streets’ of London, penniless, & homeless. Today, a London ‘resident’ she ‘busks’ for a living !.

    From the perspective of her current ‘standing’as a Busker, of the impending eg. Time Out Magazine, current ‘street-performing’ competition(s), her current ‘status’ as a musician & her future ambitions, in the ‘wider’ context of ‘Olympian’ Ideals & serious life achievment, ta further ( perhaps ‘insightful’ ) question is raised eg. Q. I know about ( I’m clear about ) Susannas ‘Pop’ Star ( X-Factor ) aspirations but does she have what it takes to be a genuine Artist & succeed as an Industry Independant ? ( is she able climb the mountain of ‘excellence’ – it is a mountain !, & strive over the ‘hill’ of success ? ). If not, I know a ‘good’ Producer ( in fact bags of ’em on the market ( ‘post-digital’ ! ) at present, eagerly touting for work, looking for a ‘commission’ !. ).

    Problem is ‘good’ songs tho’ are in far shorter supply & the Record Companies still maintain the ( have the ‘fair’ few on the payroll ! ) monopoly of well-crafted, ‘professional’ Songwriters. And as we know ( this type of SongSmith costing the earth ! ), as far as the Simon Cowells of this ‘commercial’ world are concerned, you Susanna are not a good bet, ( in their ‘minds’ not a wise investment ).

    Yeah looks like we’re back to square one does’nt it, the ‘alternatives’ ? 1. Well there always is the ‘alternative’ New Age Festival Market ( & ‘old’ school Bristol ‘Jazz’ fusion gig world ) where you don’t actually need a ‘song’ ( melody ) as such to exist, i.e. this type of ‘dance’ composition merely comprised of a ‘beat’ – ‘midi’ or acoustic eg. some kind of ‘chime’ instrument, ‘magical’ drum – & some kind of ‘new’ age ‘wail’ or chant ! ( requiring ‘vocal’ tone only eg. of an authenic ‘red’ Indian Chief ! ). Or its a matter of ‘real’ faith ( tho’ in ‘reality’ perhaps ‘naieve’ art practice ) & the ‘ Oh my kingdom, my kingdom for a song ! ‘ method & approach. Each morning waking up patiently ( if not a little ‘anxiously’ ) for a song to ‘miraculously’ pop into your head ! . Think about it, just 10. 11, maybe 12 ‘cracking’ songs, thats all you need, ‘pray’ you need it, you’ll have it !,

    ( ” A song, A song, my kingdom for a song ” from ‘The Cry of The Naive Artist’ – A ‘Modern’ Tragedy )

    • Note

      My ‘humble’ ambition ie. to rise from Busker, to Public Musician ! . ( ok perhaps a ‘few’ more higher things if ‘time’ & fortune permits ) .

      • * Reference. A Tribute to the ‘London’ 2012 Olympics. What a success ! ( if you lived in London that is, not for a ‘northerner’ tho’, believe me not for a northerner !. )

        • Certainly not for someone trying to keep the ‘true’ continental ( neigh ‘world’ revolutionary ) spirit alive in the streets of Birmingham whilst playing thru’ the sounds ( ‘monotonous’ dialogue ) of a recently intsalled ‘giant’ TV Screen. # The ‘music’ of Lauro, Nazareth & Mangore in the cafe areas & pallasades of New Street !.

  • London Strummers ( the ‘state’ of acoustic guitar ‘back-up’ on the SouthBank busking zone incl. ‘doodling’ on the Ukelele ! )

    London Stummers, thats what they are, ‘strummers’ the lot of ’em, those Buskers who currently ‘frequent’ ( dominate ? – ummm! perhaps a little unfair ! ) the Southbank. Checking out the quality of ‘guitar-back’ up to be observed ( ‘listened’ too – ouuch ! ) on the ThamesReaches & displayed amongst these bunch o’ Singer Songwriters, I have to say, theres a lot to be desired .

    You know I’ve had my ‘phases’ ( listening! ) in life, ‘collecting’ the ‘vinyl’, often simply ‘hiring’ it from the Bham ‘music’ library, ( Nb. now displaying the works of ‘local’ artists ! ), ‘seriously’ researching & listening for pleasure, to all the ‘great’ Singer Songwriters, classic song & Singers, the whole American Songbook & gained much ‘enjoyment’ ( as well as ‘insight’ ) from this educational ‘cultural’ exercise, but also ( not surprisingly I guess ) ‘some’ displeasure !.

    I can ‘appreciate’ a decent song when I hear it ( a ‘romantic’ in spirit I really like ‘poetry’ – the ‘creative’, lyrical spoken word ! ). But ( I admit ) I am a ‘guitarist’ at heart, & as such can’t help at some point reducing my ‘listening’ scrutiny to that of an ‘instrumental’ musician, & my gaze, neigh ‘aural’ focus, always narrows in on the ‘natural’ sound, harmony of the ‘back-up’ guitar heard on these records. IThis is very much a ‘personal’ listening process that pans out from merely listening ‘indoors’, to the public sphere, the public arena.

    You know ( with the exception of the ‘country’ blues eg. Mississipi John Hurt et al ) I’ve never really liked the ‘American’ sound ( too cowboy, too Prairie for me! ), always preferring what is for me the ‘romance’ of English Folk ( * Nb. not just the more obviously ‘romantic’ European ‘continental’ sound ) . The deciding factor besides the English romantic ‘song’ lyricism of say Bert Jansch, has always been the style ( or excellence ) of guitar -back-up on display, in this ‘delightful’ genre of music ( incl ‘Celtic’ stuff ). Ok I’ve always ‘liked’ Joni Mitichell, her ‘alt’ tuning expts are a ‘dream’, very expressive, & I did have a short spell influenced by James Taylor, very handsome too ( Jesus like ) when he was a young man ( no I’m not gay ! ). But yer Dylan ( OK. o’fe ‘popular’ poetic diction ! ), Guthries, & Simon & Garfunkels ( See. Copyright spat with Marin Carthy over ‘Scarborough Fair’ ) much too ‘smooth’, way too yankee doodle dandy for me !.

    Getting to the point, I wish SouthBank Buskers, took more care over their guitar back-up sound(s) & ‘harmony’ as much as the timbre ( & projection ) of their voice(s) & ‘serious’ study of. Take Susana Silva for instance, her voice has ‘fado’ rich ‘natural’ textures, but her ‘guitar’ playing is far from harmonious ( ‘natural’, un-natural or otherwise ). To put this statement in ‘context’, again I’ve always acutally liked ‘percussive’ guitar technique on acoustic guitar, esp ‘Michael Hedges’ inspired stuff, either ‘solo’ or rhythmic back-up, however some ‘practioners’ are taking it to childishly ridiculous extremes, ‘music’ is given a backseat & in its place reigns brash display !.

    The Windham Hill Label, Alex de Grassi, Will Ackerman ( See. ‘The Impending Death Of The Virgin Spirit’ ) I’ve really ‘grown’ to like them all, in fact, ‘truth’ is, it did’nt take much ‘listening’ to appreciate their art, ‘guitar’ Art . But with Susana ( back to Susana Silva ) I understand that her voice comes first, & ‘recognise’ she is at least trying to be ‘expressive’ with the guitar eg. drumming, ‘slapping’, & popping the strings alike. But I still insist ( without sounding to blase ) there is very much room here for improvement.

    The most ‘beautiful’ guitar is to be found on the Albums of Mariza eg. ‘ Meu Fado ‘, & Mafalda Arnauth eg. ‘ Meu Amor Abre A Janela ( ‘ My Love Opens The Window ‘ ) & I think you ( she! ) cd do no better than to copy ( ‘model’ ) it. Not the exact ‘romantic’ style, but its committment to beautiful ‘sound’ production, ‘string’ texture, to Art. Way too many ‘performers’ ( on ‘street’ & stage ) simply end up ‘aping’ the compositional complexity of players like @Hedges, ( in some cases Jansch ), the result?, an infantile ‘projection’ of ‘wild’ ornament, stylistic device gone mad, ‘artifical’ ‘background’ music, ‘hollow’ in essential imaginative spirit & devoid of craft ! .

    ( Ref. A Tribute To Past Guitar Accompaniment Masters from Michael Hedges to Bert Jansch )

    • * Note ( Issue )

      The ‘standard’ of acoustic guitar ‘back-up’- accompaniment today is, ‘all round’, appalling. Performers weaving a a ‘sound’ haze, caught up in a musical ‘hell’, of their own making ! .

      • * Further Notes

        An ‘expressive’ sloppiness, a creatively ‘enslaving’ bedevilry, reigns supreme ! .

        • * Good ‘ London ‘ Street Strummers ?

          1. Emily Lee – she’s got an ‘assertive’ up right strum, she just needs to ‘extend’ her range ( moves ) & she cd be a ‘great’ rhythm acoustic guitarist ! .

          2. Tally Spear – with her confident ‘bluegrass’ stance, she’s built herself a ‘strong’ foundation for a future, more ‘advanced’ back-up style picking ! .

          • * Good ‘London’ Band Leaders ?

            Got their very own ‘bands’ too, Emily & Tally. Emily seemingly in the ‘spirit’ of Bob Dylan turning her hand to the ‘electric’ guitar. She also apparantly uses a ‘Jimi Hendrix’ pick ( amongst many ‘brands’ of pick she regularly chooses from ! ). Oh Jimi !, I wonder if she plays like ‘him’ too ? .

          • Something missing from all this Americana tho? Oh yeah thats it a bit of ‘slide’ !. Forget Eric Clapton here Emily, Tally, check out Sheffields ‘Martin Simpson’ instead. Who for me if it were’nt for all the Blue Ridge Mountain stuff, would be a great ‘straight’ ahead English ‘folk’ guitarist – ok with a touch of Celt ( & by ‘definition’ like John Renourn a fine accompanist ! )

          • Bytheway Q. who’s going to be the next Shirley Collins ?.

          • In fact, thinking farther afield, who’s going to ‘duet’ outside the Sydney Opera House & become the next Australian ‘circus’ act ? ( granted she gets a visa! )

          • * Busking Artist Biography eg. Emily Lee. SouthBank Busker & Singer Songwriter she states on her social ‘media’ that her aim in life is ” to create good out of bad ”. I say, ”possibly create more bad out of bad more like !”. It all depends on her, the ‘real’ danger being that tho’ this might not be her aim, it just may end up the by-‘default’ life machinations of an ‘ego’ blind spirit ( sweet Persephone, sweet child of mine ! ).

  • Stalking On The London SouthBank – some accusations by ‘Female’ Buskers on the SouthBank ( plus my ‘own’ experience of ‘stalking’ in Stratford upon Avon )

    I note two of the ‘female’ SouthBank Buskers Emily Lee ( see my ‘comments’ on the Portobello Rd Blog ) & this time Karina Ramage ( see both womens Twitter Sites ) are complaining of Stalkers & being stalked again ( Nb. Susana Silva has ‘complained’ about this kind of ‘nuisance’ in the past also ).

    The same ‘names’ crop up again, as accused, both related ( Father & son ) & themselves claiming to be ‘adamant’ Busking Fans. So it is a shame, perhaps a ‘tragedy’ ( tho’ of course perhaps not, maybe their surface ‘busking’ enthusiasm(s) are is/are really a ‘sly’ mask maliciously designed to deceptively hide ‘true’ malicious intentions ! ) that their attentions are now being ‘viewed’ as a nuisance. Anway the main issue is the claimed ‘victims’ cite their presence as unwanted & now ‘clearly’ wish their ‘behaviour’ to stop.

    On the ‘opposite’ side they ( the accused Father & son ) seem to be arguing that it is they who are being unfarily treated here & claim ‘victimisation’ for being merely ‘good’ fans eg. citing their promotion of performers etc as evidence of their essentially ‘good’ will.

    It is difficult to judge as an ‘Uutsider’ ( observer ) on these issues, however what I can say is that the ‘game’ henceforth must stop, parties must face up to their ‘actions’ as being viewed ‘negatively’, & whether ‘guilty’ or not guilty, do the honourable thing, & ease off their turning up every day to see ‘particular’ Buskers perform. If certain Buskers ( esp Female ) feel uncomfortable with your ‘presence’, then do the ‘right’ thing & back off, feel ‘resentful’ if you like ( better still don’t, be ‘grown’ up about it ! ) but leave it at that & leave them alone, find other more ‘willing’ performers to support !.

    Its in this ‘context’ that I cite an ‘experience’ I had as a ‘victim’ of stalking in Stratford upon Avon last year. You would’nt believe it but the perpertrator was an ‘old’ lady of 70years old, & yes using a ‘tripod’. She turned up on the Bancroft Gardens ‘ampitheatre’ spot mid-Summer, a ‘favourtie’ busking spot of mine. I thought she a little ‘odd’ when I first saw her, but it was the next day, plus a ‘few’ days later when my ‘unease’ with her was confirmed & I began to see that she was ‘clearly’ stalking me.

    The ‘first’ day she sat relatively unobtrusively to the ‘right’ of my ‘performance’ field but the next day she sat uncomfortabley right in front of me, just sat their gazing, seemingly ‘hypnotised’, obsessed. By the third day she was bringing ‘pop’, etc for me, then going back to her ‘prize’ seat, the ‘wall’, right in front of me. I accepted the drink out of good manners, not wanting to hurt her feelings, but the overall ‘feeling’ for me was disconcerting. Yes this was an ‘elderly’, physically harmless woman, giving me the ‘creeps’, yes the ‘real’ jeebies. She just would not leave me alone !.

    It was when she started following me to ‘other’ spots, that the full realisation sunk in that I was being ‘obsessivley’ pursued, in fact everywhere I went there she was ‘waiting’. At the ‘telephone’ box spot on Henley Street there she’d be sitting on the ‘wooden’ bench behind me. People started to notice, joking ” whos the admirer, the girlfriend etc ” .

    The Town Hosts ( official BID Wardens ) just scoffed her presence off, not offering an ounce of help, as I grew more & more concerned. In fact it was after an ‘aside’ conversation with the lady ( ‘girl’ ) who runs the ‘deck-chair’ business on the park, that I finally began to take the situation ‘really’ seriously & began ‘researching’ the phenomenon of stalking on the internet.

    She fitted all the psychological’ categories ( profiles ) of a Stalker perfectly. It was clear she was suffering from a kind of ‘pathological’ love. You know its easy to be ‘ego’ flattered even with the lavish attention of an ‘old’ lady with a ‘tripod’, but you soon begin to realise that her love is ‘not’ real in the ‘true’ emotional sense of the word, its an ‘external’ fixation, you ( subjectively ) as a ‘real’ person do not matter. Her gaze & attention is totally ‘self-centred’ in fact ‘disconcertingly’ it feels when she’s on your case that ‘you’ don’t exist. In ‘psychological’ terms she’s ‘objectifiying’ you, which is an agreed form of ‘dehumanisation’ & abuse by ‘expert’ psychologists.

    After a ‘few’ weeks it was when she started turning up ‘early’ ( first thing in the morning ! ) on my ‘intended’ busking spots & before I’d even arrived, that I started to become really annoyed. Sometimes you just want to get to a ‘spot’ early, chill out for a while, stretch., warm-up, get some ‘head’ white-space, pre-rest in ‘healty’ solitude, without anyone else around, before you begin playing. So it was her ‘interference’ in this respect that really began peeing me off & ‘motivated’ me into action.

    I finally one day ‘cracked’ ( enough is enough style ! ) & told her ‘direct’ ( insisted ! ) that she leave me alone. Difficult to do cos’ a ‘bond’ in a way ‘had’ formed ( despite being essentially ‘unwanted’ ) & she was an ‘intelligent’ woman i.e. in every other way an ok ‘interesting’ person ( she told me everything about herself, managed to really ‘plant’ herself under my skin ! ).

    Of course once I ‘stated’ my position thats when the ‘games’ started ie. she used every trick in the book to ‘manipulate’ me into letting her ‘watch’ me play ( her true ‘psychopathology’ bearing light in this instance ! ). My approach ( ‘response’ ) was to simply ‘not’ panic ( you cd easily ), I did’nt call the police, or get them involved, I resorted to help from the ‘deck chair’ lady ( in fact youngish woman ) & found having a ‘female’ around to ‘support’ me, really helped i.e. hard for a ‘woman’ to manipulate another woman, plus theres a real ‘moral’ knowingness in the air when another ‘female’ is around ( Nb. its hard to get the ‘right’ kind of understanding & importantly ‘productive’ response from a man, other guys on the scene incl Buskers simply kept pulling my leg on the whole affair ! ).

    Finally I got rid of her, first of all it was down to my having ‘faith’ in my understanding ( psychological ) of what was going on, I ( happening to me ), through my ‘research’ into the ‘games’ Stalkers play, & by gaining knowledge on what on to expect ‘response’ wise from her & how not to give her any pay-offs. Plus I remained firm ( very toughly so ! ) concerning boundaries. I kept letting her know her presence no matter what she did, no matter how ‘charming’ ( & she was in many ways ) was not wanted.

    She responded by trying everything she cd to ‘manipulate’ me, even regressing into ‘childish’ response like turning her back on me & sitting sulking on the ‘edge’ of the ampitheatre i.e. she tried ‘guilt’ trips n’ everything.

    Eventually I got rid of her, she ‘faded’ away from the area, & for a while to the other side of the park, eventually disappearing altogether, one cd be forgiven for thinking she had died. Strangely she did turn up again late last Summer but did’nt bother me, her distant ‘locale’ pointed out to me, by the most helpful, deck-chair lady ( a young woman ! ).

    Yes, very disconcerting ‘stalking’, thats what I want to get over here. I’m a fit ( was a fit & healthy ! ) younger guy, yet this ‘old’ lady with a tripod certainly disturbed me, along with my ‘busking’ peace & comfort. If any ‘guys’ accused of busking on the SouthBank read this, whether what they do is intentional or not, I hope you can see what your ‘overworked’ presence ( its ‘effects’ ) may be doing to the ‘female’ performers you are following around.

    If it is ‘clearly’ signalled to you that your attentions are not wanted, perhaps ‘percieved’ even as having a deleterous effect, then take it at ‘face’ value, & just back off ( do the ‘right’ thing & leave the ‘girls’ alone ! ). If you really do feel ‘wronged’, unjustly accused etc, then on ‘social’ media etc to ‘air’ your case ( your side of the story ! ), but still back off. If requested, do the ‘wise’ thing & leave the whole issue alone. You know it ‘really’ is’nt worth it, have ‘faith’ in yourself, summon up some self belief, & find a ‘real’ relationship elsewhere, believe me if you ‘will’ it, you’ll find it, decent ‘entertainment’ included !.

    As for the ‘female’ victims ( claimed ! ) involved, I for one can ‘understand’ your plight, ‘stalking’ can be very ‘real’ & is ‘not’ a very nice experience, quite disturbing, very disquieting. Again I’d say let these ‘guys’ know directley your wishes, ‘desires’ for them to ‘stay’ away. No ‘games’ ( Nb. not even ‘fan’ worship exploitation ), shame that you maybe ‘felt’ the need to depend on this kind of ‘support’ musical or ‘otherwise’ ( social ‘media’ or ‘live’ on the streets ) in the first place.

    This is one ‘reason’ I’m not on Facebook at present, it being so easy to fall into a highly ‘deceptive’, illusory ‘social’ bubble, where everyone loves you, tells you everything what you want to hear about yourself, & everyone is your loving & dependable ‘friend’. In the world of ‘real’ politic ( see. Machiavelli ‘ The Prince ‘! ) this is called ‘Court Flattery’, the common phrase ‘being surrounded by ‘yes’ men ‘, advised as a ‘dangerous’ state of affairs, & to be at all costs avoided ! .

    • * Note ( On Social Media i.e. the Pros & Cons of Facebook )

      I qualify that the unheathy, deleterious, psychological effect of being surrounded by ‘yes’ men, is ‘one’ of the reasons I’m off Facebook. There are ‘other’ reasons not to be on there, tho’ I still do recognise the ‘good’ reasons to be on this particular ‘social’ media eg. I will be using a ‘page’ ( along with a ‘functional’ website ) specifically to tie in ‘guerilla’ style ‘street’ advertising once I’m up & running with a ‘collection’ of CDs – that alongsided ‘live’ streaming. Eventually I look forward to doing all my ‘social’ stuff – ‘serious’ socialising – via a specially designed ‘blog’ ! .

      • * Further Notes ( ‘Videos’ & The ‘Aura’ of a Work of Art ! )

        Of course I recognise that the use of eg. Facebook ‘live’ streaming can be deceptive & not necessarily a ‘good’ thing when it comes to capturing live performance. I find that unless the ‘video’ is shot well, ‘framed’ properly, then the essential ‘atmosphere’ of certain types of music, or the ‘aura’ of a piece can be lost.

        I’ve forever telling people, look this ‘piece’ is not made for ‘selfies’, stand back & do a ‘sweep’ mood shot, capturing both ‘music’ & place, if you want to represent the ‘quality’ of this kind of ‘street’ art accurately. I’ve long learned that whilst some ‘art’ works great on the ‘street’ eg. in ‘larger’ public expanses, they don’t work as well as ‘display’ pieces for ‘home’ YouTube video ( & visa versa ).

        Therefore I whilst ‘focusing’ on getting my ‘street’ set right, am also ‘separately’ working on ideal CD ‘listening’ material plus the ‘home’ YouTube styly video to match. Its important to be very ‘sensitive’ to these differences, cos’ they’re very ‘real’ & concern for & concentration on these areas will in the lg’term get results .

        • * Even More Notes ( ‘ The Internet ‘ , E. Commerce & The ‘Now’ Generation )

          I would’nt exactly call myself ‘old’ school, culturally & philosophically I’m most definitely a ‘revolutionary’. Ok as a ‘street’ muscician, unlike many of the ‘performers’ on Londons SouthBank I ‘don’t really do ‘Pop’, plus I am slightly ‘older’ & in that sense my ‘tastes’ & musical inclinations may to some sound relatively ‘mature’ ( tho’ to me they’re just one of many ‘valid’ & timeless perspectives. Which?, I will argue somewhere else, but state here, ones yet still to be established, in the ‘wider’ public imagination !. ).

          When it comes to Art, the internet, & ‘e’ commerce ( the goal for any aspiring ‘Independant’ Artist, with their wits about them anyhow, must be to be ‘financially’ independent within 10 years, its the only ‘real’ safety net ! ) I am ‘age’ redundant & I am most definitely inclined to flow with the ‘popular’ current & the pathway laid down ( & currently being laid down ) by the ‘Now’ Generation. In this ‘context’ I’ve found it wise lay my own ‘judgements’ aside, & in its place follow the ‘wisdom’, creativity & enthusiasms of youth ! .

          • Nb. Tho’ in my particular case with the empasis on building up a ‘data-base’ of clients & ‘serious’ collectors rather than just fans !.

          • Nb. Plus one ‘stipulation’, Bank of England ‘Interest’ Rates to be at a rate between 3% & 5% ! .

  • London Tales – The Road To Birmingham ( or Busking Can Be Seriously Bad For You Health. A Public Warning )

    Well that the immediate ‘future’ taken care of, now heres where the ‘real’ wisdom of age comes in. So heres a ‘recomendation’ for you, take a leaf from the book of your ‘spiritual’ nevermind financial advisers & begin to ‘live’ right now, thats it, learn to find ‘full’ happiness & joy, right here & now, in the present moment. Q. Cos’ the truth is, nobody knows for the ‘morrow ? A. No, simply because you can, if you ‘will’, plus its the only ‘true’ foundation of health ! . ( See below )

    • * Charlotte Campbell ‘ The Week In The Life Of A Busker ‘

      Before I plunge into a ‘more’ extended meditation on my ‘experiences’ ( life & death ! ) of being a Busker up here in Birmingham, Stratford upon Avon just nows, a ‘brief’ comment on Charlotte Campbells recent YouTube Video or Vlog ! ( & very ‘neatly’, HD quality, presented it is too ) titled, ” The Week In The Life Of A Busker ” .

      My first ‘honest’ response is, well this is ‘not’ busking, in her own words ” not that interesting really ”( tho’ in a way of course it is, it does provide a basic insight into Charlottes cosy, little world, & ‘day’ job at the SouthBank office ), in that it does’nt ‘represent’ the ‘spontaneous’, democratically accessible, ‘informal’ street musican culture that I have come to ‘value’ & know.

      I can see why she ‘loves’ it, the ‘performance’ environment she habitually works in that is. She projects on her attitude, busking priorities & ‘orientation’ very well on the vlog. For here it is safe ( ok to a certain extent a good thing, esp for girls! ), ‘protective’ ( tho’ homogenously so, too ‘coseted’ I wd say ! ), relatively secure ( yes you have an ‘office’ to go to work in every day !), friendly ( clearly plenty of other ‘acts’ to befriend, flirt with ! ) & superlatively unique ( none of them ‘nasty’ low life Gypsies allowed to take over the place, just clean, ‘super’ pristine, well vetted & ‘auditioned’, generally familiar street entertaners ! ).

      In fact, its in this sense that I’m most ‘critical’ of whats going on with ‘busking’ in not only Londons SouthBank but all over the ‘capital’ city. This is not ‘free’ ( i.e. adventerous, yes ‘romantic’ ) street performing as we, if not quite ‘traditionally’ know it, ‘ideally’ wd like to see it. No this is not ‘free’ busking at all, merely a rather gross example of ‘official’ sidewalk entertainment. A rather glorified ‘set-up’ of the sort where wannabee ‘musicians’ are ‘pitched’ alongside the clowns, the statues, & the sentry on duty just down the road outside the Tower of London. The truth is this is ‘busking’ as ‘tourist hype, this is a Boris Johnson invention.

      Thanks for making the ‘effort’ to make, produce & YouTube ‘market’ this video tho’ Charlotte, much respect for you for taking the time to share your ‘experience’ & understanding of the streets & London ‘street’ culture with us ( or at least provide if rather ‘anodyne’, indeed ‘true’ perspective on it ). But no thanks, this is not for the likes of me, give me a ‘pavillion’ side-street, & a cafe piazza anyday, that plus the ‘energy’, zing & pizzazz to ‘compete’ fairly for it, the ‘opportunity’ to play in it.

      Anything else in plain matter of fact is Pontins, Butlins, or Disney, or The Hollywood Bowl, or The Yellow Brick Road, or in this case Humpty Dumpty & Alice In Wonderland .

      • * Democracy & ‘Freedom’

        Ok in some instances i.e. ‘scenario’s, settings ( tho’ not all ! ) have agreed ‘spots’ if you like. Tho’ when it comes to ‘busking’ let anyone play, if you truly want to be ‘open’ & fair, let ‘all’ in ( give everyone the ‘right’ to participate ). Ultimately then, let the public decide ! .

        • The advantage of using this more ‘public’ way ( manner ! ) of enouraging ‘standards’ is that a more ‘natural’ spontaneous order is maintained ( of course ‘criminal’ behaviour is ultimately a job for the police ! ) whilst avoiding that other irritating ( ‘nuisance’ ) trend i.e. having rather too ‘grandiose’ ideas ( notions ) about busking & Buskers ! .

          • ( See. Independant Newspaper Article Tues 16 Feb 2016 ” National Gallery Plans To Demand Trafalgar Square Buskers Leave So It Can Create One of Londons Great Parks ” )

  • London Tales – The Road To Birmingham ( or Busking Can Be Seriously Bad For You Health. A Public Warning ) No 2

    Wow things seem to be really ‘developing’ on Londons SouthBank, so there is ‘hope’ & some room for optimism afterall, or if not with busking in general with one of its ‘regular’ Buskers. So again before I ‘comment’ on my recent ‘life & death’ experiences whilst out busking in Birmingham, a little bit more, on the ‘effervescent’ Charlotte Cambpell.

    • * Charlotte Cambpell ( London, The SouthBank & ‘Naturalistic Romantic Photography )

      Whilst I am a little ‘critical’ about her most recent slice of life or more correctly ‘ Week in the Life Of..’ Video ( ‘Vlog’ ) I have to say that looking at some of her most recent photography, Wow! . Yes honestly wow ! .

      Just caught the most beautiful ‘pic’ of her walking to work ( to ‘busk’ ) along the SouthBank today. A great example of what I’d in fact call # naturalistic ‘romantic’ photography. The colour hues & ‘filters’ framing photo much warmer, & ironicallly much more ‘humanly’ convincing than the HD quality video above.

      You know what I truly like about Charlotte is how, at her best, she does manage to pay ‘healthy’ attention to her image, & at moments of ‘inspiration’ successfully can project herself onto the world, in a spirit of Artistic truth. I have to say also, & quite honestly, that this is a quality that we cd all take a lesson from ! .

      • * London, Thames SouthBank, December River Walkways, & Public Vista’s

        Charlotte in full busking regalia guitar slung on her back, dressed in ‘warm’ December blue coat, cream knit hat & check matching scarf what a ‘romantic’ sight. Yes ‘truly’ inspiring too, the River Thames walkway & public vistas, ‘excellent’ for the kind of ‘guitar’ playing I like to do. A ‘perfect’ setting as seen in her ‘photo’ ( she walking towards, I presume approaching the SouthBank spot ) for the music of the up & ‘coming’, not too far off cultural revolution. Yes a wonderful sight, very reminiscent of the pallasades & cafe boulevards of Paris !.

        • * Santas Letter

          Dear Santa

          Please let me in !, & onto the Southbank, the banks of the River Thames, the winter brown ‘tree’ lined public promenade, amongst the ‘couples’ ( the lovers ), smiling ‘lunchtime’ commuters, joyfully ( & ‘artistically’ ) to the ‘bright’ side of the street !.

          Yes do ‘frame’ me & what I do just as nicely as Charlotee, give me the ‘opportunity’ to shine. I ‘m beautiful too ! .

          Yours sincerely ( indeed ‘love’ ! )

          Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose

          • PS

            Please make the necessary ‘office’ ‘arrangements’ !, granting me full ‘exit’, without ‘arrest’ & prosecution ( the public space currently ‘regulated’ by ‘terms’ of ownership & ‘formal’ audition, rather than the ‘true’ street perfoming spirit of ‘spontaneity’, informality, & democratic access ! ).

  • London Tales – The Road To Birmingham ( or Busking Can Be Seriously Bad For You Health. A Public Warning ) No 3

    Oh Charlotte Campbell she represents a kind of ‘Utopian’ image for me at present ( so ok this also means I don’t know how long it will last ! ). But for now she is certainly a ‘pleasant’ & happy ‘relief’ from the more ‘negative’ busking experiences I’m currently having, up here in the ‘north’, Birmingham, Stratford upon Avon & the surrounding milieu. What with the growing ‘rough’ sleeper problem, a seeming ‘drugs’ ( legal highs ) epidemic, attempted thefts, ‘negative’ Gypsy Bands, Buskers incl the ‘wolves in sheeps clothing’, the bad ambassadors for busking ( the illusory, hectoring, ‘lecturing’ ones ), the ‘evaders’ of self-regarding ‘common-sense’ civic ethics , she ‘Charlotte’ that is, also truthfully presents by comparison, a ‘good’ example .

    • * ‘Songbird’ by Charlotte Campbell ( ‘painting’ with words ! )

      I’ve always kinda liked something about her, tweaked a ‘potential’ here & there, but never thought I’d be paying quite such ‘tribute’ to the ‘songs’ of Charlotte Campbell. But her song ” Songbird” ( a possible ‘street’ singer songwriter ‘classic’, only ‘time’ will tell ? ) her ‘unofficial’ video version of it that is, changes all that, & deservedly so.

      So before I go on about my latest, perhaps slightly ‘darker’ busking experiences in ‘Bham’ recently incl a pretty ‘serious’ health threat ( * more ‘everday’ than you might think ! ). I state once more how ‘wonderfully’ inspiring I think Charlottes recent ‘style’ change(s) – perhaps more ‘technically’ if not conceptually ? – indeed are, not just for me but I’m guessing for others too.

      To my mind her work ( by ‘historical’ artistic association ! ) ‘transcends’ that of the ‘great’ Dutch Masters. What with her pictorial ‘ naturalistic romanticism meets ‘Modern’ Enlightenment ‘, pictorial ‘pop’ aesthetic. The collective iconograpy of setting & place incl The ‘pic’ of her ‘walking’ to work along on the Southbank, imaginatively placing London in context as Europes predominant ‘trading’ centre & port. Her ‘songbirding’ on the park bandstand ( See unoffical video ) too in many ways I find ‘truly’ continental, reminiscent of the poetic ‘imagrey’ of French boy ‘genius’ Rimbaud, & yes how ‘ironic’ !.

      All in all, what I like about Charlottes most ‘recent’ work eg. songs, videos, ‘social’-media’ etc, is that they do, rather successfully, paint a ‘convincing’ picture of contemporary ‘street’ culture as it ‘can’ stand today. An ‘image’ that manages to ‘transcend’ other ‘realities’, that I’m forever noticing, still abound these days ( incl. some of the more ‘quixotic’ ventures I’ve witnessed recently ). All together bringing a ‘fresh’, youthful, & may I dare say more ‘hopeful’ future perspective ( if thats too ‘optimistic’ for some, ok for now, at least a positive, more colourful ’emotional’ hue ! ) to present day affairs ( both busking, & current i.e. ‘political’ )

      ( ” Songbird ” by Charlotte Campbell, ‘Unoffical’ Video – A Tribute ! )

      • ‘Still Life With Skull & Quill’ by Pieter Claesz

        Having said all this, & my popular street ‘tribute’ of Charlotte still stands, nothing quite beats the ‘gravity’ & noblity of a painting such as the one by Pieter Claesz aptly titled ” Still Life With Skull & Quill ”. Yes possessing ( & indeed presenting ) an ‘image’ of timeless beauty, this 1628 ‘oil’ canvas on wood ! .

        • * Support Charlotte Campbell ( On Her ‘3-Day’ Facebook Ban ! )

          SouthBank Busker Charlotte Cambpell is ‘crying’ out for support via her Twitter ‘feed” over a ‘3-Day’ Ban Facebook have imposed on her Feb 24 2017 for ‘illegally’ posting a snippet cover of Ed Sheerans latest pop song.

          I’m aware Charlotte is a ‘big’ fan ( seriously big ‘admirer’ ! )but as for me I don’t know anything about Ed Sheeran or his music so ‘won’t directly comment on him.

          But I will ‘relay’ Ms Campbells Twitter message ( she apparanlty now on ‘holiday’ in Lanzorote with her Mom ) imporing her ‘followers’ & others to post on their accounts the ‘words’ eg.

          Dear All,

          Charlotte is currently ‘banned’ from posting. Facebook is a cruel beast. Back in 3 days. Love you all.

          On behalf of Charlotte xxx.

          • ( See. The York Blog ” Harmony” for further related ‘comment’ eg. on the difference between ‘consumer’ shopping behaviour & everyday human ‘generosity’ towards Buskers.

            Please dear people, in this instance I ask you ‘not to consult Ms Campbells eg. ‘ Diary of a Busker’ for any ‘insight’ on this matter whatsoever, not any ‘correct’ thinking anyway. For that I felt she needed some ‘further’ help. Thankyou. ).

          • ( Nb. Since this ‘appeal’ Charlotte has been ‘reprieved’ with a personal apologe from the man himself Ed Sheeran. The ‘story’ has also gone ‘viral ).

  • London Tales – The Road To Birmingham ( or Busking Can Be Seriously Bad For Your Health. A Public Warning ) = Finale

    Yeah busking ‘can’ be seriously bad for your health, & finally I ‘detail’ why? ( see. below ). Me drawing attention to a ‘suspect’ TIA experience I had recently ( in my case involving severe ‘visual’ disturbances ie. not hallcinations ‘n madness but total blindness in one eye ! ) whilst playing out recently in Birmingham New Street.

    Don’t want to scaremonger here, just cite the possible ‘serious’ health implications of ‘hard’ busking i.e. playing hrs on end in ‘one’ place ( as I ‘often’ do ! ) & without stopping to take a break, not thinking about ‘stretching’ ones legs even ( which you ‘must’ do, every 1hr at least, if you want to ‘avoid’ oxygen shortage to the brain, which can be ‘fatal’ ! ). Nb. ‘Poor’ circulation & the ‘pooling’ of naturally coagulating blood being the great ‘risk’ here.

    I also don’t wish to unwittingly put people off busking this, cold Winter time of the year – tho’ its realtively ‘warm’ at present ( as mentioned above ) cos’ Xmas really can be the most lucrative time for all Buskers, not just ‘professional’ Street Performers. So no need to be doing ‘temping ‘ work at Christmas cos’ its too cold out etc, cos’ with the right ‘positive’ mindset & ‘preparation’ you can make ‘big’ money during the Winter Season & yes ‘out’ on the ‘streets’ !.

    Put it this way much more ‘cash’ than working ‘temporary’ at say the Post Office ( which many ‘folks’ do apparantly ! ), you can gain much more ‘value’ & appreciation too. I remember a few years back, landing a ‘temp’ job, delivering the Xmas mail in South Birmingham, Bordesley Green to be precise ( nr the ‘Blues’ Ground, BCFC football stadium ). I loved the ‘work’, up early in the morning, finished by 10am, a truly ‘meditative’ experience workwis. Problem began when the ‘work’ colleagues of the Postman I was helping out i.e. doing half his ‘large’ round, started complaining ( a ‘jealous’ lot ‘Posties’ !) & the Managing Supervisor under ‘pressure’ from Unions too, reluctantly let me go.

    I got ‘posted’ to Birmingham city-centre sorting office only to suffer at the hands of Union shopfloor ‘dogmatism’ again, or should I say more correctly, at the hands of a playground ‘bullying#’ type Shop Steward’ who got all ‘temp’ Staff ‘banned’ from the main Postal Workers canteen’/rest room ( my other ‘telling’ memory of him being the evening when he ‘offered’ out one his ‘underling’ union members on the parcel ‘loading’ bay ! ). Yeah class ‘apartheid’ alive & well at Bham Post Office, & not due to the Bosses but ‘reactionary’ prejudice ( neurotic insecurity ) from full-time staff & Union officials.

    No, despite the ‘health’ risks ( reduced if you do ‘busking’ right . See advice below ! ), theres much more ‘liberation’ & freedom & ‘money’ to be had busking on the ‘streets’ at Xmas. The only ‘hindrance’ as I’ve said ‘many’ times before being ‘dodgy’ street people ( e.g. attempting to ‘steal’ money ) & selfish Buskers eg. not only too loud Gypsy Bands, but others too.

    E.g I had to leave my ‘case’ under the minding of a ‘street’ magician/acrobat/fire-eater I’ve got to know ( & like ! ) a few weeks back, when a ‘singer’ ( female ! ) set up in my midsts when we were talking. Graciously in this case, she packed up & left when I’d had a word with here ( Nb. ironically this was the same ‘vicinity’ where Demi Marriner was harrassed by a ‘fellow’ Bham busker last year following a ‘spot’ dispute ! ). A few days later a yg Singer Songwriter type ( again ‘female’ ) & elderly ‘male’ Violinist. I guess Busking Duo, set up not too far from me in the same city-centre New ‘Street’ area ( becoming a very ‘popular’ spot this ! ).

    They were just about ‘tolerable’ for an 1hr or so, until 10mins before them finishing ‘she’ decided to turn her ‘amp’ right up, & very annoying, seeminly deliberately to drown me out ! ( or at least ‘provoke’ me ! ). Wisened up on these kinds of ‘affairs’ by now, I ‘did’nt’ react, just carried on playing until ‘they’ stopped. As they walked past me, I simply looked away, ‘behind’ me in fact, towards the direction of the Police Officer currently ‘moving’ on a ‘street’ Beggar ‘who’d set up to my ‘rear, the ‘ill-mannered, so & so ( Nb. I promise. if ‘they’ had of carried on in their ‘rude’ interupting manner, the same wd of happened to them, our Busking Duo that is !. )

    The Xmas motto here, if you can handle these kinds of seemingly continual ( these days ! ) streets ‘interferences’ then performing ‘outside’ this time of year, can be a joy!. Couple this kind of ‘self’ realisation with a greater ‘health’ consciousness & any Xmas Blues you may have, can not only be ‘transgressed’ & you survive, you as a Busker you can actually ‘triumph’ !. Speaking of myself, 4 years on & still ‘redefining’ myself, my ‘street’ music & my set, including my ‘growing’ identity as a Public Musician, going out busking, rain or shine, Spring, Summer, Autumn ( this time of year can be particularly beautiful ) or Winter, is finally beginning to be a ‘truly’ liberating experience.

    • * Notes ( ‘Temping’ v Busking at Xmas )

      Its funny with regards the issue of ‘street’ interference & drowning out by other Buskers, how you soon learn to tell the difference between the more ‘innocent’ sort i.e. genuine busking ‘airheads’ & those who mess up your performance ( i.e. they ‘impose’ themselves upon you ! ) seemingly out of a bizarre sense of ‘entitlement’ !.

      Take for instance the experience I had with the ‘female’ singer on Bham New St ( see above ). When I approached her the first thing she said was that ” I’m here to busk ! ”, meaning that cos’ I was ‘talking’ ( I was in ‘brief’ conversation with a ‘fellow’ street performer ) she had the right to barge in the ‘space’ & start loudly ‘singing’ herself.

      Truth is in this kind of situation ( & I’ve been thru’ a few ) ‘negotiation’ of any sort does’nt come into it, in fact this type of person is incapable of it, they just don’t have the ’empathy’ required for a ‘serous’ negotiated settlement to take place. The only thing that works is not merely ‘moral’ pressure, but I find, albeit ‘light-hearted’ ( its all about ‘tone’ ! ), self-conscous ‘assertiveness’. Here I just adopted ( very ‘politely’ ) the ‘broken ‘record’ technique of repeating to her I was in the ‘spot’ first & was just having a ‘moments’ friendly chat when she appeared. After a ‘few’ repeats she acquiesed & gave up the spot, not out of ‘moral’ rectitude, she clearly had none ( tho’ in her own way or ‘personality’ style, she did try, to ‘act’ it out, this type I find often does ! ) but out of my quiet insistance.

      As for the ‘street’ Duo eg. Singer with ‘acoustic’ Guitar & Violinist ( or should I say ‘Fiddle’ Player ? ) case-study my ‘position’ was validated firstly by the fact that I had’nt actually called the ‘police’ to remove the guy begging behind me, it was of their ‘own’ accord they turned up to move him on ( as long as they’re not casing me out for ‘theft’, I can live with this sort ! ). Secondly I am actually used to ‘practically’ negotiating for space in this ‘popular’ ‘spot’ not just with Buskers these days but also with Street People.

      For example, during this ‘street’ incident, the fact of me getting drowned out by the ‘latter’ part ( last 10 mins ) of this street ‘duo’s performance was confirmed by the regular ‘ Tin Whistler ‘ who turned up on the scene, & himself ‘insisted’ that they were ‘playing’ too loud & that I should tell the ‘girl’ to turn down. Truth is I knew the ‘game’ being played here, quite ‘familiar’ with it, & just waited for them to stop i.e. 10 mins later & of their own accord, me deciding not too give them the ‘attention’ I detected they wanted.

      Again as soon as they had ‘disappearedd’ I gave up my ‘spot’ ( by Tesco’s ) to the ‘Penny Whistler & set up my ‘space’ a little further up the street by the Burlington Hotel ( Nb. This city-centre Hotel was one of the ‘biggest’ complainants about busking nuiscance the past eg. too ‘high’ volume levels. Since I’ve returned to Bham post Summer, without blowing my own Trumpet, I’ve got nothing but praise from Visitors & Security alike. The reason being my self conscious ‘nice’ sound, music & conscientious ‘reasonable’ sound levels. In part, ‘negotiated’ with the ‘ Penny Whistler ‘ so we can both play in the ‘vicinity’ without ‘drowning’ each other out. When a selfish ‘Singer’ with ‘amp’ turns up, or in ‘some’ cases Gypsies with Brass, the whole compromise can be ‘effectively’ destroyed, the busking ‘area’ is killed, yes they ‘kill’ it ! ).

      Back on the question of whether to ‘temp’ or actually busk at Xmas ?, & with reference to my ‘past’ experiences doing ‘agency’ work at the Post Office, both door to door ‘house’ mail postbag ‘delivery’ & ‘office’ sorting. I state that in order too not ‘undermine’ my case with ‘over’ generalisations, that despite the gross ‘mal’ practices & inequality I witnessed here, as a ‘temp’ & w/c male, that of course not all Post Men ( & Women ) are ‘detestable’ bullies. I just emphasise what often goes ‘un-noticed’ ( & unsaid ! ) ie. that a pretty ‘toxic’ subculture exists in this otherwise cherished institution, as it does in busking ! ( Nb. I strongly feel that this particualr issue requires ‘deeper’ analysis, so I will take up the challenge & come up with a ‘fuller’ arument elsewhere, possibly a ‘blog’ ! )

      As for ‘busking’ or temping at Xmas ( & London for me being the ‘capital’ of temping ! ) I argue for busking all the way. Of course this only works if you are ‘fully’ aligned with what you are doing, & the key word here is busking ‘authenticity’, not necessarily ‘kitsch’ & singing a load of ‘mundane’ christmas songs every day running up until the 25th Dec.

      For example I made the most ‘money’ I’ve ever made in a day, no exaggeration reaching double ‘zero’ figures, during the ‘coldest’ winter in 100 yrs ( 3 or was it 4 years back ), one afternoon on the Bham German Xmas Market ( now an ‘extended’ annual event lasting into late December ! ).

      Despite this ‘positive’ money making experience, I now ‘perform’ away from the market on the ‘fringes’, together with a completely different set. This is because I’m more interested in ‘art’ music on guitar rather than providing weeks long ‘incidental’ Xmas music. This does’nt mean that I’m a seasonal ‘killjoy’ or trying to be culturally superior in any way, cos out of ‘folk’ function & genuine ‘enjoyment’ I will join in ( along with the Salvation Army ) with the xmas tunes, however in ‘my’ case a ‘few’ days before Xmas Eve.

      What it does mean is that I am more genuinely ‘committed’ to the sounds of the European Salon ( or should I say in this case ‘street’ cafe ) even during this time of the year ( yes my personal ‘enthusisam’ spans all year round & I’m more determined than ever to fully express it ! ).

      • * Further Notes ( Xmas Not Tipsy But ‘Tipping’ Points ! )

        I talk elsewhere ( See The Independant Article 16th Feb 2016 ‘National Gallery Demands Buskers Leave So It Can Create One Of Londons Great Parks’ ) about ‘cultural’ tipping points & how ‘trash’ culture whether eg ‘crap’ busking, ‘false’ consumerism, base culture etc ‘can’ to a certain extent be tolerated in itself i.e. not necessarily ‘regulated’ against, but only up until a point. Its once we reach that ‘tipping’ point when the problem ‘truly’ begins & all this bad culture starts to have a ‘negative’ effect on us all, in the process ‘degrading’ a place, its environment, & its people.

        Worst still it can render all ambition ( particularly regards culture & the ‘arts’ ) meaningless, appallingly futile, reducing it all ( in its genuinely ‘formative’ self ! ) to mere surface ‘pretention’ !. Humilating it is too, bringing real ’emotional’ pain, a kind of suffering, together with a swirling ‘nausea’, that giddy sick feeling in the pit in the stomach.

        I cite Xmas as a possible ‘time’ of opportunity for ‘serious’ jobbing buskers but of course at certain moments, in particular circumstances you are more ‘negatively’ too easily reminded of not only its more obvious ‘Mass’ consumerist characteristics, but thru’ its own brand of ‘populous’ kitsch, its slightly more repressed Council PR created ‘fake’ tribal appeal, & as far as Bhams German Xmas Market goes, its essentially ‘inorganic’ community culture. And you ( given who you are, the ‘potential’ artist, the ‘feeling’ human being ) want to get out, to personally escape, but you can’t, you’re already in a very real way ‘trapped’, & in the process of being swallowed up by the whale. In Birminghams case a gigantic ‘sperm’ whale ( tho’ of course some wd say ‘blue’ ! ).

        A case in point was when I went out to busk last Saturday (17th Dec 2016 ) in Birmingham & with the intention, the first time this year, of going on the German Market at some point during the day. Anyway I arrived in the city centre a little later than usual that morning, for this time of year eg. 10am rather than 9am, & as anticipated my possible first choice spot eg. Cherry Street by the ‘Church & Pidgeon Park’, was on arrival already taken.

        The Busker already there, & no surprise, was the Paul Mcartney look-alike ( I won’t mention his name ! ) who has been street performing in the city for must be 20 odd years now. I don’t like him, one of a couple of ‘poisonous’ toads ( yeah ‘old’ school buskers ) who I tend to ( have learned to ! ) give a wide birth on sight when on the streets. This guy I find particularly ‘negative’, eg. both passive ( & directly’ ) aggressive, both ‘street’ discourteous, & personably bad mannered, yet ‘Sat’ for some reason I decided to say ”hello” ( rather than avoid him ) on passing.

        I got the ‘predictable’ snide response, when I asked how long he was playing for ( no pressure, an ‘honest’ open-ended question from me ! ) he snarlingly replying ” I don’t do busking like that ! ” ( in other words he did’nt want to tell me when he was finishing, presumably did’nt like the idea of ‘me’ getting the space ! ). After a few further ‘impolite’ spats I walked off ( in the direction of the Council House, Victoria Square ) smiling & shouting behind me ( now patronisingly in his direction) ” all the best ! ”.

        I got to the Town Hall, the adjacent centre-piece of the ‘massive’ Xmas Market now in operation ( now an annual council ritual ) & decided to set up at 10.30 am. A good place to put up ‘music’ stand & do Xmas tunes I thought. I was right & it started off well, the growing trail of Xmas shoppers, dropping in coin after coin as they passed appreciatingly by.

        At 10.45 am tho’ it went a bit pear-shaped, as I was disturbed ( these days getting pretty predictably so ) by a Romanian Gypsy ‘Sax’ Player who’d turned up ‘tooting’ on the scene. One of 2 ‘older’ otherwise ‘loveable’ Rogues ( the other a Trumpet Player ) who I’d had run-ins with before i.e. over them ‘drowning’ me out !.

        I spoke to him & after a bit of fuss, he moved. I then took his place, for him to turn up a little later in my ‘ex’ place, behind me. I spoke to him again & he moved once more. I now on the ‘main’ market drag in Victoria Square, row after row of Xmas Stall in front of me, was after very briefly re-setting up, approached by 2 Security Guards who requested ( for ‘public’ safety reasons ) I move. They claimed to be ‘acting’ on behalf of a Council Official, but I waylaid them by claiming ‘rightly’ that the ‘area’ was’nt busy yet & I’d be gone by 12.30. They agreed with me & my ‘negotiated’ solution to this issue.

        At 12 mid-day just as I was getting going, plus to my pleasant surprise attracting a pretty large Xmas crowd, couples, parents & kids gathered around, sitting around listening to my arranged ‘tunes’ eg. Silent Night, Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen etc – a Busker I know from Stratford upon Avon turned up.

        A good guy ( tho’ not very good ‘listening’ skills I might add, he likes to talk alot, & I mean a great deal ! ) I decided on offering him the the ‘spot’ & I go back to Cherry St. A good swap, since I’m louder than him & the Salvation Army ( the youth brigade ! ) were now there according to him ( not Mcartney ) & he a folk Melodian Player wd be less ‘crowd’ obtrusive on this temporary ‘patch’ in Victoria Square.

        I got up to Cherry St at 12.30pm, Sally Army in full swing at one end of the street ( Corporation St ! ). Mcartney, the cross legged, street strummer – & pretty inocuous ‘sound’wise i.e. you can’t hear him when he’s playing him seemingly reallying on his Mcartney look as a gimmick to attract the public – was gone ( Nb. the old city-centre management eg. Manager Mahendra Chaughans favorite ‘booked’ busker he was bytheway back in the day ), so I set-up !.

        Just as I got underway & stopping briefly to ‘retune’ ( drop ‘d’ my bass string ), all of a sudden I was unexpectedly disturbed by what can only be desribed as ‘loud’ kareoke singing behind me ( nr the Church/ Pidgeon Park Gates ). I was right, one of the ‘entitlement’ brigade had sneakily set up literaly 20 or so metres away, & was now ‘seemingly’ intent on ‘drowning’ me out.

        I confronted him, he got aggressive, & to me obviously had ‘mental’ health issues, tho’ in his case coupled with ‘moral’ problems too. I backed away & returned to play, trying to ignore him, deciding to confront him again a while later as his sound really began to disturb me. A woman turned up on the scene & told ‘me’ to leave him alone, I felt a ‘game’ coming on, so I backed off once more & tel the ‘police’.

        A male & ‘female’ officer turned up, she very much in command. I did’nt recognise them ( possibly recruited in for Xmas Market ‘weekend’ duties ) so I knew things cd get tricky. When she started going on about busking licences I knew it cd only get worse. I gave her the run-down on the 2003 Entertainment Act & they then ‘decided’ to tackle the ‘actual’ wrong-doer in line with ‘standard’ common-sense busking practice & get him ( as I requested ) to move away a bit i.e. to at least 40 or 50 metres distance away, given his ‘vocal’ levels ( very high ‘distorted’ ones ! ).

        He,( the other busker complied ), but the ‘police’ on returning to me relayed that the ‘woman’ witness ( I knew she was a ‘gamester’ ! ) had been willing to go to the station to file a complaint against me, for intimidating the Kareoke Singer, such can be ‘public’ perception(s) &/or actual ‘false’ witness/testimony. Anyway it was left at that, albeit me thinking that it all cd be so much simpler & from the off better handled than this.

        For example the existence of ‘intelligent’, prudent ‘police’ officers on the scene, who can act on the spot, dilligently & importantly ‘justly’ & who can ‘ascertain’ the circumstances of a complaint more or less instinctively, experientially without much explanation from the likes of me ( the quite obvious ‘real’ victim ! ). In other words I like my ‘policing’ to be direct, efficient & ‘fair’ !.

        After a further hr or so of nuisance presence, he kindly disappeared & the rest of the day went ok. I decided to not return to the Xmas Market tho’ until Sunday, which when I did brought further ‘complications’. Thats when that ‘tipping’ point I keep talking about was reached, everything for me beginning to slip away, into that ‘deeper’ part of a ‘wider’ cultural morass. Its then that the characteristic ‘sickening’ feeling in the pitt of the stomach begun.

        So on Sunday I busked on Cherry Street again, this time starting in the ‘afternoon’, & everything went fine up until around ‘teatime’ & dark at about 6.30pm. It was then that a ‘street’ Guy turned up on the scene & yes, I decided to speak to him. He was ok, yes ‘a junkie’ ( on methadone etc ), & living in a Handworth Hostel, but fortunately in this instances just seemed to be ‘enjoying’ the conversation. Problem was that by the time it had finished & he ‘walked’ on ( without ‘cadging’ any money bytheway ! ) the ‘busking ‘footfall’ had ceased. I then decided ( for the first time this year ) to go on the German Xmas Market.

        I got to a spot nr the ‘cross’ roads on New Street, & after briefly beginning to absorb the Sunday ‘rush’ hr crowd spirit ( the ‘area’ packed with shoppers on this ‘wintry’ evening ) I started playing Xmas Tunes ( from Music Book on Stand ) on a ‘shop’ corner. It was then all of a sudden that the loud oompah oompah ‘brass’ sounds of a 7 or 8 piece Gypsy Band that had turned up on the scene ‘completely’ drowned me out. I had no choice ( wd have been ‘absurd’ to confront them in these ‘hyper’ busy, bright lit, city-centre conditions ) but to pack up myself & move on ( letting them, in this ‘instance’ unfairly win & take over the public space ! ).

        To compound the issue, I noted an ‘acoustic’ singer/player busking in the ‘area’, who I had’nt seen for a while, no doubt back from his Summer travels, & giving me ‘bad’ associations i.e. he was one of the Esther Turner bunch of Bham Buskers from a few years back ( Nb. she in turn giving me further ‘bad’ associations ! ).

        Anyway I pushed on to a spot I had in mind further & ‘deeper’ into the German Market. En route, as I passed Tesco’s on New Street, a woman bangs into my trolley, she blames me. Her apparant ‘husband’ or male partner then has a go too, & I almost lose it with him. I was right on the edge of ‘dropping’ a right hook on him, if he started anything, but luckily merely a few ‘rude’ exchanges were made & then I moved on.

        Now in a really bad mood & after passing another kareoke singer setting up in the ‘middle’ of New Street, plus then a bit further up on the opposite side of the street, a ‘black’ flute player dressed in a father christmas suit, I reached my spot, next to a tawdry jewellry stall in what was the ‘cafe, restaurant, ‘arcade’ area. I quickly set-up & started playing outside the cafe & yes it was ‘cool’ at first. No Xmas tunes either, just my ‘festive’ South American sycopated ‘folk’ dance stuff, yes it was eg. El Diablo Suelto, all the way.

        Everthing was fine, ‘money’ dropping into my case in silver droves, & then all of a sudden, completely out of the ‘dark’, a nauseating ‘pitted’ feeling flared up inside my stomach. For a moment I thought I was literally going to throw up. In fact its now monday evening , almost 24 hrs later & I’m still feeling quite unsettlingly sick, & as tho’ in any second I cd throw up.

        Already I don’t know if I can face going onto the German market again, not so soon anyway, no I don’t think I can bear it. Yes, I have had a ‘drink’, a glass or two of beautifully warmed ‘mulled’ wine, but its not that I’m tipsy or anthing, no its those ‘tipping’ points, already they’ve been reached ( or should I say straddled & ‘breached’ ), in just one day. Just one Sunday evening on the Bham German Xmas Market & I’m already beginning to experience that disturbing, swirling ’emotion’ of being completely swallowed up. Yeah seriously bad for your health i.e. your ‘general’ human well-being nevermind your psycho emotional spiritual ‘artistic’ health

  • Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, ( London Street Fashion At Xmas, Jazz Mino Taking It To The Next Level ! )

    SouthBank Busker, Pop SingerSongwriter Jazz Mino is back in form & taking London Street Fashion to the next level. Her recent ( one can only say ‘catwalk’ ) collaboration with ‘high’ fashion stylist Roxy Jolene I have to say is a ‘street’ sensation, as they’re both captured on Camera ( you know this cd be a Daily Mail story ! ) walking hand in hand. Pic Jazz dressed in a hyper stylish outfit, artfully put together by Roxy, an imbibed ‘contemporary’ clothing narrative I’d describe as ‘Barbarella’ meets Vivienne Westwood, meets Gymslip Beyonce, meets West Side Story Street Vixen.

    Yes both of them together ( both Roxy & Jazz ) tell a ‘colourful’ story, one dressed in winter wonderful fashion that cd just as easily have been ‘made’, successfully scored, for the catwalk in Spring. Also don’t forget to notice a ‘new’ friend of theirs on the scene, the singer Ivy Mae, don’t know if she’s a Busker, but certainly her presence beckons ( looms – get the pun ! ) as a ‘serious’ pop artist ( or should I say performer ! ) if not Singer Songwriter.

    Oh lovely Ivy Mae ( Nb. speaking from experience you know she’s got the uncanny ‘facial’ look of any ‘lost’ m/c girl you might commonly find actually ‘living’ on the ‘streets’ in one of our towns or cities, perhaps suffering from ‘mental’ illness, but with the ‘lithe’ & dare I say it, ‘sexy’ body of a ‘super’ model ). Shes certainly made for the theatrical ‘stage’ see her ‘pictured’ at the recent fashion ‘opening’ of London Couture Joshua Kane. Then take a look at her fantastic ‘dinner’ statement i.e the ‘outfit’ she’s wearing out to a restaurant date featured on her TwitterSite ‘ @theivymae ‘ Dec 21 2016, yeah dressed to kill, fit enough for any ‘proud’ Russian Oligarch to have on his arm ! .

    • *Notes

      Believe it or not Birmingham is the largest ‘fashion’ centre in the Uk at present, & as far as I know the ‘stats’ prove it ie. saying more people ( esp ‘women’ ) spend more money on ‘clothes’ compared to anywhere else in the UK. Accordingly the Bham Bull Ring has been Sept host to ‘serious’ fashion shows for more than a few years now.

      However, whilst of course ‘seriously’ acknowledging all this, the ‘stats’, these fashion facts, the markets, & whatever, to my mind ( & judgement ) nowhere can beat London, the captial ( yet ! ) for fashion ‘romance’ & inspiration. In fact what a ‘dream’ it wd be to walk hand in hand with a ‘stylish’ woman ( or women such as these ! ) on a Sunday afternoon, & along the banks of the River Thames. Wow what a day that wd be ! .

      Which brings to mind an ‘actual’ recent Sunday trip of mine ( my first weekend day-out in 4 years ! ) taking me from my ‘home’ in South Birmingham right across the city, & North across the M6/M5 ( equivalent M25 ) into the Black Country ( now known as ‘brexitland’ ! ) & to a not too well known ( tho greatly respected ) ‘health’ spa located in this region. An interesting, if not ‘enlightening’ as well as ‘pleasant’ day out ( tho’ it had its ‘moments’ ) it was too ! ( See below for full ‘travel’/comment details ).

      • * Further Notes

        In the meantime ( Now ‘Post’ New Years Day ! ) its Ido Portal’s London Real Video ‘ Move or Die ‘ . Plus more ‘healthy’ viewing on future living See. ‘ Ido Portal On Dorian Yates And Bodybuilding ‘ YouTube .

        • * Even More Notes

          Along with a brief & ‘thoughtful’ ( yeah ‘meditational’ ) # New Years discourse ( or should I say subject detour ) on the often glossed over, missed, or conveniently ‘forgotten’ difference between an ‘abberant’ Golden Child & a Scapegoat. Plus why someone ( the ‘intelligent’ reader at least) should never trust a writer/ Biographer ( particuarly a ‘popular’ Artist or Musician ) who waxes lyrical, not about nature in itself, but about the ‘trees’ in the family back garden !.

          • Together with some notions on bread, circuses ( &/or ‘medicine’ shows ) & some ‘recent’ hints on buskings prospects for 2017. Keep right on ( Londoners, fellow countrymen ) cos’ the real ‘revolution’ does’nt merely call, it beckons my friends !.

          • In fact give up your ‘families’, reject ‘old’ friendships, ‘disciples’ of freedom come follow me, drink at the ‘fountain’ of holy emptiness, as you’ll too soon find, your one & only ‘true’ friend, eternal flame !.

          • So no, this year we’re not letting them ( BIDs, Council Authorities, Itinerant KeepSakes ) take the fight to us, we’re taking the fight to them. So onward & reciting these words !

            ” The timelessness in you is aware of lifes timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory & tommorrow is todays dream. So let their be spaces in your togetherness & let the winds of heaven dance between you. Remember your children are not your children, they are the sons & daughters of lifes longing for itself ”

            ( fr The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran )

          • PS

            I don’t literally mean give up your ‘family’ ( ies’ ) right now, ( tho’ I have ! ) but be prepared too. Seriously ( boyfriends & ‘girlfriends’ included !. )

          • * Life On The ‘High’ Road ( or Me Taking It To The Next Level, Taking The Right Turn At The Cross Roads of Life )

            Please believe me I don’t mean to sound glib when I talk about ‘giving’ up family ( nor many of ‘you’ giving it up ! ). Cos you know esp on the one side ( & in this sense like most people ) I’ve learned such a lot, you know the important things. Not just about life but also ‘death’ ( in some ways garnering a more ‘intimate’ relation with it than ‘Undertaker’ or Priest ! ).

            In this ‘life’ If theres one thing Black Women are guaranteed to know a lot about ( Nb. half of my ‘family’ are black ), & in ‘intimate detail, its ‘Kitchens’ & Care Homes., incl. their continual ‘domestic’ make over ( i.e. ‘deep’ cleaning ) both ‘home’ & inhabitants !. Its ‘close’ knowledge like this that I ‘sadly’ leave behind !. Nevertheless bye ( tho’ Story to be cont…) ‘health’ calls !.

          • Byetheway Care ( like the NHS, ‘fashion’ Makeovers & the like ) does’nt come cheap. While out busking today, spoke on ‘passing’ to an ex-librarian now ‘full-time Career, I know from Bham Central ‘music’ library. He left 15 months back to ‘care’ for his Mother suffering from Senile Dementia.

            He patiently explained how tough it is, not just the pains of illness, but pains of paying for care. If you have savings of over £23,000 for example ( yes not much ! ) you get ‘no’ benefits. His mothers little money ‘now’ gone, her Home-Helps costing £200 per week, she’s now going ot have to sell her house & possibly enter a ‘Care” Home. Her son ( the Librarian ) told me, she naievely saved all her life, hoping to pass some on ( bequeath a little ) to her family when she died, the ‘reality’ not a chance, the remains will contribute to her ‘eventual’ funeral costs.

            Q. The Life Lesson ? A. In practial ‘financial’ ( & emotional ) terms ( eg. for most av. folk ), at the end of life you cd be better off not having ‘family’, & never having had a ‘decent’ job. Anymore than £20,000 odd grand in the bank at this point & you cd be ‘economically’ penalised, & you ( & your ‘loved’ ones ) subject to all sorts of ‘relational’ pressures.

            The way out? Don’t be fooled, the only safesure way, is to become a fully paid up member of the Club Elite i.e. the Super Rich, & ‘powerful’ politicians ( See Davros, The EU Officialdom etc ). Only then can your ‘future’ health care be guaranteed. Afterall the current form of ‘economy’ seems on the whole to be working in this ‘classes’ ( ‘choice’ groups ) favour eg. by about not x 40 but ( according to Andrew Neil BBC Lunchtime Politics Show, ‘broadcast’ this week from Switzerland ) by x 160 the av. ‘world’ workers ‘salary’ or wage !. Now thats Globalisation for you !.

          • Back on the ‘topic’ of bread & circus’s funny how the most ‘popular’ kind of ‘free’ entertainment in ‘Residential’ Homes & the like, even today, is the ‘Bingo’ ( I know this from ‘personal’ experience ). I recall my days as a ‘support’ worker/ Project Worker in a Hostel in Birmingham & remember the ‘outside’ acts who’d come in eg. the yamaha ‘organ’ player, ‘local’ magicians etc.

            One fascinating ‘insight’ was how whilst ‘some’ folk might attend these ‘leisure’ afternoons, as they might the knitting ( or ‘crochet’ ) classes ( tho’ often heavily medicated & ‘drifting’ in like pre-programmed human Robots ! ), the most ‘intelligent’ wd stay away & it was in these instances, in a quiet corner somewhere, on a ‘shady’ sunny afternoon, you wd have the most interesting conversations !.

          • Both of us intermittently ‘pausing, ( Nb. kinda like ‘meditating’ in unison ! ), to breath in the huge wafts, warm swirls of beautiful fresh air.

          • Vision Of Youth

            Oh visions of ‘youth’ !, a bit like the Youngr YouTube Video(s) eg. ”Sweet Disposition” but without the Technicolour, & gimmickry ( & without the ‘fake’ air of tibal pastiche you often see on the street. John Martyn? Ugh yuk ! ). No, much sweeter imaginings i.e. an ‘authentic’ vibe of ‘organic’ joy & tribe !.

          • Nb. Know some ‘girls’ like him but reminds me of a ‘bad’ period in the past. Yeah ‘Bad Romance’ !.

          • Mmm, still pulls at the ‘heart’ strings when I think about it !.

  • * London, West End Fashion, The ‘Gay’ Scene & @Street Style

    Not to mention Alexander Mcqueen some of the ‘world’s greatest fashion designers have of course been gay Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, John Galliani all spring to mind, them & the ‘scene’ having great ‘top’ down influence on the street & ‘high’ street.

    Meditating on the recent ‘gorgeous’ street transformations of Jazz Mino ( & her fabulous ‘new’ style ), sexy ‘newcomer’ Singers ( neigh full on pop ‘stage’ actresses ) like Ivy Mae & the ‘creative’ work of sylists like Roxy Jolene, I have to say they have combined to ‘nostalgically’ remind me of my ‘first’ ( & should I say ‘last’ ! ) forays into the ‘avante-garde’ world of fashion, as a yg ( one off! ) ‘catwalk’ Model back in the 90’s ( or was it late 80’s ? ).

    My first ( & final ) assignment being at that legendary ( some wd say infamous ) London Nightclub ‘Heaven’ & was for Birmingham/London ‘designers’ Khan & Bell ( well known for their post punk, new ‘romantic’ style ). I appeared on stage with some ‘local’ Bham RumRunner ‘faces’ plus the then fringe ‘hip’ pop duo Tick & Tock out of the Band ‘Shock’. I recall clearly ‘now’ staying at Shauns ( the richer, more ‘privelaged’ member of the ‘male’ duo ) ‘pops’ ( Dads ) house in West London, a stones throw away ( by Black Cab ) from the Thames embankment & Buckingham Palace.

    I remember also ‘sharing’ my room with a top ‘face’ of the Nightclub scene back then, a guy ( Gay ) called ‘Pretty Polly’ ( a David Sylvian look alike, with full ‘make-up’ on, Sylvian of course the lead singer in the band ‘Japan’, & very much quoted back then by NME, Face Journalists, new stylists & the like as the most ‘beautiful’ man in the world ).

    I’m vividly re-imagining right, now staying over that night as a guest, waking up in the morning, having breakfast eg. egg & bacon, jumping in the cab & heading for the ‘viaducts’, those famous ‘underground’ landmarks of ‘Heaven’ Night club. My God i’m seeing Patti right now doing my ‘foundation’ ( yes even ‘straight’ guys wore ‘makeup’ & mascara back then ! ), & Jane Khan fussing, buzzing around in a ‘panic’ & ‘stitchin’ up, fixing up peoples costumes.

    The ‘stage’ was amazing, sheer hipster glamour, cameras ‘flashing’ voraciously, crowd ( largely Gay incl leather clad S&M boys ) ‘cheering’, neigh ‘roaring’, hot ‘disco’ thud in the background, as me, Tick & then Shock, elegantly strolled, ‘robotically’, across the raised platform. ” Luvly hairdo” the photographer shouted to me from below, beckoning me to turn briefly in his ‘direction’, camera aimed straight at me, & cast a gaze & ‘smile’ into the lens Thats how I finally remember it ending, the whole ‘cabaret’ spectacle, coming slowly ‘slowmotion’ to a close, the words ” Luvly’ Hairdo ” rushing thru my emotionally , transiently gay, piqued body, spirit & mind !. Yeah wonderful, a truly wonderful memory, of those ‘few’ days back then ! .

    ( In memory of street ‘subcultural’ Designers Jane Khan & Patti Bell, ‘Khan & Bell’, Tick & Tock from Shock, & ‘Pretty Polly’ RIP who died tragically a few years back of AIDs )

    • Recuerdos De la Moseley, Birmingham ( Memories of 1990’s Counter Culture, ‘Bohemian’ Moseley, Mayfield Court Hostel, ‘Trident’ Housing plus The Social Care & Mental Health Sector )

      As one ‘joyful’ memory fades another enters the mind. This time ‘association’s to do with my ‘brief’ career in Bhams ( ‘Bohemian’ Moseleys ! ) social care sector back then in the 1990’s ( late 90’s to be precise ). 6 weeks into landing a ‘local’ job as a ‘Support’ Worker ( everyone was doing it back then, ‘job’ centre pointing all & sundry in this direction ! ) at the local ‘infamous’ Hostel ( for the ‘homeless’, mentally ill & sick ! ) Mayfield Court ( 100 plus rooms ), I was already ‘promoted’ to asst Manager at a smaller ‘supported’ 12 person Residential Home a ‘few minutes’ walk up the road. This ‘home’ again ‘owned’ by & responsible to Trident Housing ( The Trident Housing Project ).

      An impt job too, the reason for my immediate ‘transfer’ was that there had been a ‘stabbing’, one of the residents had picked up a kitchen knife & attacked another following an argument over food going missing from his ‘section’ of the fridge ( a communally shared ‘fridge’ ! ). The ‘female’ Manager, a yg black woman was in a bit of a tizz, & was calling for extra ‘colleagial’ help ASAP, I was the ‘chosen’ man ( despite my never having set foot in, nevermind workded in a residential ‘care’ home before ! )

      Not only ‘new’ responsibility this ( my duties incl. ‘collecting’ rents, organising cooking, overseeing ‘medication’ alongsid qualified Nurse, administration, Shopping, simple Book-Keeping etc ), a ‘new’ found freedom i.e. I was also ‘responsible’ for organising residential leisure & entertainment. There was only one thing for it, at the first opportunity & coming up to Xmas, & ‘me’ involved to a certain extent in the ‘local’ dance scene, that was to organise a big ‘f’ck’ off party for all residents, including ‘light’ show, booze & full on ‘House Music DJ ( I mean Ibiza style, the ‘coolest’ vinyl spinner in the area, a friend of mine called Gary, local F.E. Sociology Lecturer, CCCS graduate & all round Dutch influenced, ‘Continental’ House Disc Jockey ).

      Me & my ‘girlfriend’ back then got the word around, & with her ‘help’ we collected locally, loads & I mean thousands of pounds worth of ‘donated’ food, drink & other Xmas paraphenallia for the ‘music’ do. The ‘whole’ area incl, Teachers, Social Workers, Musicians, you name it seemed to be popping by & dropping off ‘donations’.

      The party was amazing, the residents never knowing anything like it, the 3 story Edwardian House packed to the rafters with party revellers, local ‘hipsters’ dancing together freely with Schizophrenics, Manic Depressants, & the rest. Yeah everyone enjoyed it, the residential ‘feedback’ report was great, however not everyone seemed happy incl the Manager ( my immediate ‘female’ Superior ) & the ‘higher’ General Care Manager at Mayfield Court.

      In fact not long into the New Year, 8 or 9 weeks later, I was summarily called into the GCM’s office & dismissed. I was curtly told that I had ‘failed’ my probationary period & no proper, ‘real’ explanation was ever really given, all really perturbingly ‘vague’, ( I can only sumise that the ‘party’ had exceeded way too many expectations, & for that I cd never really be forgiven, I had to go ! ). Yeah thats ‘often’ how things happened back then, in my ‘experience’ anyway !.

      • *Myths of The Runestone, Viking Martyrs, & The Birthplace of America

        ” The search for a ‘scapegoat’ is the easiest of all hunting expeditions ” ( Dweight D. Eisenhower )

        ” Scapegoating worked in practice while it still had religous powers behind it. You loaded the sins of the city on the goats back & drove it out, the city was cleansed ” ( JM Coetzee ‘Disgrace’ )

        ” Any society is a reservoir of old longings, & ancient hatreds. These need to be understood, addressed, resolved, if a society is to have a future, that is different from its past, Furthermore when a society does not adequately confront its past, it perpetually finds a ‘new’ target that resembles but also differs from the source of the ‘original’ conflict ” ( David M Krueger )

        • Yeah, speaking as a male of duel heritage ( i.e. ‘mixed’ race ) & Birmingham Busker, a sadly recognisable ‘process’ & for me very much part of vital ‘experience’ today !

  • London Calling ( ” Tell Me Straight ” Music Video by Esther Turner )

    Immediate references to the ‘great’ Houdini in the first half ( act I ) scene of this video, a mini ‘pop’ masterpiece ( photogrophy wise that is ), tho one that cd easily have been ‘titled’ The Great Escape.

    Yeah a ‘truism’ I state, the usually acoustically ‘static’ Turner somehow manages successfully to ‘transform’ herself into a ‘real’ Mover ( & she proves it, she really can move ! ). That along with her normally Saturday ‘Snippet’ chordally accompanied ‘song’, successfully metamorphisised into a ‘winning’ form ( maybe not strictly ‘commercially’ but suitable for certain niche club dance floors ) of contemporary Eurobeat ( plaudits to the Producer here, yeah a ‘nicely’ engineered ‘modern’ dance sound ! . )

    The second half ( Act II ) of her latest YouTube ‘professional’ promo music video, contains some pretty nifty & clever ‘dance’ editing too. One critically does’nt get to chance to interpret whether Esther is a ‘true’ thru’ choreographer, but the ‘visual’ moves contained here, are swiftly woven into this 2nd half effectively dance ‘film’ piece, & are pretty ‘deft’ ones I must say too. Her video metaphorically ( See the cinematic techniques of Sergei Eisenstein aka Battleship Potemkin, Strike, October ) seeing her courageously & successfully breaking free from her perilously raised ‘Houdiniesque’ chains ( theatrical ‘stage’ echoes of Brecht eg. Mother Courage )

    In fact going on this film video ‘demonstration I’d say Turner for me ( a ‘real’ living, breathing & feeling male ) represents the almost ideal physically fanciable yg woman. And thats what shes become here ( at last, sigh of relief ! ) a more mature ‘spatial’ Artist & yes an impressively dynamic yg woman ( at least on the surface ! ). No, as Nietzsche once commented, nothing wrong with ‘aesthetic’ surfaces, & from her ‘profile’ angle, a quite strikingly, starkly beautiful yg woman, shot almost perfectly in Black & White, she represents too.

    Germanic beautiful, Berlin brusque, confident in ‘pose’ & cabaret posture what she manages to do here, is pull off some ‘great’ naturally entertaining dance ‘stunts,. something she does very well , & with very ‘attractive’ energy !. A true ‘feminine’ Samurai, Ninja of the highest order, all toghether lithe, extraordinary feline sexy, daring & dangerous.

    As for the music, or song content, I like the title ” Tell Me Straight”, & of course as a critical ‘analytical’ type I would. However ‘melodicallly’ Esthers phrasing in this song cd be much better developed, adding a bit more ‘imaginatively’ & artistically Q. & A structure & along with it a touch more musical variation & pop colour.

    You know the brain loves pattern & #repetition# but after a while this get a little boring, & ‘boredom’ is the enemy of all art ( & the ‘brain’ switches off ! ). So Esther if just one word of advice ( or ‘constructive’ criticism if I may ! ) a little bit more ‘song’writing craft ( & ‘graft’ ) please, you know don’t leave it ‘all’ ( or more correctly ‘too much’ ) to the Producers.

    • *Notes

      You know despite her, yes If I’m honest, getting off with me on the wrong foot ( & very much pissing me off in the process! ), Esther does manage to ‘intrigue’ me in many ways. So much so that perhaps ‘next’ Summer I’d like to travel together with her to London, & maybe ‘busk’ too, but firstly to the Southbank, try tying her up, dangling her over the emankment of the River Thames, her ‘manually’ winched up on a ‘tight’ guide rope above & seeing if she can quickly escape ( say in 1 or 2 mins flat ) before the rope breaks & she goes plunging in to the ‘deep’ flowing waters below.

      • Further Notes

        Yeah Turner in my mind she just might now be ‘ off the hook ‘. And if she does fall in, the Thames estuary that is, I might just dive in & save her, thats if she can’t swim of course. But If she can, & she’ll need to be a ‘strong’ swimmer to survive the ‘rapid’ current, I’d be happy to just sit back & ‘enjoy’ watching her save herself, now thats what I call real ‘entertainment’ !.

        • * More & More Notes

          As for ‘Dutch’ courage, & leaping out of the ‘cold’ waters spoiling for a fight, I say ” bring it on, Turner, bring it on ! ”. Checking out regular SouthBank Buskers Emily Lees Twitter site Jan 14 it states in the spirit of New Years Resolution ” Boxing or Pilates ? Thats is the question ” I reply here ” have you ever tried ‘wrestling’ ? ”.

          Heres a relatively unknown ‘stat’ for you, pound for pound its the best form of ‘martial’ self-defence & method of ‘general’ conditioning ( wrestlers to the ‘initiated’ are renowned for their fitness both in the ring & out ! ). If you don’t believe then check out my favourite ‘ring-fighter’ Miesha Tate Video ” Fighting A UFC Championship Woman ( Miesha Tate ) ”, downloaded by Janoskians on YouTube.

          • As for Esther I hope we can become ‘real’ friends but as for you go Lee I give you 5 or 6 months to get into shape, & then in the Summer we can test it out. I now ‘formally’ challenge you to a bout eg. X 3 ( 3 min ) fully ‘refereed’ rounds in the ring !.

          • ( ‘exracts’ fr Chapter 17 – Meditations On ” Tell Me Straight” by Esther Turner ”, ” Boxing or Pilates? That Is The Question ” @Emily LeeMusic Twitter, & ” Fighting A Woman UFC Champion ” by the Janoskians both ‘videos’ on YouTube )

          • *Further Recommendations. See Emily Lee’s nice looking ” Stand By Me ” YouTube Video. She got a nice look too, oh yes ‘proper’ street Gypsy English, what with the ‘woven’ braided hair & ‘silver’ dangling earings. Makes the Thames look beautiful, plain lovely ! )

  • * London ‘Street’ Stars – Style Is King ( or Chopin – The Women Behind The Music )

    Just woke up this morning with the urge to listen to a ‘track’ of the 1978 ‘Obscure Alternatives’ Album By ‘Japan’. The song ‘ Rhodesia’ reminded me of the ‘poltical’ reality that sometimes it is ok to ‘riot’, that ‘reason’ dictates it, & more poignantly your ‘very’ survival, group ‘status’ & identity ( tribal, class) may depend on it.

    Also arose ‘early’ this morning, & whilst ‘warming’ up i.e. joint loosening, ‘dynamic’ stretching, running on spot etc on what a marvallous thing the ‘human’ voice is & how simple vocal ‘style’ ( natural’ ‘air slightly more, artistically ‘trained’ ) can transform a song. eg. apoggiara, timbre ‘flourish’ can all combine to ‘seriously’ & beautifully lift a piece, adding much ‘feeling’ & depth.

    This is a lesson learned ‘ironically’ first & foremost not by Singers alone, nor their corrollary the Singer Songwriter, but by the great ‘interpreters’ of music, the ‘great’ arrangers. Classical Guitar for example takes this approach to the next level, as does violin, & Jazz as a genre. Some Singers ( without writing their own stuff ) can make a ‘career’ out of it, take even a presumed ‘classic’ piece & totally re-enliven it, in some way improve it, make it better. Of course the ‘pop’ ( or more correctly ‘popular’ Queen i.e. she’s not that well known ) of this ‘artistic’ method or should I say ‘artists’ approach, is Eva Cassidy ( ok I don’t presume, I argue, but I won’t fully do that here ! ).

    Its also why I like Buskers like the Dancing Lady, & more recently Ivy Maes YouTube videos, cos’ they both do ‘demonstrate’ some way the power of ‘style’. Take any ok’ish ‘pop’ song, analyse the main phrases ( & tag ‘variations’ ) ‘re-frame’ them vocally first & see what that does, then add ‘splashes’ of colour to the line, i.e. vocal embellishments first & then a few ‘actual’ ‘colour’ note changes, focusing on ‘improvement’ without altering or rendering unrecognisable the original phrase !. ( *careful not to merely ‘plagiarise’ the line, but to avoid hijacking &/or stealing the ‘composers’/ writers soul ! )

    The Master of the ‘virtuosic’ yet beautiful line I’d say ( music ‘critics insist ! ) is the classical Pianist Frederic Chopin. For further evidences & ‘proof’ ( albeit some ‘rhetorical ) See. ” Chopin Documentary – The Women Behind The Music ” on YouTube.

    ( See. ‘Chopin Documentary – The Women Behind The Music’ YouTube )

    • The Beautiful City of Warsaw ( A Monument to Women – the eternal feminine spirit )

      Just taking in a few ‘picture’ edits of the Chopin Documentary ‘ The Women Behind Music ‘ & I’m reminded what a beautiful place Warsaw is, the ‘white’ buildings, its ‘romantic’ parks, its ‘monumental’ architecture. If London’s city landmarks are a ‘fitting’ reminder of the horrors of war, & the first world war ( even the Royal Albert Hall has that effect on me ! ) & mainly a ‘male’ perspective, then Warsaws built environment ( 2nd World War apart ) is a monument to women – the eternal ‘feminine’ spirit.

      Chopins music has characteristlcally been desribed as ‘feminine’ by music critics, academics alike, as in the language of Art & Design, the pianist/Composers long flowing lines, rounded if not ‘ornate’ melodic twists & turns are ‘analysed’ & described in contrast to the more ‘masculine’ shapes found in music or in general, Art in itself or taking a common ‘outside’ metaphor say the sharper, more angular geometry of a Lotus Elan.

      A fitting landscape too Warsaw ( again despite WWII ) because the truth is ( often unrecognised or ‘unspoken’ ) is that Woman as a ‘sex’ have long given their lives to mankind. Literally thu’out history sacrificing not just career role & identity but their very physical ‘lives’ to humanity.

      This is why despite my having not necessarily my whole family ( tho’ there is a ‘proud’ streak amongst them ) but Parents with narcissistic traits or at least a very narcissistic Mother ( & Father who comes close ! ) I don’t have a particularly ‘jaundiced’ view of women. No, I did’nt have a ‘dysfunctional’ upbringing as such, nor was I subject to gross cruel mis-treatment, however looking back on it I was to a large extent, in subtle & dark ways ‘psychically’ targeted, & found ‘home’ a very uncomfortable place to be in as a teenage youth.

      In many ways the many ‘evenings’ ( having been ‘locked’ out ) spent sleeping in the garage on my fathers ‘decorating’ table, fishing baskets used as ‘props’ or the ‘cold’ nights sleeping on the ‘communal’ floors of flats at the top of my parents road, unwittingly ( unconsciously ) was preparing ( conditioning me ) for a life ‘outside’ ie. busking ( well very possibly so ! ).

      I realise that now, its the reason why I found it very easy to ‘adapt’ after some time on the ‘dole’ & Government schemes to working full-time on the city-centre streets playing guitar. I was simply used to operating outside even the av. persons idea of civilized ‘normal’ living, like a ‘Spartan’ Wolf child I was already pretty well ‘adapted ( if not ‘hardened’ ) to life in what for many is the cold ( some might say the modern ‘wilderness’ ).

      Any way despite ‘all’ this ( & the ‘main’ point here ) interestingly I’ve never held what you might call a grudge, nor do I have any ‘mal’ adjustment in the main towards Women ( the opposite sex in general ). This is because being also an ‘encyclopedic’ kid ( earlier ‘reared’ by my book reading, holidays in nature, ‘relatively’ warm, family loving Grandparents ) I learned an early lesson ( an impt ‘historical’ lesson ) about Women, that has stayed with me all my life. It was from a still ‘favorite’ History Series of Books, I first came across at school ( I have a ‘few’ copies on my shelf ) called ‘ The Secondary Longman History Guides ‘.

      Ideal ( introductory ) books for me back then ( i.e. despite the title not ‘pitched’ too low ! ) that is not too simple a ‘guide’ on history eg. all about the Romans etc, but containing some really interesting ‘topics’ eg. from the ‘reign’ of Charlemagne during the ‘middle’ ages to the 100 Days War & the Napoleaon. Language wise this ‘series’ is a relatively ‘accecessible’ read too ( a rare ‘educational’ combination ! ). My ‘favourite’ series the 1700s to Victoran Period contains one of my favourite Chapters & its about av. ‘mortality’ rates during the period & contains some telling ‘insights’ not only on social class conditions but the ‘real’ historical situation of women back then.

      It still shocks me now to think that in the 1700’s the av. age of death for a w/c person was 17years old & a m/c person 28yrs old in England ( not that long back either only 300 yrs or so ). Worse still was the not only ‘high’ mortality rate for children ( ‘newly’ born ) but also women ie. & meaning being ‘pregnant’ was often a ‘death’ sentence for ‘females’

      ( Nb. I understand now why ‘woman’ on giving birth feels such a ‘high’, drug induced ‘loving’ high, its not necessarily ‘directly’ just about the newly born ‘infant’ biologically speaking its a euphoric ‘state’ that also eases a woman into her likely ‘death’ ) So literally woman ‘historically’

      So whilst not forgetting ‘men’ & the many ‘wars’ brutally fought thru’ the ages, please do ‘appreciate’ the fact of the millions of women who have given their ‘lives’ to mankind & humanity not thru ‘battle’ but ‘deadly’ childbirth.

      This social ‘fact’ has stayed with me all my life meaning no matter what happens ( has in ‘family’ life happened to me ‘personally’ ) I can never be totally ‘resentful’ towards women as a sex. In fact I don’t particularly feel anything ‘untowards’ against my Mother, I just recognise more & more her bad ‘effects’ ( & my fathers ! ), taking great ‘pains’ ( & care ) to excorcise myself of that ‘negative’ psychic energy ( incl. unconcious blocks etc ), & simply leave it at that!.

      Back to Chopin, his life & his ‘wonderful’ piano music & cultural legacy, I can only love & appreciate more what he has done. His work not only celebrates the human ‘voice’ ( particularly ‘female’ ) but permeates, as a ‘form’ & style ( I realise this now ) much of the music I’ve love ( ‘grown’ to appreciate & love ! ) eg. from ‘valses’ in Brazil Choro to the works of Agustin Barrios, the Art Pop of Goldfrapp & Lush.

      ( fr Notes ” Warsaw A Monument To Women – eternal ‘feminine’ spirit ” )

  • London, New Years Eve, Fireworks, Crowd Celebrations By The River Thames & Big Ben ( On Waking New Years Day In Birmingham )

    You know there are lies, damned lies, & statistics, ‘reports’ of record crowds by the Thames, & masses of ‘excited’ folk crowded around for the ‘New Years’ London celebrations, but who knows if they’re true ? ( the ‘official’ stats ! ). Busking in Birmingham that day, the seasonal finale to a whole year threatened to be a damp squib what with not just Shoppers but New Years Eve party revellers visibly ( observably ) thin on the ground. But reading around the following few days ‘newspapers’, regardless of the ‘accurate’ figures, it seems London certainly saw some ‘expectantly’ huge crowds on New Years Eve.

    Waking up that ‘following’ morning tho’ proved ominous for me ( Bytheway Happy New Year everbody, all you Buskers out there, lets make 2017 ia ‘postiveley’ good one eh? ) I looked out of my ‘living’ room window, first thing, to greet major ‘change’ going on, not merely on the horizon but a hive of highly charged activity this very New Years Day morning on the shopping High Street ( otherwise another quiet like holiday Sunday ! ).

    What an amazing start to the day, first thing in the morning, to witness the ‘final’ curtain drawn on what was the Co-Op supermarket & its rapid transformation into a brand spanking new branch of PoundStretchers. Yesterday the view outside my window was that of a quiet tho” at times busy atypical ‘green’ ( treelined ) suburban area English city area, once more complete with ‘green’ vista, & the associated benevolant & cultural ‘aura’ of what was once the pretty popular Co-Op Chain ( now hurriedly ‘pulled’ out of Birmingham, Hall Green ) 1.

    Today you ( the relatively powerless ‘high’ street Tenant’ ) are met with ( awoken by ) ‘bright’ red hues, the ‘post=modern’ glare of the ‘growing’ cash & carry warehouse style chain that is PoundStretchers. The pile ’em high, knock em out cheap high st ‘food’ retailer equivalent of Easy Jet ( but instead of ‘bright’ orange my staring our of my flat ‘window’ on what were naturally ‘grey’ granite bollards. we now see ‘painted’ bright ‘scarlet’ ! ).

    The first ‘ominous’ signs of the day are not over either, a feel of wider somewhat bizzare cultural change in the air, perhaps ‘omen’ prospects for the rest of the year, as I recieve the first of 2 tel calls from West Midlands Police. Both of them concerning an incident I reported while out busking, in the city centre, during the afternoon, the day before, on New Years Eve. The caller a police officer from Perry Barr Station advised me that they wd not be proceeding with the ‘complaint’ I’d made.

    Basically I’d been busking all day on Cherry St by Church & Pidgeon Park in Birmingham city centre, when a gp of ‘kids’ appeared out of nowwhere. Ok I’d seen them approaching whilst busking ( playing my guitar ! ) in the corner of my eye, but had let them into my vicinity ( usually I ‘don’t given my experience of yg gangs trying to ‘nick’ money out of my case etc ).

    At first ‘predictably’ they started messing around, the one yg guy sitting cross legged on the floor in front of my case eyeing up my money, the other making mock ‘shake’ hand gestures, suddenly dragging it away, then cocking his finger up at me as some sort of ‘joke’ insult. Then there was a ‘girl’ with them too, she seemed slightly ‘older’, perhaps the big Sister, she just stood in front of me ‘staring’ quietly, tho’ ominously, letting them carry on with their antics ( ie. ‘intimidatind’ & winding up without provocation me !. )

    I ‘shouted’ at the one kid to get away from the case & that ‘cameras’ were on him, he did. The other yg man ( to my right ) then asked me if I knew any songs?. I replied ‘ no, no songs ! ‘ when at that point the girl, suddenly moved in close, and vicously ‘spat’ on me ( I mean right in my face & ‘hair’, the ‘gob’ dribbling down my front ! ). As I got up ( slowly ), they legged it, running off in the ‘direction’ of the Church.

    I did’nt bother chasing them, as they ‘paused’ by the corner to see what I wd do, they then raced off as I pulled out my ‘mobile’ phone & tel the police. The kids perhaps 9 or 10 yrs old, had Irish Brogue type accents, which I described to the 999 receptionist over the phone. I suspected in this case ‘traveller’ kids ( I say this ‘case’ cos’ their are other kinds of yg gangs who time to time roam around the city i.e. from ‘various’ different backgrounds, & that can pose problems whilst out busking in the city-centre, ok rarely, but they can & do ‘crop’ up ).

    In Stratford Upon Avon ( being a ‘semi’ rural tourist town ) on Sundays you often get whole ‘traveller’ families turning up on the afternoon, on the Bancroft Gardens, what with their ‘colourful’ get togethers, dressed up to the nines in ‘Sunday’ ‘stylish’ best, but never any ‘serious’ trouble, these yg but ‘slightly’ older guys & girls. They just like to ‘hang’ around the Bancroft Gardenst by the ‘bridge’ & river, posing, chatting, sitting on the wall listening to music. Birmingham ‘New’ Years Eve actually this is the first time I’ve ever had any trouble from this community ( albeity ‘yg’ kids ) when out busking.

    What was interesting was the response I got from the Police tho’ on New Years day, me recieving a call from Perry Barr Police Station. Steelhouse Lane the city-centre station now ‘closed’ down ( no doubt the building sold & currently undergoing reformation into city-centre ‘luxury’ apartments, like many other ‘old’ buildings, incl Tesco’d Five Ways Edgabaston ).

    I was told by the ‘duty’ Officer that my call had been ‘logged’ but my booking ‘complaint’ ( made the ‘night’ before ) for later that week at Bournville Station had been cancelled. I asked why? & was told that the ‘kids’ were so yg that they’d probably not be criminally liable plus a ‘travellor’ gp had recently been moved on from a site in North Birmingham, therefore it was ‘difficult’ to do anything about the ‘assault’ i.e they ‘cd’nt be traced’. ” You’re a man of the world Mr Snookes the Officer exclaimed ! ”.

    I replied I did’nt want the kids necessarily ‘formally’ prosecuted but some kind of ‘accountability’ for their pretty ‘ill-mannered’ behaviour wd be nice. I had in mind ( naievly it turned out ! ) simply notifying their ‘parents’ or the like of the incident. I uttered if it was’nt me targeted, given the ‘bad’ state of the girl ( I really picked up ‘bad’ emotional vibes off her ! ) perhaps it cd be somebody else targeted, an ‘old lady for her purse, or what evers bothering her emotionally ‘projected’ anti-socially on some other poor persons ‘fence’, someones ‘property’ or personhood!

    That phone-call ended with me soon after making another one to Bournville Police Station again ( as the New Years ‘evening’ before ) this time to ‘reinstate’ my complaint appt. The ‘2nd’ appt was made, but only for me to recieve 10 or so mins later, a 2nd tel call, this time from the ‘female’ Sergeant at Perry Barr.

    She ‘asserted’ they wd not take my ‘complaint’ & my description of events had been ‘logged’ & that there was nothing else they cd do. I said’ you cd have taken ‘swab’ evidence from me, if a police car had turned up on the scene, when I called in the city-centre, furthermore you cd have tracked’ the little ‘gang’ down & at least called them to account i.e. give them a ticking off !. She uttered words to the effect of ” what do you expect us to do we can’t control how these kids are brought up etc ”.

    I replied well maybe its not a matter of ‘faulty’ socialisation, perhap the ‘parents’ are simply not aware their ‘kids’ are out causing this kind of trouble in the city-centre & why are ‘kids’ this age 8,9,10yrs old allowed to roam around the town, perhaps up to no good & causing trouble. An ‘experienced’ Busker never having had problems with this community before, I’m just making an ‘old school’ request eg. please as ‘the’ police will you notify their parents & make the ‘kids’ accountable that way.

    ( Nb. Plus I ‘asserted’ that the next time they move a Travellor family on from a site e.g with ‘council’ officials etc, don’t you think their should be a child ‘psycologist’ present, cos’ all this ‘pressure’ & relocation might be having a ‘mal’ effect on yg ‘kids’ in communities like these. There a ‘social’ issues here, so soon after Xmas, are they being ‘treated’ fairly & imporantly sensitively, When this kid ( yg girl ) spat on me it almost felt like a ‘cry’ for help !. )

    Of course, ‘reflecting’ back on the ‘incident’ it was’nt as simple as this. Truth is like many ‘adolescents’ kids like this esp. in gang formation, can & do take on the ‘mantle’ of playground gangster ( the ‘definition’ of a delinquent ) ie. they will cleverly use ( ‘try’! ) little bully boy tactics & ‘menaces’ to get what they want i.e. not a ‘song’ in my case, but in all honesty some ‘money.

    I have mulled over the thought that perhaps my ‘tone’ was wrong or ‘slightly’ provocative ie. me retorting ” No, no songs ! ”, but I’m not obliged to have a bunch of pop songs ready to entertain youngsters, plus in this instance even if I was to take a ‘broad’ hearted attitude about this & have a ‘ready’ songs to entertain ‘passing’ youth, it was clear that their motives in this circumstance were ‘bad’ ones & un’provoked’.

    On reflection, what #I cd have done tho’ in this type of situation ( other than see ’em coming & not let em in, i.e. what I usually do ) was rather than be on the ‘defensive’ myself, actually state out loud & clearly that my line of serious ‘development’ at the moment is in Classical Guitar & therefore my repertoire is ‘art’ music, whilst making no ‘apologes’ for this or their ‘ignorance’, gross stupidity, & ‘bad’ manners ( no matter how yg they are ! ).

    Funny in Stratford upon Avon you usually get asked for ‘ any Gypsy Jazz ? ‘ from Travellors, & I say yeah & play a few bars from a few ‘Hungarian’ Gypsy solo guitar pieces I know. It generally works too & we have a good laugh ( on occasions I’ve also on the Bancroft ‘ampitheatre’ let them have a go on my ‘guitar’, risky I know, but again its works, they ‘usually’ guys singing the songs & impressing their girls !. ) You know the Travellor Community have like Buskers had their issues with ‘local’ authorities, so we ‘share’ something in common.

    Personally I’ve found them ( Traveller ‘guys’ & some girls ) yes a little boistersous at times but generally a ‘respectful’ community, honourable too ‘reknown’ for their boxing prowess = the ‘guys’ that is, & settlling ‘disputes’ civilly. I have to say tho’ this yg girl ( & the times are a’ changin’ – please forgive my ‘noble’ prize winning pun! ) i can see has got plenty of vim & attitude but of yet is no Miesha Tate. Believe me, I mean no spurious put down here, this is an honest ‘moral’ comparison’ !.

    • ( See. Some Reflections On New Year Day 2017 ” from waking up to PoundStretchers relocation over the road from my suburban ‘high’ st’ flat window, to the incalcitrance of Perry Barr Police & yg Travellors kids plaguing Buskers in the city centre ” )

  • 2. London, New Years Eve, Fireworks, Crowd Celebrations By The River Thames & Big Ben ( On Waking New Years Day In Birmingham )

    2017 New Years Day & there are already ‘ominous’ signs for the year ahead. If waking up New Years day to tel calls from West Mids Police is’nt enough, after being spat on the face while out busking New Years Eve is’nt enough ( yeah its a Buskers life ! ), I witness ‘seismic’ cultural shift, well for this ‘classic’ English South Birmingham suburb that is, i.e. the demise of the Co-op & the appearance of PoundStretchers on the high street ( just over the rd from my high st flat living room window, grey granite ‘car-park’ bollards now painted bright red ! ).

    A few day’s later I tel Stratforward BID Stratford upon Avon to speak to the Boss ( relatively ‘new’ Director ) for the first time. Its about busking information on the BID ‘website’ marketing the town, claiming to welcome Buskers yet stating ( wrongly ! ) ‘spots’ are for 1hr fixed ‘revolving’ ones ( a ‘misdirection’ cos’ in ‘reality’ they are for 2hrs ‘rotating’, always have been for the past 3 or so years, consensually agreed ). The Stratforward site also publicly informs that a busking ‘permit’ scheme is operatiing in the place ( its ‘true’ but very ‘misleading’ ie. not legal in anyway, you don’t need a permit to busk, the public space is legally ‘free’, busking is ‘unregulated’ See. 2003 entertainments Act ).

    I personally & politically ( ‘despite’ some ‘pragmatic’ thinking here ) don’t like city/town BID schemes ( introduced by Gordan Browns New Labour Government when in political office as so called Business Improvement Development Areas ) I dislike them because they are ‘inherantly’ civically undemocratic, & more or less operate as ‘unaccountable’ ( to the general public, Buskers etc ) Quangos’s. Paid for by a tax levi from shopkeepers, local business etc, their responisbility for town ‘marketing’, high ‘street’ management etc takes on an ‘inevitable’ bias, when as you wd expect, the ‘shops’ etc ( those who effectively ‘pay’ their wages ) begin to use the service ( Town Hosts, Management etc ) like a ‘private’ security force ( which I’ve found ‘some’ of them invariably do ! )

    This is the case in places like Stratford upon Avon, Buskers in ‘dispute’s etc ( often ‘minor’, easily remedied ) are prone to getting an unfair deal from the BID ^ ’employees’ eg. Wardens Town Hosts etc, them ( TH’s etc ) tending ( despite ‘appearances’ to the contrary i.e. acting as tho’ they’re council officials ) to work on behalf of ‘vested’ interests ( i.e. those who pay their wages, eg. ‘shopkeepers’ etc ).

    This is the case at present & so I raised the issue of ‘unnotified’ changes to the busking code ( Nb. originally contructed by the 1st BID manager a local ‘folk’ musician’ Marion Morgan or Fleetwood. In ‘consultation’ with ‘warious’ interested parties & ‘consensually’ – this is how it works on the ‘ground’ ! – agreed. Eg. a 2hr ‘open’ access spot ‘revolving’ system i.e. you wait for a ‘spot’ play 2hrs then move on to a spot elswehere – This is the ‘busking’ code that has been working succussfully in the town for the last few years i.e. ‘rational’, fair & democratic )

    Speaking to him ( new BID Manager ) the other week ( & post New Years ) on the tel I asked him to re-consider the 1hr spot regulation written in ( ‘changed’ without notice or consulation last year by the ‘previous’ BID Manager ) on the website. To avoid ‘conflict’ ( & ‘fairness’ ) was the reason I gave him for making the change back to 2hrs.

    If Buskers arrive from ‘outside’ thinking the code is 1hr this cd lead to unneccessary ‘conflict’ with resident Buskers who consensually operate under a 2hr revolving ‘spot’ code. It will also be a useful ‘external’ reference for resolving disputes with eg. Romanian Gypsies who last year tried to remain spots ( themselves messed about by the BID Town Hosts ) all day, which can & ‘has’ led to disputes ( verging on the ‘seriously’ aggresive & violent on certain occasions ! ).

    The new Manager took my point, tho’ only after alot of prevaricating & I wd say ‘ill-mannered’ posturing himself. Without any real ‘justification’ he began shouting at me down the phone to ‘let him speak, let him speak’ when I was ‘asserting’ my points. It was a total ‘mischievous’ projection, as if ‘ he’d been in conversation with someone else along these lines recently & was now ‘displacing’ blame onto me.

    Truth is my ‘points’ were brief & to the point in this instance. You know here is a guy, a Manager ( not a very good one in my mind ! ) who oversees ‘changes’ in agreed ‘codes’ etc without consultuation & then expects you to courteously listen to him & him not YOU on issues concerning this ( which is really management ‘malpractice’ ! ). Furthermore I remember making a ‘racism’ complaint once to be told that as I’m not an employee I have no comeback from them ie. the BID. Well visa versa as I’m not an employee ( but ‘self’ employed public musician ) he has no right to try & manage me like some ‘office’ Boss bully, he needs to show respect.

    Anyway no ‘non-listening’ happened on my behalf, I listened very intently to his response, to my request to ‘re-write’ the misleading ‘busking’ code information on the Stratforward website, so as to avoid ‘unnecessary’ conflict between Buskers next Spring /Summer 2017. I suggest this ‘request’ is passed around ‘other Buskers on the Streetslive Database list & I hope further pressure be put on the Stratford upon Avon BID & Manager along these lines if neccessary.

    ( Nb. The agreed ‘code’ is 2hr ‘revolving’ spots & its yes its is ‘voluntary’ i.e. I support it as do many others cos’ on experience its ‘rational’ & does reduce conflict, giving all a chance to play without mothercoddling performers esp ones who get up ‘late’ etc. If & when – & it very ‘rarely’ happens – the town is ‘overbooked’ in Summer then wait around patiently for a spot or as I’ve done on a ‘few’ occasions – only a ‘few’ in the past 3 or 4 yrs it rarely happens – go to ‘busk’ in Leamington Spa or Birmingham 20 mins away on the train & both ‘good’ alternatives – ok Bham is better ! )

    As for the Busking Permit scheme I’ve never adhered to any such scheme ( the BID Manager says its ‘voluntary’ & usefully helps them build a ‘database’ that can work ‘postively’ ie. for ‘formal’ booking recommendations etc ). I don’t see any need to ‘sign’ in for a permit, its not a legal requirement, but judge & make that ‘choice’ for yourselves !.

    ( from ‘ a post New Years 2017 tel call to the ‘new’ Manager or Director at Stratforward BID Stratford upon Avon ‘ )

    • * Notes

      During my ‘recent’ tel conversation with the ‘new’ Stratforward BID Manager he mentioned ‘sensitive’ areas ( I think indirectly referring to ‘no’ go zones for Buskers in the town ). During the last 3 years, 2 ‘busking’ spots have been pulled, both included in the original ‘code’ & situated on ‘Henley’ St, the main street in Stratford upon Avon.

      Eg. 1. The ‘spot’ by the Library ( a tudor looking building ) ‘tho’ ironically not due to complaints from the library itself but from the Estate Agents opposite. 2. The ‘spot’ by the Shakespeare centre at the ‘far’ end of the street. They ‘complained’ of street ‘noise’ spillage interfering with the ‘open’ tour in the Gardens situated at the back/side that they run i.e. the one led by speaking ‘Actor’ guides.

      No other issues regarding ‘shops’, other business on the street as far as I’m aware. I’ve been street performing in the town for 3 or 4 years now & after a ‘shaky’ start ( ie. besides 1 particular ‘female’ Manager now left 2yrs back who had a ‘personal’ problem with me ! ) have got to know everyone i.e. most of the retailers & get on with them very amicably, yes just fine ( as do many other buskers ‘familiar’ to the town ! ).

      • * Further Notes

        Perhaps the only other issue is to do with some ‘noise’ problem ‘complaints’ abut Gypsy Bands, PA driven Singers, on the ‘fountain’ spot, bottom of Sheep Streat, on the Bancroft Gardens ( Source. The OAP residential flats situated by the ‘public’ toilets, adjacent to the ‘corner’ Newspaper Shop ( owned & run by ‘ex’ Town Host Manager Sam & her African partner I forget his name who works for Sunday Market Stall, Town Hall Market operaters )

        • * Even More Notes

          You know when ‘I’ go to Stratford upon Avon to busk, I go to ‘seriously’ entertain & to make money. Its my ‘job’ eg. Public Musician !. 2017 my wish is for that to be very much part of the ‘equation’ i.e. a key ‘consideration’ of both busking & cultural policy !.

          • Postscript

            Nb. Concerning the OAP ‘residential’ home, adjacent to the ‘fountain’ spot Bancroft Gardens. It cd be a good ‘idea’ to give the ‘ole’ folk a rest after 6pm or at least for those’ during the early ‘evening’, entertaining the ‘Theatre’ crowd, it wd be nice & ‘polite’ to ‘turn’ the volume down.

          • Oh & ‘fellow’ Buskers when ‘waiting’ to ‘exhange’ ( switch-over ) busking spots please don’t sit ‘directly’ in front of Buskers on the Bancroft gardens ie. so as to ‘ruin’ their performance, distracting them etc. I’ve found its best ( in most’ instnaces ) to wait ‘patiently’ aside or ‘behind’. Eg. On Henley St there is a wooden ‘bench’ to sit-on behind the tel box.

            Remember nothings ‘perfect’ so ( ‘new’ Buskers not used to this ‘set-up’ ! ) don’t be overly ‘annoyed’ by others waiting as you go ahead with your ‘own’ performance. Rest ( & play ! ) assured on ‘balance’ things will ( & do ) workout !.

          • Why 2hrs not 1hr per spot ? 1. ‘money’ 2. problem for many ‘good’ acts having to ‘cart’ stuff around 3. might be ok for some ‘display’ acts but not ‘walkbye’, cafe atmosphere acts like me.

          • The ‘irony’ is that whilst 1 hr spots may be suitable for eg. ‘pop’ acoustic acts with a 30min, 40min, 50min set, or ‘magician’ / acrobat ‘display’ acts that attract ‘crowds’, the buskers or good ‘public’ musicians ( often ‘instrumentalists’ ! ) responsible for creating an entertaining ‘atmosphere’ in the town are absurdly ‘deterred’ by such arbitrary ( ‘discriminatory’ ? ) regulatory ‘changes’ ( See. ‘details’ ).

  • * Charlotte Campbells 2nd Cousins’ ( Rose & Rosie Exposed 2017 Uk Tour )

    Just been watching ‘Get Your Tickets/Why I’d Date A Fan’ by Charlotte Campbells 2nd Cousins ‘Rose & Rosie’ on YouTube Channel Rose Ellen Dix .

    I speak ‘metaphorically’ of course the only real ‘natural’ ties shared between these ‘beautiful’ two ‘female’ comedians & SouthBank Busker Charlotte Campbell is their West London ‘plumby’ accents.

    I’ve literally just got acquainted with the ‘pair’, both married ( yes truly, madly, deeply ! ) via another video ” Why Lesbians Want More/Bisexual Series” on the TheRoxetera channel. Curious as I am ( genuinely ) both ’emotionally’ & intellectually about all things ‘Identity’ ( incl Gender ).

    Q. How wd I describe e’m? A. Well if the Chester Busking Lady’s persona is synonymous with Charlie Chaplin, then these two are YouTubes Laurel & Hardy. Ok if not quiet slapstick, rather the comic ‘underground’ gender equivalent of ‘The Two Ronnies’ ( Nb. remember those ‘intimate’ talkings heads tv ‘sketches’, featuring these two men waxing ‘private’ theatrically about their personal lives, domestics & sexual relationships, or was that Morcombe & Wise, can’t remember now ! ). 1. Ref Below.

    Anyway in the video ‘Why Lesbians Want More ‘ the ‘conversation’ that stands out ( very entertaining ! ) is a ‘mock’ heated discussion ( cum ‘argument’ or should I say home settee ‘drama’ ) over which one of them is most attractive to men when they’re out. Or more correctly Q. why is it heterosexual ( straight ) ‘men’ seem to go for the ‘blond’ one in the duo ( Rosa or is it Rosie her name. I can’t figure out whose names who in this pair ? ) when they’r both out together clubbing it

    Lets call her Rosie ( the overtly ‘pretty’ darked haired one for arguments sake), cos its she in fact ( as far as I’m concerned, & an obviously intelligent woman i.e. ‘posh’ Grammar I’d say, perhaps female ‘Boarder’ ) who gets it right!. As she cleverly explains its not necessarily the fact that men as they say, or the ole cliche goes ( Nb. one slight criticism, at certain points their ‘intimate’ conversation, despite the cleverness, ‘deepness’ disguised as lightness, does descend into ‘platitudes’ ! ) prefer blondes ( tho’ in my case I sometimes do inch that way ! ), its the fact that Rosa ( I presume the ‘blonde’ ) is simply more ‘open’ to the male gender conversationally when theyre out. Something to do with the fact, ( its dropped later on into the YouTube conversation ) shes not a full on Lesbian, but ‘Bi-sexual’.

    The point ( the ‘correctness’ of the answer! ) is reinforced when its wearer Rosie ( the ‘dark’ haired ‘pretty’ one ) describes how whens she’s out, if a ‘man’ looks at her in a club, she’ll immediately look away, & not look at him again ( seemingly him ‘left’ glaringly stranded on the other side of the dance-floor ). I’d say shes’ right ( as a full ‘blooded’ heterosexual male ) the ‘signals’ I wd pick up in this scenario ( not uncommon when I was a yg man ! ) are ( me thinking to myself ) ‘ here is a ‘woman’ not simply not interested, this ‘btch’ wants to annihilate you !.’ ( Nb. Of course as an ‘older’ wiser male in the same ‘situation’ I’d immediatley detect her ‘self’ defence mechanisms ! )

    Funny as far as Rosa ( the plainer tho’ apparantly more open & playful ‘blonde’ ) goes I almost got off once with a woman ( yg woman in her 20s ) & the splitting image of her, when ‘socialising’ around a ‘friend’ of a girlfriends house ( ‘shared’ flat ) some years ago. Both of us were on the settee ( 4am ), eveyone else gone to bed. A bit tipsy we started eyeing each other up, play-touching etc, when I suddenly ‘grasped’ her, in an attempt to coax her to lie down.

    She resisted ( not aggresively! ) but rather insisting I turn over first, so she cd ( for some wierd reason ? ) seemingly ‘massage’ me on the back. Crazy when I think about it but I got into a kind of ‘wrestling’ match ( ‘struggle’ ) with her on the couch, me refusing to budge & her trying to ‘turn’ me over. Anyway to cut a long story short, we both managed to tire each other out, both falling asleep on the ‘soft’ 3 seater. I woke up in the morning ‘she’ in the kitchen chatting to the ‘flat’ mate friend, & I very embarassingly leave as quietly as possible thru’ the ‘front’ door.

    In its true the ‘girl’ whose flat it was still works today with the Birmingham City Council where shes’ a ‘senior’ Environmental Officer. Anwyay you know when your ‘own’ girlfriend knows what went on, hat night, when a ‘week’ later she starts going on about, you know so & so, well she’s got so & so wrong with her so & so ( & she’s a ‘serious’ tone when talking to you about this ! ). My ‘guilt’ did’nt last for long tho’, as I caught her ( my then ‘girlfriend’ ) one night about 4 months later with a guy, sleeping on the floor under a duvet cover, in the same ‘flat’ living room ( Luckily not that bothered tho’, truth is this ie. a total’ split, between us, had been ‘brewing’ for longer than 4 months ! ).

    Some interesting ‘insights’ on Gender, Identity & Sexuality, Rosa & Rosie’s YouTube Channel brings ( as well as personal ‘memories’ ). What I like about this pair most tho’ is, besides the ‘surface’ charm ( both exude ‘bags’ of it, tho’ Rosie the ‘dark’ haired one posseses most obviously the most ), its their ‘humanism’. You know Lesbian subculture exudes refreshingly ‘down-to-earth’ humanism when discussing these kinds of issues. As one Twitter feed mantra’ goes ” aspiring Human ” or another ” Don’t start, don’t wish, wishing only wounds the heart ”.

    ( See. ”Get You Get Your Tickets/Why I’d Date A Fan” Rose Ellen Dix Channel YouTube )

    ( See . For a fuller ‘exposition’ on this paragraph above check out the Portabello Road Blog Comment ” George Michaels Last Xmas ” next page @ )

    • Notes

      A great ‘insight’ into the English Class System too Rosie & Rosa’s YouTube videos ( yes despite what Thatcher, Blair, Brown was telling you, & you ‘all’ now no doubt very much realise, still very much ‘alive’ not dead ! ).

      Turn to Rosie & Rosa’s pages to know where ‘next’ Seasons BBC presenters are comin’ from, 2017’s London PA Secretary’s, Media Researchers, Advertising Assistants , PR & Exhibition Managers, ‘high’ end Models, nevermind ‘Pop’ Stars aka Florence & The Machine !.

      • Further Notes

        As for the likes of me ( perhaps ‘many’ of the rest of us ) well as many Guardian pundits wd have it, 2017, we better get ‘focused’, get moving & ‘adapt’, the ultimate ‘commission’ only Salesman !.

        • Even More Notes

          Whilst remembering that so called ‘private’ busking schemes such as the one run by ‘The SouthBank Centre’ nevermind ‘audtions’, ‘licences’ etc in ‘reality’ do not ensure ‘standards’ at all & to be pro rata ‘avoided’.

          In ‘truth’ its ‘1’hr pitches simply encourage ‘relative’ mediocrity, acting as a ‘deterence’ for truly ‘good’ ( hard practiced ) musicians, esp intrumentalists & particularly over the lg-term. Those ‘highly’ skilled street ‘performers’ capable of ‘entertaining’ passersbye & creating ‘truly’ beautiful ‘atmosphere’ for 120mins, 180 mins plus at a time.

          • Of course many of the ‘SouthBank’ Buskers are ‘stars’ in their own world ( i.e. their heads ! )

          • Yeah stuck in their own ‘phantasmagoric’ universe ( & yes as ‘persons’ really ‘depressing’ ! ). What some of these itinerant (at least emotionally so ! ) performers have got to realise is that ‘serious’ music is an ‘art’, not a ‘form’ of therapy !.

          • In fact speaking of actual ”therapy” these days & the whole ‘counselling’ culture behind, in these kinds of ‘cases’, sadly it only ‘feeds’ the problem !.

          • As they say in the ‘theatre’, or is it the travelling circus or indeed the ‘therapy’ treatment room ( & laid flat out on the psychoanalysts ‘couch’ !). All ‘smoke & mirrors’ this !.

            Tho’ yes in ‘reality’ something can be done, there is a ‘cure’. But just that, its got to be via something else, yes something else is very much called for ! .

          • ( *See. Private Busking Schemes, Busking ‘Standards’, & the ‘Fantasy’ Psyche or Consumer Capitalism, Market ‘Fetishism’, Popular Culture, & Everday Mental Health or Alt. Theme i.e. Living In London on a tight budget, whilst failing miserably to maintain ‘high’ standards & consequently falling from ‘grace’ ! )

          • ( * See. York ‘Minster’ Blog ‘comments’ [ bottom page ] for a take on the London Westminster Bridge Terror Attack yesterday March 22nd 2017 )

          • & for a ‘slight’ tho’ not ‘unrelated’ detour of ‘insights’ & ideas ! )

          • On the topics of ‘love’ & hate, incl. mans duel ‘natural’ capacity as a ‘lover’ i.e. to bond & as a ‘predator’ i.e. to destroy ! ).

          • Realise here that ‘healing’ comes firstly comes firstly not from ‘divinity’ but ‘self’ knowledge. Natural ‘true’ human healing that is ! )).

          • * Ref. The ‘happiful.com’ article ” Four Musicians Who Are Crushing The Stigma Of Mental Health ” by Jake Hamilton & incl. interview with SouthBank Busker Emily Lee on Busking, Depression, Relationships & HIV )).

          • * Ref. ” Westminster Attack – Everything We Know So Far ” The Telegraph 23 March 2017 )).

          • Incl. Theological/ Liturgical & philosophic ‘hermaneutic’ theory on how ‘violence’ can spring from ‘literal’ ( not ‘loose’ ) interpretations of ‘religious’ texts, nevermind voted ‘Acts’ of democratic parliament ( See. Iraq War & USA 2002 Congressional Resolution backed by amongst ‘others’ Hilary Clinton ))

          • Or should I say my ‘watered down’ explanatory version of it ! )).

  • Natalia Wierzbicka ///WhereIsTheBIscuit YouTube Channel See. ‘Robots’ v 5 Years Time Cover ( Plus Rose & Rosies ‘Baby Daddy’ Video )

    You know the more & more you ‘engage’ with Rose & Rosie the more you like this ‘couple’, eg. the ‘open’ discourse, the conversationals & even their ‘plans’ for the years ahead. Before I comment on that not ‘tiny’ vision, just a little bit on the immediate & what I’d like to see on the Southbank, back in the public space, in the nr future. If not as soon as this Summer ( if not Easter i.e. Spring ‘bank’ Holiday ).

    Thats right some of the ‘colour’ & gaiety that exudes from Natalia Wierzbicka’s ‘WhereIsTheBiscuit’ YouTube channel, I’d like to see back where it belongs in the public square ( not just ‘gig’ stage ). Incl the Songs, covers & collaborations ‘she’, & her pal from TrinityLaban Cellist Miranda Lewis were doing with Jazz Mino way back when. Eg ‘pieces’ like ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’, ‘Robots v 5 years time’, the stuff they were ‘sponsored’ to do by Beefeater Ginn, i.e. their busking showcase in Bulgaria. I’d welcome that kinda ‘sight’ again, thats the kinda ‘sunshine’ I’d like to see on our streets this June, July, August. ( a ‘fine’ pop covers artist as well as Violinist ‘strings’ trio player is Natalia bytheway ! )

    As for me I have no ‘goal’s, no objectives, no vision of success, for the future, in fact I abjectly reject all ‘ambition’. From this point on I have no ‘vicarious’ dream whatsoever. In fact what I’d like, if anything emoto’ ‘relational’ ( tho’ I’m also just as happy not having it! ) would be a ‘female’ ( yes female ) not ‘graduate’ or anything, but a University ‘Dropout’ type as a traveling ‘partner’ this Summer. Yes a ‘woman’ ( & if I have any preferences ? ), one in the ‘conventional’ sense who wd normally be described as a ‘failure’, or at least someone who cd ‘never’ be seen to ‘succeed’ in this world. ( or cd never what you call ‘succeed’ ! )

    What I long for ( well I don’t actually long for anything, I welcome it or ‘her’ into my life as & when it or ‘she’ appears! ) more than anything, is a female dropout ( ‘failure’ if you will ! ) with ‘feelings’, yeah ‘ feelings, feelings, feelings ! . Thinking in terms of historical personages ( Nb. they ‘advise’ you to do this in those ‘numerously’ marketed ‘motivational’ books when searching for ‘self’ clarity etc ! ), what I’d like in my life is a ‘female’ Shelley, yes a beautiful ‘femme’ Persey Bysche Shelley to ‘travel’ with ( ‘hook’ up with ! ) this Summer.

    To ‘travel’ with me to first of all Paris, then Barcelona ( staying at a ‘friends’/ saxapohonist acquaintances ‘spanish’ apartment ) & then onto ‘brief’ Summer School class/seminar with me & off elsewhere possibly the South of France ( on the cards this year is St Tropez ). Again I wd very much like this to happen, tho’ I state again I’m also very happy without it, & traveling alone.

    If she was a ‘musician’ that wd be cool tho’ only for ‘practical’ reasons eg. raising ‘travel’ cash busking etc. However I’m just as ok if she is’nt, in fact if her background were Astro Physics that wd be interesting, all I ask for again is a ‘co-spiirit’ of strong honest ‘feeling’! ( In other words she cd be anything, I honestly don’t mind, I just need to feel I ‘connect, I need that connection for this to work, for this kind of ‘trip’ to work out ).

    Its funny ( back on Rose & Rosie ), & only recently discovering them, & what they’re doing ( their creative ‘project’ ), I took a ‘long’ look today ( Mon ) at their most recent video ( Sun ) entitled ”Baby Daddy”. it seems they’re embarked on the search for a ‘surrogate’ father, a fertile ‘doner’ ( them both bonded in ‘matrimony’ i.e. Lesbian Marriage ) for their 1st child.

    I really like what they’re trying to do here & think they wd make ‘fine’ Mothers to a yg boy or girl.!. Personally I’ve got no problem with Gay, Lesbian couples having children & realise that this can be done ‘lovingly’ & on these terms successfully i.e. without detriment to the child. I think of some heterosexual relations I’ve known involving children & I’m relatively certain that this couple cd do much better ( nothings ‘absolute’, always a risk, but I’m confident of their ‘intentions’ & abilities here as Parents & kind, ‘patient’, nurturers ! ).

    Once more, its funny but I’ve always been a proponent of ( had an ‘intuitive’ feel for ) ‘alternative’ modes of ‘child’ rearing as long as I can remember ( as I have for different types of education ). The French Philosophe Jean Jaccques Rousseau ‘infamous’ for putting his children into a foundling home, Plato & his notions of societal ‘communal’ child rearing, I’ve always had ‘sympathy’ with. I don’t mean in a cold, callous, abstigation of responsibility way, but in the ‘spirit’ of valid alternative modes of child rearing & socialisation.

    On another note however, I’ve never been a supporter ( big fan ) of the English Public School system & its ‘brutal’ charter for creating ‘administrators’ ( an ‘officer’ class ) for the British Empire. I’ve also never been what you might call in West Indian ‘lingo’ a Baby Father ( or in a ‘Baby Mama’ relationship! ). Always ‘strayed’ from getting entangled in that role, mainly due not being able to afford it etc ( plus never been a ‘runnings’ guy etc ).

    Again I sympathise with it eg Jamaican Black men & women caught in this type of ‘kinship’ triangle ( parents & child living apart! ) a kind of ‘norm’ since ‘slavery’. I remember also the 1970’s, 1980’s & how Welfare, ‘housing’ benefit rules meant that ‘unemployed’ black couples ( & there were many! ) were ‘structurally’ driven apart due to ‘co-habitee’ regulations ( eg. ‘benifits’ stopped or ‘cut’ if you lived with a ‘girlfriend’ or partner etc ).

    You know I cd’nt help but laugh ( semi =consciously ‘serious’ ) on watching the ‘Baby Daddy’ video & thinking, you know I cd provide the ‘fertile’ sperm this ‘couple’ are looking for ( as an alternative to a ‘sperm’ bank, or ‘official’ doner clinic etc ). I cd also guarantee the ‘key’ things eg. random genetic’ type birth characteristics eg. I have ‘blonde’, brown & red hair type in my blood or ‘genes’ ( i.e. I have Germanic Viking/Saxon, Celtic & African heritage ) ensuring both near as ‘natural’ random characteristics on ‘foetal’ development’ & birth plus a generally physically ‘healthy’ child ( * ironically recently had mulitiple ‘blood’ tests clearing me of obvious ‘disorders’ or diseases – another story tho’ this ! ).

    Plus my ‘attitude’ on this issue of Lesbian Parenthood is morally ( ethically ) pretty straightforward. Simply ‘fertilise’ the child into ‘being’, then combined with living ‘enviroment’ plus the ‘couples’ ( eg. Rose & Rosies ) loving care, let be whatever will be, both ‘naturally’ & randomly – let ‘nature’ take its ‘human’ course !. You know as far as I’m concerned all that wd have to be sorted out wd be time & place ( right now is ‘no’ problem ) plus a ‘few’ other ‘factors’.

    For example legalistic stuff like ‘parental’ responsibility etc. e.g. the ‘problem’ of having a CSA ‘order’ put on you in the future ( I ‘know’ a guy, or the ‘brother’ of a friend who was ‘destroyed’ by one of these a few years back ). Other issues might be ‘educational’ ones eg. the ‘couple’ take the ‘child’ on holiday & the ‘schools’ want to fine them for student ( or pupil ) ‘absence’ who’s going to be liable?.

    Sort this kind of stuff out & as far as I’m concerned the whole idea of Lesbian male ‘surrogacy’ is’nt a problem for me personally, in fact the quite the ‘reverse’. I strongly believe ( am ‘persuaded’ ) that this type of socio-sexual arrangement cd make a ‘positive’ lg term contribution to the preservation of mankind. Its got to be ‘positive’ for for the whole of humanity not just the ‘likes’ of ‘ourselves’ !.

    • *Reference

      1. Natalia Wierzbicka ‘WhereIsTheBiscuit’ YouTube Channel eg. ” Robots v 5 Years Time ( cover ) ”.

      2. “BBC News 27 Jan 2017 ” The Church of England should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage but should adopt a ‘ fresh tone & culture of welcome ‘ for gay people ” ( House Of Bishops Report )

      • * Further Reference

        3. Bythway one of the most ‘beautiful’ women I’ve ever known in the ‘flesh’ is my cousin ( ie. Moms ‘older’ sisters eldest daughter ) Jessinta. She ‘married’ an African Chemistry PHD ‘graduate’ of Aston University, Birmingham in the 1970’s. They left England to settle in the Zambia, where they ‘raised’ 2 children & he had a career as a Government Minister.

        • ( See. Further ‘comments’ on London ‘Portobello Rd ‘ Blog for ‘related’ topics then Newcastle Blog ” KSL Responds To Newcastle PSPO ” – all comments, Bham Blog – final comment, Chester Blog ” Park Bench ” – final comment on comparitive ‘good’ codes. To get an ‘idea’ on how Birmingham with its ‘new’ busking code is now one of the most ‘oppressive’ places to busk in the country. Hope you all had a ‘good’ Valentines Feb 2017 bytheway !. )

          • As for here in Bham, things in ‘general’ are not looking too good. Any ‘romance’ is definitely ‘over’ if not ‘dead’. See.Vlog ” Giofranco Zola’s Disasterous Start As Blues Manager ” by DavoBirmingham2 on YouTube. As for me, I’ve already begun searching ‘pastures’ new armed with eg. ‘new’ music, better technique, & a ‘new’ look. Yeah as those ‘blue’ noses say it ( loudly sing ) ” keep right on ! ”. ).

          • eg. My chosen ( actually long cultivated & still honed ! ) street ‘guitaristic’ style being very much in the European tradition ( French & Russian Gypsy in ‘origin’ ) & authentically ‘filtering’ thru both Italian & ‘popular’ Spanish ( incl ‘Moorish’ sounds ) ‘romantic’ art music.

            Nb. Bytheway if you think I talk ‘crap’ & all this is ‘pretentious’ twaddle then check out some of the ‘hyperboluted’ statements I’ve seen on ‘other’ Buskers websites & you’ll not only see what I mean, you’ll also see that my ‘position’ is perfectly ‘real’ & well ‘grounded’.

            Look I have’nt got much time at present, its Sat morning & I’m about to go out i.e. busk ( & awaiting a ‘lift’, someone to pick me up ! ) but to be more certain I’m not ‘bullshitting’ you on these ‘issues’, I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes check out these further ‘comments’ on the ‘topic’ of dead-end places & cultural backwaters ( * or ‘cotton’ wool’ reality ! ) to carefully ‘avoid’. Pertinent to you Londoners too now the ‘mainstream’ LFW is over, yes ‘parallel’ universe’s do exist ( Nb. unless you’ve got ‘magical’ transformative social powers of course, & I don’t mean here necessarily of the contemporary Castro or Che Guevara brand, revolutionary ‘icons’ as they are ! ).

            Eg. See under the other London Blog ‘Gravesham’ writings titled from ” Hell on Earth – Bexley Heath ” to ” Busking in Willesden Library ”. If you really are in ‘reflective’ mood & have the desire to dig further, then buried deep under this blog locate the comment, ” Kate Perry, Fame & Money ” – a response to ‘feed’ on Emily Lee’s Twitter site & I quote ” Being Famous In Social Media Is Like Being Rich In Monopoly ”, where I in essence state that ‘fame’ ( in any shape or form ! ) is not key to the rich life at all, in fact to blindly take ‘active’ part in this ‘modern’ obssession may ultimately drain & ‘destroy’ you. KRO ! ).

          • *Notes. No offence meant ultimately to Emily here tho’ i.e I know ( if ‘she’ chooses ) there are other ways in which she cd ‘lift’ a mans spirits ! ).

          • ( See. London ‘Gravesham’ Blog eg

            1. Hell On Earth – Bexley Heath
            2. Busking In Willseden Library
            3. Katy Perry – Money & Fame )

          • Under the latter ‘comment’ I also suggest some further recommended reading ).

          • [ Nb. Finally for further ‘comments’ on whats going on in the ‘real’ world of ‘busking’ check out the Newcastle Blogs on this website & then ‘follow’ the ‘links’ ]

          • [ I ‘repeat’ myself here but only to emphasise awareness of the ‘poltical’ process operating in ‘other’ parts of the country & how that is ‘effecting’ the direction of ‘street’ art & performance in general }

          • [ So ‘adios’ muchachos & remember don’t believe the hype ! ]

Leave a Reply to Nigel Snookes aka Romanza Rose Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>