‘Holding Back’ – Live on the Streets, and Other Things

From a recent busking session out in the sunny streets of Cardiff. My original song, ‘Holding Back’, written with lyrics for concerts. For now I don’t sing on the streets, but it’s something I have planned, I very much enjoy singing and making noises with my voice, but I feel my voice is not yet to a good enough standard – plenty of practice.

During this song, there was a little human in a pushchair with I guess their Granddad with them. They were smiling so cheekily and dancing so much, it’s amazing the effect music has on people and especially little babies. Most of the time they’re amazed and stare at you in such an intrigued way, ‘what is this noise?!’, ‘what is going on?!’, ‘waa?!’.

It’s been a while since I posted on here, I’ve been meaning to for months but I’ve always felt like I never had enough to say. Or that I should be writing big long posts that take days to write. Then I thought, well that just doesn’t allow me to document my busking journeys and musical endeavours. So why not just post snippets and small journal entries on a regular basis. Gives you the reader some sort of story to follow and there’d be plenty of video links etc!

i.e.

Here’s the second most recent thing I posted on YouTube;

A riff and melody idea played with my hands full. This has to be one of my favourite ways of writing and performing, the limitations and challenge within this method is so much fun! I like to push myself to be able to write in any set-up. I just wish this set-up was more portable so I could busk with it more and take it to epic woodland locations for some ‘epic videos’!

I have taken this full set-up out busking, but with the size of the set-up and my tiny car, it exerts quite a lot energy. It’s a lot of fun though, here’s a video of me performing in this way; (on a very windy day in Worcester, so excuse the amount of wind sound coming through the audio) 

 

I spent last weekend in Oxford (5th-7th April 2019), it’s such a beautiful place. Probably my favourite city within the UK, (that I’ve visited so far). I love the city, but there can be an odd crowd at times, whilst playing outside West-gate. A highly intoxicated man was standing a couple feet in front of my setup, shuffling his way down the street in a slow motion manner. I’m setting up my stuff to play, just about to plug my guitars in, when he stands still, I just look at him, ‘this is a bit weird’ I think. He stands still for a few minutes, then fills his trousers (and floor) with urine, it just pours down the street, lucky it’s on a bank and it travels away from my stuff, it was like a stream. I wanted to feel bad for the guy, but as I walked into town, he was just sat at a bench shouting abuse to random people. After he did this, in a very animated and cartoon style skit, he falls over, more slower than slow… and his head landed in the guitar case, so I’m like ‘…..what, do I do?’ A couple of people came to see if he was alright, he mumbled some abuse at them waving his arms. Another highly intoxicated man comes over and tells me he’ll sort him out, so he drags the man on the floor by his ears to the other side of the street, shouts at him ‘what you doing, you f—ing idiot, there’s kids about, yam a —-‘. Council/police come over, but he was gone into the endless dream world. When I finished playing, I walked past to see how he was, he was half asleep rolling a cigarette. The council didn’t seem impressed.

This area of Oxford ‘Bond Square’, does have tendency to gather many drunks and homeless people. Unfortunately there’s the odd occasion of unpleasantness, but most of the time, its a great place to play. Most of this group are always thankful for me playing, a few sit next to me and just watch me play, smiling loads and getting hyped about certain techniques I’m using. They’ll say “I really like it when you play here, thank you!”. These kind of moments make me believe I’m doing something good for this world. At times I feel that I’m not giving enough to this world or that I should be doing something more impacting, but I guess small things like this can truly make a difference.

Thank you for reading my post! I’ll be back with more stories soon!

If you’d like to support my journey, you can purchase my music (with a price of your choosing) on my Bandcamp page;
Here’s my latest release

Clouds on Clouds

 

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Live at The Oil Basin: Drums and Tings

Earlier in November, I performed a solo set in Worcester at the Winbrew Trip Co. which later evolved into a Maefield gig (new duo, a later post will add detail), then into a huge jam with a bunch of my musician pals from Worcester.

For the gig, I played a lot of new stuff, which currently involves a small drum kit (hats, snare and kick). My set-up has changed a lot over this year, going from solo bass to double guitars 18th December 2017, now with drums/vocals and quite recently little weird additions saucepans/glockenspiel/tongue drum.

Everything keeps falling into place with the set-up. I have a vision for a much larger set-up ready for tours and bigger gigs. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

Here’s a track I wrote with added drums/vocals;
Written whilst staying in Liverpool.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss

For the gig, I didn’t sing as my confidence was very low, so I stuck to just instrumental. You can listen to it all here;

 

 

‘Love Your Music’ a Note from a Lovely Busk!

It’s been one of those amazing days that has uplifted my spirit and strengthened my love for the art of street performing ☺️

While playing outside Debenhams, a woman who seemed to be having a pretty serious fall out with her partner, sat right in front of where I was playing, closed her eyes and just listened. She kept shaking her partner off as he tried to talk to her. He eventually walked off, and she sat there smiling at me. Pulled out a pen and wrote that note ‘love your music’. She kept smiling, then disappeared for a while. She came back sat down and burst into tears, sitting watching me play, smiling and crying loads. It was obvious she was in a bad way, but there was a peace inside she was holding onto and I think my music really helped her find that.
The song I was playing drawed in a crowd because of a beat that got a bunch of kids dancing, they were laughing and smiling so much and everyone who saw this happening were smiling with joy and the energy was good and high. The woman came back with a band and tied it on my arm whilst I was playing and gave me some flowers she stole from a flower bed aha! xD she also gave me a picture something she’s kept for years that has brought her luck and love, ‘hold on to this, I want you to have this as luck, you helped me today, thank you’. She left smiling and a lot of warmth and inspiration!

I also had a few people saying “why are you here? You shouldn’t be on the streets you’re too good , you should be out there on staged and festivals!”. Well sure I’d love to get gigs and festival slots, but I’m also here on the streets because of these kind of things, the spontaneity, the people I meet and the good things that I can bring.
I sometimes get filled with doubt and wonder if I’m actually doing something worth while for this world, and then things like this happens and I feel that I am doing something meaningful and good for this world, it may only be small, but I guess that’s something everyone can do a small something to make a small change, collectively being a big change.

Keep on loving and believing in yourself cause your capable of more than you know!

🙏❤️ Have a most wonderful day!