About Me

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Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Animation graduate, musician, songwriter of sorts.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

I LOVE JAPAN (or China, or Korea, or something)

The most insane thing happened today.

Now, I get a lot of foreign currencies thrown in the gig bag - most common are Euros and US Dollars, but occasionally I get coins from New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Czech Republic - not too long ago got a couple of Italian Lira thrown in, which was weird when you consider how long they've had the Euro. Whatever currency it is, it tends not to amount to much, and gets stashed in a collection as there's not much point in going all the way to the bank simply to get those 7 Argentinian pesos converted into the £1.50 they're worth. However, this time was a little different.

So, today was not a good day, at least for the first hour or so. First time busking in over two weeks: my fingers hurt, my voice simply wasn't up to scratch and there was a wasp flying incessantly round my head. Then this happened:

A youngish Japanese man in a suit came up to me. I say Japanese as he looked like Hiro from Heroes, but he might have been Chinese, or Korean. He says - in broken English - "I really really like your singing," presses a note into my hand - red and white, never seen the likes of it - and vanishes back into the crowd (or into another time zone, if you'd prefer to think that this man was actually Hiro).

I think: Well, fair enough - he's probably given me a hundred Yen, or something. Another one for the currency box...

I unfold the note, and it's a fifty.

Fifty pounds.


I love Japan.

Monday, 7 July 2008


So I'm just about to get in the shower, when I notice I have a glove on.

You might wonder how I managed to get the rest my clothes off without noticing the glove - but in this case it is a glove not of the clothing but of the tan variety.

Ah, you say, but shouldn't you have two tan gloves, unless you've been wearing some odd one-sleeved garment?

Quite. As it turns out, the top I had been wearing had no sleeves at all. And, standing busking in the Dundee sunshine for three hours, I had acquired a deep tan - on one side. And, looking closer, I realise that the same, though thankfully a little more subtle, has happened on my face.

It looks stupid.

Really really stupid.

Almost as stupid as my sunburned feet.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Two pointers.

So it's getting rather late - best to keep this short and sweet.

Two pointers for buskers:

1. Don't busk under a lamppost. You WILL get pooped on.

2. Don't busk under a tree. You'll get spiders falling on your head.

AND you'll get pooped on.


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

An ice-breaker for buskers.

"Hi. I'm [insert name here].

"I work on the street."

Guaranteed to start an interesting conversation, or at least kill the one you were already having.

What I hate most about neds.

[Dialogue between myself and a NED (that's "chav," for those of you in England)]

N: "Eh, do ye ken the Voo?"

S: "The what?"

N: "The Voo."

S: "The View?"

N: "Aye, ken."

S: "Nah, I don't play the View."

N: "Aw c'mon, ye must. Ken "Same Jeans," aye?"

S: "I don't really know their songs, to be honest."

N: "Eh, wot bout "Foor Minutes" by Justin Timberlake, ken?"

S: "Save me..."


So I thought I should perhaps kick off with a list of the various foodstuffs acquired while busking. I don't know what it is about me that makes people want to give me food. I'm not particularly skinny, and I like to think that I at least dress well enough that people don't assume that I'm homeless and therefore starving. Of course, it could simply be that people feel like giving me something more original than the usual pound coin or coppers, or, in one particular case, they simply had one too many cakes.

Alright, so it wasn't technically a cake, but it was a Greggs' fudge doughnut, which is even better.

Food - or drink is this particular case - is also given sympathetically. I once got royally drenched in St. Andrews, busking opposite a Pizza Express. The manager took pity on me, and made me coffee. On the flipside, I was busking in Dundee in blistering heat - they don't lie when they say it's the sunniest city in Scotland - heat so intense it was causing amnesia, particularly when it came to remembering any lyrics. This time it was a Starbucks worker who recognised the urgency of my situation, and quickly saw to my needs with shots of iced cappucino.

The same was also true of the smoothie donated to me by the manager of Juicylicious in St. Andrews, shortly after I had an unfavourable run-in with a policeman who didn't seem to understand that I'd already asked his force permission to busk. An enormous Very Berry smoothie calmed me down nicely.

So far that's my total food tally. Who knows what might come next? Subways? Ice cream? Yes please.

Till next time.