A few years ago I had no money. I’d just started working for myself, all the books and blogs I’d read had told me I’d have no money at first, I’d taken that in, but I hadn’t quite realised just how much no money I’d have.
Great grammar, scar.
I started busking as a way of making rent. Trust me, that is not fun. It was February, it was frequently snowing and always cold, I didn’t have enough money for heating at home, and I was trying to make enough cash for the rent on my one-bedroom flat in London.
A few years passed, my business built up, and I no longer needed to busk. I stopped, because it’d been horrible. But recently I wanted to start again, and to do it because I enjoy singing, because I practise the ukulele every day anyway, so I might as well get paid while I do it.
This is The Busking Pot. It has capital letters because it’s very important. It sits in my living room next to the big gold-framed mirror I inherited when I moved in.
Inside The Busking Pot is my ukulele, a list of songs I eventually want to learn to play on it, and a load of little pieces of paper. On each piece of paper is the name of a tube station in London (that was a fun night in with Wikipedia).
When I’m at home in the evening, when I’ve finished work for the day and I feel like singing, I take a piece of paper out of The Busking Pot and it tells me where I’m going to busk that day.
My first result was Hammersmith. Which is good, because I already know it quite well.
I’m going to blog about each station as I busk at it, and then ultimately compare them all statistically, because above all I am a̶n̶ ̶a̶c̶a̶d̶e̶m̶i̶c̶ a̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶a̶l̶y̶s̶t̶ a boring old fart.
So, without further ado…
You’re not allowed to busk directly outside of the station entrance (either of them) in Hammersmith, because the property is owned by the station people, so you have to walk around a bit to find somewhere to play.
The best place I could find was on King Street, about half a minute’s walk from the station. It’s a square where the Lyric Theatre stands next to Natwest, and there are a load of coffee shops and sometimes a fountain. The acoustics are better than anywhere else because your voice can bounce off the buildings. It’s busy but not too rammed.
Day of the week and time of day
Tuesday, 6.30 ish. Spring. I played for about half an hour, until it started to hail.
After the Gold Rush by Neil Young
9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Titanium by Sia
Jolene by Dolly Parton
Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
Tous les Garçons et les Filles by Françoise Hardy
The Fall by me
I made £5.85. The best-selling song was Titanium.
So, there you have it. Hammersmith’s busking diary. We’ll see how it goes from now on.
I’ll also be blogging tips about busking, so if there’s anything you particularly want to know, just ask!
Until next time.