Busking Diaries – Brighton

On Saturday, my ukulele and I went to Brighton for the day. I hadn’t busked there in at least a year (probably longer), and I’d never done it with a ukulele. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it went OK.



There are loads of good busking spots in Brighton, but the problem is the competition. You can barely take three steps forward without tripping over a busker, and since about 75% of the population are musicians themselves, they’re often also short on cash and not hugely likely to drop money in your pot.

I busked under the bridge that leads down to North Laine from the station. It’s a good spot because the acoustics are excellent, but it’s not so good because people are often stressed while they’re walking up the steep hill, and also it tends to be both busy and a bit noisy. You’d think that the busier a place is, the better it is to busk in,  but in my experience that’s not often the case.

Day of the week and time of day

Saturday, 13.00. Summer. I played for two hours.

Set list

After the Gold Rush by Neil Young
Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Home by Dolly Parton
Jolene by Dolly Parton (are you sensing a theme here?)
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Titanium by Sia
Tous les Garçons et les Filles by Françoise Hardy
The Fall by me
Flowers in a Pickup Truck by me


I made £7. For two hours of busking, this is not great. But some days – and some areas – are just like that.

The most popular songs were 9 to 5, After the Gold Rush and Flowers in a Pickup Truck. 9 to 5 netted me the most money, with a guy throwing down five pounds – five whole pounds! Imagine if he hadn’t, I’d only have made £2 and that would have been depressing. But he did, so that’s nice.

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