Monday, August 26, 2013

George Street Maracas CCR

I don't know why Creedence doesn't show up on more busker playlists - I've been humming this the rest of the day. At first glance, this act seemed a little 'spartan' - and I admit I first paused more out of a sense of sympathy.
Then the genius became apparent. The voice is actually not bad - it could have been good once, before the 'lifestyle' took its toll - and the performance is practically a capella. Talk about your bare bones, self accompanying rhythm section. Maracas? Genius.
Unique execution, and an ultimate road-ready kit you can stash in coat pockets. The soul of busking.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pitt Mall Percussionist

I've seen this guy a few times now and I'm always glad I did - his energy & genuine enthusiasm is infectious. On top of that, he's got impressive skills - if there's a better plastic bucket drummer out there, I've yet to see them.
Seems a cunning set up actually - I bet they all fit into each other for a compact, robust and portable act with good novelty appeal. No electric amplification needed either. All in all a gold star member of the busking fraternity.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bondi Junction Chanteuse

Very polished product this one - professional even - a cool, professionalism. So, how viable is it, I wonder, incomewise? And is that the main objective? She didn't seem to lack for confidence or proficiency - probably a result of considerable 'field' experience. So just practice in front of an audience wouldn't seem to be the main mission.
She didn't seem to be having a wild time either, cool as in not 'on fire', you know - mind you, that could be her getting into the mood of the pieces - the one before was a Jeff Buckley, and he's not exactly a knee-slapper. A few coins were dropped in her case during my brief pause - maybe it adds up to be a nice little earner.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bondi Junction Pickin' Vic

Is this a bit unprincipled? This fellow said yes to a picture but no to a video. So I took a snap and then did a covert audio recording (which he didn't technically veto). What was I going to do with a video recording? Sell it for big bucks to MTV?
Anyway, "Pickin' Vic" - or whatever he called himself - said "I'm a jukebox - give me a request". I could tell from his style he'd be all over 'Girl from Ipanema', so I tossed my money and and got my surreptitious blog entry.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Town Hall Chamber Duo

Wish I'd had the chutzpah to do this as a young 'un. A pair of confident dudes so at ease with their instruments they look around at the passers-by more than their fingers. And they're having a good time doing it together with a mate, while making a few bucks in their socks. Yeah, they'll look back fondly at these days...

Friday, August 9, 2013

World Square Violinist

I'd seen this senior gentleman plying his craft a few times and his repertoire usually involved grinding out chestnuts like "Click go the Shears". But as I was waiting for the bus one evening, I realised I didn't recognise this at all. It certainly wasn't anything from the Rolf Harris songbook. What was it? An obscure classical piece? A reworking of a contemporary pop hit? Peter Sculthorpe?
Whatever it was, I liked it much more - and it wasn't hurting his takings either.

Pitt Mall Mainstream Dude

I'd just starting filming this guy ("filming"? - you know...) when he stopped. Oh well, I kept the camera on him and I like the way it's a brief window into the little cosm buskers inhabit in the pedestrian flow. The general hubbub surrounding him as he (a little self-consciously) prepares for his next piece is pleasing - especially the way it blends as he starts playing. His ouvre is not one that I'd generally seek out to play at home, say - but it's a polished performance that fits the environment well.
If you fancy seeking out more he's: 

Hyde Park Hare Krishna

All together now! Hare Hare, Hare Kri... Wait a minute - are these guys bona fide buskers or merely 'street performers'? I wondered that as I watched, then I noticed they were accepting currency contributions, so - technically - buskers.
Interesting range of involvement from the 'troupe'. Of course the lead dude with the mike and the hand organ is fully present in the number - with only half-hearted hand percussion from some backing members.
But the bass player, curiously, looks completely lost - and isn't it, like, the ONLY song they do?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Leichhardt Folkies

This is what I'd like to see more of - this group clearly love what they do (Is it insulting to assume it's "Folk"?) - and they're sharing it with the world. (See, you would never ordinarily call me a Folk fan (I just bet this is some more arcane sub-genre*) but when it's live and heartfelt like this, I'll respond very favorably)
They seemed to lose a little of their boldness when I started pointing a camera at them (though they happily obliged when asked) - I get the feeling they're not hardened to the spotlight's harsh glare. Hopefully I helped them become accustomed to the attention and they'll build confidence.
Anyway - who ARE "they" - my family asked "What are they called?" - I didn't think to ask.
So, guys, if you read this - let me know.

*You'll hear near the end I'm interrupted by someone who recognised me - it is my own neighbourhood - they suggested it might be "Pirate" music

Friday, August 2, 2013

Paddys Market iPhone Karaoke

Somehow Chinatown seemed the right place to see this for the first time.  Hook up a mike and your phone to an amp. Fire up the karaoke app - and you're away.