Friday, September 20, 2013

Newtown Town Hall Unplugged

Gusto - that's what I liked about this guy. That, and he's the first busker to get the association with the blog title.
Anyway - here he's on a BUSY intersection, Saturday arvo, and he's having no trouble making himself heard above everything - without amplification.
I reckon - with that gusto, and his totally up attitude, the world's his oyster.

George Street Violin Duo

Wow, this pair were really good. Great skills. Great composure in the face of heavy George Street aural competition. And great material to showcase their combined playing talents. Sounded like Nyman or Glass - maybe a contemporary version?
Anyway, they were so polished it made me wonder whether it was one of those cases your hear of where members of the SSO or similar will 'slum it' on the streets just to see reaction. Went to an unusual 2 minutes on this act.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leichhardt School Fete Harmonica

I do wish I could play harmonica - just without all the effort of that tiresome learning. Actually, I used have a little 4 note Hohner on my keyring (well, 4 blowing & another 4 sucking). It was pretty cool - I could belt out 'Waltzing Matilda' as I strolled across the Domain. And the mouth organ maestro that set up in the Domain carpark tunnel (great acoustics) showed me "You are my sunshine" (wow, he must be 90 at least by now.)
Anyway, this talented fellow - the "Dr" Tony Eyers - was honking up a storm in support of the Leichhardt School Fete. Despite pro level abilities, not much attention was being paid to him - kind of a soundtrack to white elephant browsing. In an unusual plug - he gave me his card - you too can master the blues harp here.
Or watch the Dr's worldwide cafe project.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Darling Harbour Strummer

The calm, assured manner of someone who clearly didn't start yesterday. Maybe this is how the jangly mojo boys might evolve. Pare down the equipment - (but add a chair), keep the material 'up' but also a little more 'easy'. And select locations that do some of the work for you.
The jangly boys had passerby volume, but also a lot of sonic competition. Mr Strummer here had an acoustic advantage but also a spot with a killer backdrop and natural lingerability.
Darling Harbour maintains a steady stream of foot traffic and the atmosphere is ripe for stopping and taking in just what he was offering. So, I'd rate him 'seasoned'.
(What was that song, though? It sounded like it could go forever...)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pitt Mall Jangly Folk Mojo

If there's a busker 'mojo' - the elusive quality that draws the punters in - these guys seem to have nailed it. Check out the crowd. Yet what's going on here?
Sure, this pair have ticked off a few of the elements that add to success - they have the upbeat energy of youth, they play jangly uptempo numbers with just a hint of the exotic, they project a certain bohemian lifestyle vibe that suggests they haven't bowed to the Man (though, somewhat counter to that projected ideology, they do have a ton of sophisticated equipment) - oh and they elevate - up on milkcrates for visibility.
No, the point is - they appear to be having an enviable amount of free-spirited fun - but none of that is reflected in the audience. They're hanging about but all look fairly stone-faced and unresponsive. (Well, there was this one guy who you can see shuffling off at the beginning - HE was getting into them but may have had to head back to the special bus).
It's as though the crowd viewed them as a reminder of what they are not - and then have to return later to their "drab, wretched lives".