Last month I finally relocated to London. It was a daunting move and one which took forever to come off due to the total pain in the arse which is being totally busker poor and house hunting in one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, it’s proved to be possibly the best decision I’ve ever made both personally and professionally. For starters, I’ve been busking whilst looking across at this DUMP…
So let me begin by debunking an age old myth which was recited to me time and time again by friendly (yet cynical) Northern folk before I came here – “Londoners are rude, unsociable, solitary creatures. Don’t expect any help getting your busking equipment down the stairs to the tube yada yada yada…” LIES! (paraphrased lies).
In my short time here I’ve encountered and performed to some of the most friendly, helpful, and encouraging people I’ve ever met and I generally can’t move for people offering to help me with my equipment on the tube. I’ve received so much advice on good venues, promoters and music nights from fellow musicians and promoters, namely Antonio Lulic; a great singer/songwriter fresh from a tour with Ed Sheeran. Antonio has helped me out a lot since we met during a gig we both played at The Bedford in July. I’ve since played gigs with him at The Waterline in Hackney (another amazing, well attended, intimate acoustic venue) and at his self-run monthly flat gig ‘Acoustic Domestic’. Check him out, his tunes are awesome. On that note also look up The Bedford in Balham. Its a really interesting venue which strives to offer a platform for the best (ahem) emerging talent on the London music scene, recently the stage there has been home to artists such as Newton Faulkner, Ed Sheeran, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini amongst many others on their paths to success.
The Bedford has a sister venue called The Regal Room; a lovely intimate space where performances are streamed live over the internet for those who cannot make it on the night. Vin Goodwin runs these nights; a top promoter and a great host, well worth checking out for any musicians seeking gigs in the area. I’ve included a link below to a live video which was taken from our performance at the Regal Room. It’s a new(ish) song called ‘City Sleeps’. Try to ignore that annoying advert for the tank game
So it’s been a crazy, busy month of meeting new people, playing new venues, and receiving more music industry contact in one month than I have had in the past four years, word gets around fast in London! It’s a super busy city, expensive in every way, and the scale of it all can be a little intimidating at first, but the people here have been so kind and encouraging that I can’t help but feel more at home here than I ever have in any other place.
Busking Highlights were definitely meeting a very cool jamaican council warden who approached me menacingly then smiled and said; “You have to move!! …if you were rubbish… but I like you so you can stay.” and then proceeded to be my crowd control for the remainder of my set. I’ll leave you with this picture of my smallest fan dancing during my performance on the South Bank yesterday. Why did dungarees ever go out of fashion when she makes them look this cool?