One of the advantages of being a licensed busker on the London Underground is that I can earn money in all weathers: It was pelting down with rain on Monday in central London and on my arrival at Charing Cross (just to make my day a little brighter), there was a sanitary towel waiting for me on pitch #2 which I kicked further down the corridor, hoping I'd seen the last of it. Commuters trudged past me in their see-through plastic 'bin liners' on their way to Notting Hill Carnival and within the space of five minutes, I had £5 in my case.
As is often the case after a promising start, however, money wasn't forthcoming for a while, and so I focused on weaving fiddle melodies around the rhythm of peoples' footsteps and their echoey, ghost-like voices; trying to compliment and work with the extraneous noises of the Underground (deafening station announcements being activated every two minutes), instead of battling against them.
It's a noisy place to play but I enjoy the challenge as an acoustic musician, of having to play loud enough and with a full enough tone to be heard. After having performed on the Underground and outside many times, any gigs I do indoors with stage comforts and a captive audience are a cinch.
A crowd of rowdy teenagers approached me and unexpectedly, instead of taking the piss, they squatted against the wall and listened appreciatively, then a sweet young girl asked her mother if she could give me some money. She (at least I think it was her), then asked if so-and-so plays a musical instrument, to which her mother replied, "He doesn't play anything... He plays on the computer": A sign of our times if ever I heard one!