It was with a weary heart that I approached pitch #2 at Charing Cross on Monday: I'd arrived late due to having been stuck on the tube at Leytonstone for 15 minutes and knew I had to leave early to get to Roddy Lumsden's first 'Form and Music' class at the Poetry School in Lambeth Walk. I didn't hold out much hope of earning many pennies in an just over an hour, but straightaway a girl dressed in funky colours with a gold tooth glinting paid me a lovely compliment: "That takes art: Not everyone can play the violin." In the end, I got enough money for some delicious salads from Greensmiths on Lower Marsh and a potential pint in The Pineapple after class.
Yesterday at Green Park #1 a pale green-capped man gave me 50p before I'd even got my violin out of its case 'to start me off' and a couple of people told me that my playing was "very nice". This filled me with even more excitement in anticipation of collecting my new busking license from Palestra, Southwark, later on, and my accordionist friend, Sid, regaled me with a couple of stories about our fellow London Underground buskers: There are a couple of brothers who play together (one of them has a sallowish face) who hate each other, and there's one guy who uses a backing track of a Parisian accordionist that he mimes along to on accordion and rakes it in?!
I am now the proud owner of a renewed busking license which permits me to play accordion as well as violin on the Underground, and am looking forward to expanding my repertoire of tunes at the same time as resting my arm enough to get back into double bass playing.