I was still getting money so continued to play the song I was playing then stopped after that because it didn’t feel appropriate. Not sure what happened to the guy but looked like it could’ve been a seizure. He was still alive anyway. Just sitting/lying on the ground afterwards. Quick question to fellow buskers: What would you do in this situation? It’s a dilemma because you know all the spaces are taken by other buskers by that time, and you need to earn money to live, especially when it’s going good and lots of people are still wanting to listen and give you money. But you don’t want to upset anybody. Would you wait until everything cleared off or pack up and look around and risk not getting a spot for hours? Or just keep playing?
Spencer approached me again while I was standing there contemplating what to do. I thought aloud that once the ambulance gets there it will block some of the road anyway. And by that time of day there’s no chance to get another pitch because they will all taken. (That’s why I get there before 10 am.) So I didn’t think I could do any more busking that day. I decided it would be best to start wandering around to look for a pub so I could record some HostJane videos. Spencer said he knows a good place he could take me to for that, so I decided to pack up and let him lead the way.
We stopped by a few pubs on the way to the one he had in mind. At the first pub (where the staff knew Spencer btw) we had to wait for the manager to come from across the street so I could have permission to record there. Spencer got us a couple drinks. I just had half a cider I think. The manager said he doesn’t have a music license so we chatted and finished our drinks then continued on our way. The second place we happened to stop at they said no because the lunch rush was going to start soon so it would be too noisy. The third place we stopped at Spencer also knew the crew there. They said ok to play in the upstairs balcony bit but they couldn’t turn off the background music. I said that was ok.
They put on Irish bands so I had a chat with the bar lady and passed her my card so I could potentially get some gigs there when I’m in Leeds anyway. I have to thank Spencer for putting such a good word in for me everywhere we went. He told them how good I was and how it’s a pleasure to listen to me. It really is nice when you have people on your side.
So those are my adventures with Spencer. If you’re a busker, do tell me about some of your adventures in the comments below!
Serena Smith is an American British violinist and fiddle player. I play full time as a street musician in addition to the live gigs I perform with several bands.