13 February 2009

Troubadour Talent

~ Guerilla Buskerine ~

Photo of Ms Kerry Leatham by Richard Wright

Well now, 'pon my soul. Shock horror, even.

Ms Kerry Leatham is actually good at what she does.

Take it from me, I am a curmudgeon and minstrelsy snob who rarely gives the time of day (let alone money) to the half-baked plunkers, scrapers and crooners I see around town.

Kerry has caught me out and I must prepare to eat my words.

Still on the subject of freelance entertainers, don't you sometimes get the feeling that most of those al fresco 'musicians' scraping a living in the gutter are down there because that's the exalted height their 'talent' and sales sans-savvy has taken them? I know I do.

kerry leatham; can't find name of photographerNot La Leatham, who seems frighteningly high-powered, mobile and organised for a busker.

Goodness, all I managed in my day was playing free for every police ball and CID charity (so's to keep the boys in blue sweet, you understand); oodles of private and office parties (ditto senior Fuzz).

The fresh air stuff was St Johns Wood/Baker St/Swiss Cottage/Clapham during weekdays and that sprawling Hyde Park/Marble Arch arondissement during weekends.

Inspired by KL, I'll be adding to this post by way of:

Moi in action at outdoor party

  • Pompous comments
  • Withering critiques
  • Tips on display material
  • Float and currencies
  • Positioning of collecting box
  • How long to stay when 'suggested' to move on
  • Give-aways and incentives
  • Repertoire
  • Diction
  • Dress code
  • Courtesy and eye-contact

    But KL is streets (pun) above the average entertainer's calibre and marketing know-not.

    Shudder ~ there's a ton of busker clips on Youtube, mostly deplorable. KL is the breath-of-fresh-air exception - plus she is extremely attractive and personable, which usually helps with the punters.

    It'll be fun to write about my old trade and repay back in genial pointers some of the more tangible wealth street strumming has brought me.

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