Dan Hough

Busking Report – Westminster (Pitch 2)

Published 05 November 2017 in London, UK

I came to Westminster at 20:00 on the 5th of November hoping that the fireworks would bump up the footfall. It was fairly busy in the station, but this station has many entrances and exits. Mine, however (5 and 6) were not very busy.

This session brought me in £15.10, or £8.16 per hour (I was there for 1.85 hours).

I used the cheat sheet that I decided to use last time, and it helped so much. It felt like I had unlocked 7 new songs all of a sudden, which I already knew how to play once I’d gotten started but needed pointing in the right direction.

The pitch. It is in a tunnel which is not behind ticket barriers. It's semi-exposed to the elements.
The pitch. It is in a tunnel which is not behind ticket barriers. It's semi-exposed to the elements.

There were a couple of very odd tips. Two people used my guitar case full of coins as a mechanism for changing their larger denominations. One person gave me a £2 coin and took £1 back. Fair enough. Another put down two £1 coins and a 5p coin, then look three 50p coins in return! That felt a bit cheeky, as he spent quite a bit of time fingering through all my coins. Oh well. I guess it’s good I helped.

The first tip

I’m happy to report my first tip was during my first performance, which was Torn by Ednaswap (but made famous by Natalie Imbruglia). It was not my first time playing it, but my first time doing it well the whole way through :)

The biggest tip

During Why does it always rain on me? by Travis, two separate tippers gave me £2.50 in total.

The best performance

I think my second and last performance of Fat Bottomed Girls was my best - really excellent, full of energy, and yet… nobody tipped. At the risk of sounding a little arrogant, I don’t understand how somebody can walk right past a fellow human being singing the climax of a very high-energy song, with a great deal of emotion and not bat an eyelid. Such is the superpower of the English.

The view from the pitch.
The view from the pitch.

How to improve

To be honest, I think I did very well. My cheat sheet of chords from songs that I haven’t mastered yet was really, really helpful.

However, I shan’t be back to this pitch at this time of night any time soon. It was very, very cold. So cold I left 10 minutes early.

Heckle me on Twitter @basicallydan.