Dan Hough

Busking Report – Knightsbridge

Published 11 February 2018 in London, UK (~4min read)

Another week, another new pitch. Yesterday I made my way to Knightsbridge, on the Piccadilly Line, which is a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace.

Knightsbridge is typically known for being the home of Harrods, the department store, as well as the stores of many luxury brands, fashion houses, and some very expensive properties. The most expensive property in Britain, in fact, is located across the road from this station at One Hyde Park - an apartment sold there for £140 million in 2014.

Today the lovely folks spending time in Knightsbridge on a Saturday evening were kind enough to give me £18.70, mostly in the form of 20p coins. So, £9.35 for me and £9.35 for Crisis.

Since I was there for two hours, that makes my hourly salary also £9.35, which is the 8th-worst hourly rate I’ve ever earned busking (the worst was £5.09, at North Greenwich).

Knightsbridge’s pitch is in a long tunnel which leads into the station, and this tunnel closes at 8 pm. I didn’t learn this until exactly 8 pm.

Some notable moments

There were quite a few, but I won’t go into detail on all of them. My favourite was a couple who came out of the Piccadilly Line to the main entrance, saw me playing, asked if they could take a photo, and then did – then, an hour later, they came back in, gave me a smile and a wave, and then headed on their way. They just seemed really, really nice.

The pitch
The pitch

Another moment which really blew me away was a huge group, maybe 40 people, clearly on some kind of big family day out, who were entering the station. At first, a couple of people came and danced a bit, started getting in the way of other people (which made me nervous because we’re not supposed to do that) and then their group began to grow and the dancing continued. They were a lot of fun, but my Inner Busy Londoner was distressed by their getting in the way of everybody else. I didn’t make much from this group, and they gave me some old £1 coins which can’t be spent anymore, which is a mixed blessing. However, I did get to witness some great family memories in the making so it was worth it.

That’s not all though! Also:

The first tip

I started with my own song, Bored Bored Bored, (which I recorded last weekend, see the embed below) but it, sadly, didn’t get me any tips. However, the next one did: Good ol’ Torn got me my first 50p of the day.

The biggest tips

The last song I played was Don’t Look Back in Anger, which I haven’t played since 25th November, because it’s a bit of a cliche - but I played it as purely as possible - as in, quite like the original. Normally I mix it up a bit, but this was really fun to do. Maybe I’ll play it more often.

The view from the pitch
The view from the pitch

The best performance

The best performance, by a long way, was Get Back - the first time (I played it twice). It felt super fun, and people seemed to enjoy it, and I love playing it. It’s an easy song to put energy into it.

How to improve

I’m going to commit to learning one new song before my next performance. Something easy, something singalong, that I already know the words but don’t yet know the chords. My setlist has gotten a bit samey.

I’m also going to update my sign a bit. Put a bit more of ‘me’ on it in bolder chalk - my website, for example. People have shown willingness to interact online!

Heckle me on Twitter @basicallydan.