I've dedicated my life to music, performing, writing, traveling.. I have been very lucky to have performed all over the world on all manor of stages. But there will always be one stage that holds my heart and that is the street. My early music career was saved by discovering busking. In particular busking in Covent Garden on the one of a kind world famous classical busking pitch inside the market building. My thoughts and feelings on Covent Garden is a whole other blog post or two so I won't go into it here besides how much it means to me. I have busked all over the world. At times, I have been tired of busking, only wanting a 'proper' stage. But busking or street performing is a place where you can really connect with the world and your audience in a way that is impossible when there is a stage involved.
So this brings me to 2021. At the end of 2020 I moved away from London after 24 years and so I no longer have Covent Garden a short tube journey away. I now live in Cromer, North Norfolk. You know, that Victorian town on the cliff with the pier and the fish and chips and the cliff goats and caravan sites and fish and chips... I grew up in Sidestrand, just outside of Cromer so I know Cromer pretty well but in all my life I had never considered busking here. I've busked all over the world, predominantly in touristy areas and yet I had never considered busking in Cromer. Go figure? Anyhoo, after 18 months of not much performing work I decided to get my solo busking set up and running with the intention of going up city (Norwich) but before doing that I thought let's give Cromer a go. And would you believe it? It is AMAZING. Standing on the cliff top with the Hotel De Paris behind me and a perfect view of the pier and the sea, it has to be one of the best views to busk to!
But also the people. It's summer so it is BUSY. And for the most part people haven't heard much live music for.. well.. a long time so the love has been felt. And here's the thing. I think over the years I had built a protective barrier around myself when I perform, in particular after shows when meeting the public or whilst busking. People often want to share their feelings and it can be over whelming to take it on so you learn to be friendly and polite but not to go too deep, if you know what I mean? But after the year + we've had with so few chances to connect with others and almost no opportunities to play music for people, I feel so open. My defences are completely down. I am feeling everything that my audience are feeling. I've been welling up and coming out in goosebumps when I play. It is all so raw and emotional. Of course I know I can't keep it up or I will be exhausted and drained.. but it is incredible. I want to give and to receive love and joy through the music.
And I do not really have words for how happy it makes me feel that I am discovering this here, in Cromer, where I live. That I am making a difference to the residents and visitors of my home town. So I shall keep busking whilst the weather allows and even once the tourists have gone I shall keep it up as best I can for the locals.