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Thursday, 1 March 2012


Question: how do you make a cunt even more annoying?
Answer: give him an acoustic guitar.
Seriously, fuck buskers.
It seems that I can’t walk up and down the street these days without hearing some smacked up prick in fingerless gloves playing a Nirvana cover on a beat up (and out of tune) sticker covered, acoustic guitar. Without walking past a man dressed as a fawn playing the bagpipes. Without seeing some dreadlocked hippie playing ‘No Woman, No Cry’ on an insanely expensive, vintage guitar that his Tory MP Dad brought him. Without being winked at by some mockney fuckhead in a pork pie hat and v-neck t-shirt singing that Kaiser Chiefs song that everyone knows. All of them judging me because I walk past and don’t drop a few pence into their fucking upturned hats. Fuck them.

My problem with buskers is twofold. Firstly (most importantly), the noise.

I have a dream, a way I would like the world to be, and in that dream there is silence. Everyone wakes up in their one bed flat, puts on a grey suit, walks to work in single file, does their job, walks home in single file, reads a book and goes to bed. There is no talking, there is no music and there is absolutely minimal interaction between people. If I was in charge of the world it would be a silent place where everyone lives in perfect silent harmony.

Unfortunately my dream will never come true. There are people out there who insist on talking, on making small talk, on asking me about how my day or my disgusting life is going. The world is full of garishly bright colours, of people dressing and acting like complete fucking cunts. Cyber goths, goths, steam punks, punks, crusties, all of them walking up and down St. James screaming their disgusting faces off. But the worst offender against my perfect utopian society, the first people to be put up against the wall if I’m ever in charge, is the fucking buskers.

We all get annoyed when we sit on a bus and some chav mouth breather starts playing music through his shitty little phone. We ALL get annoyed about that. But for some reason no-one gets annoyed about buskers and I don’t understand the difference. ‘Busker’ is just a posh name for an attention seeking cunt. Invading your private life with his or her shrill and atrocious noise.

What the fuck are these people actually thinking? ‘You liked that Green Day song, right? Time of Your Life? Well how about instead of minding your own business while you’re walking along, you just listen to me play some bars of it? Yeah? You love that, right? Look at the feeling I’m putting into it, you can tell I’m an artist can’t you? I went to Brit school for a term, now give me some money’

If this were a one-time thing (one hippy asshole per town centre – what a blissful idea) I would man up and get on with it. But as soon as you pass one cunt with a guitar, you hit another and then another and then another. Eurgh. The whole ‘singer songwriter’ thing reached saturation about ten fucking years ago. Fucking grow up. Just because you can play a couple of chords and warble over the top, it doesn’t mean I should have to listen to you whenever I leave my fucking house. FUCK YOU.

My second problem with buskers, is that they do it for profit. I don’t have an issue with people wanting to make money out of music, I’m not a ‘punk’ and frankly the idea of a ‘DIY ethic’ makes me want to break my hands open with a fucking hammer. There is no issue there. My problem with it is that these fucking idiots don’t just want money, they want MY money… Fuck. You. You think just because you’re playing an acoustic cover of a Lady Gaga song on the street I should put some of MY money in your guitar case? Do one.

Dear buskers, literally ANYONE could do what you do. It’s 2012, EVERYONE plays guitar and EVERYONE knows the words to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ The only difference between you and the majority of other people is that they have some fucking pride and aren’t arrogant enough to think that because they have the smallest bit of ‘talent’ they have to share it with the fucking world. Get the fuck off of the streets and get out of my fucking ears you fucking hippy cunts.


  1. you mate are a complete and utter fuckwit. fuckheads like you are letting all our creative arts disappear into a cloud of product. chords are hard to learn and very few people do actually know the words to teen spirit. venues are shutting all over the world and these stupid fucking pop idol shows are showing all the sheeple (thats you) of the world that music is just about the lead singer, when in fact the the lead used to mean leader of a band, which there are very few of anymore, once managers are in for their 15%, these "artists" find themselves lumbered with a "musical director" and surrender control over their art. by busking i am in charge, i play when where and what i want, in the key and style i feel at the time. utter utter utter utter fuckhead. you make sure you introduce yourself to me on the street coz i got a guitar im prepared to sacrifice to the great god pan and smash over your head!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. All very well if you had an off button or played in front of an audience who had a choice about listening. I'm sure you'll continue to protect and defend pop music by strumming and bleating in obscurity, outside Poundland.

    2. i play guitar, probably better than most buskers, but i HATE them. you know what's nice about the city centre at 8am? the quiet. you know what's not nice? some barely-talented asshole student on an amplified electric-acoustic, strumming way too hard, playing the most cliche song choices imaginable, adding mediocre vocals over the top, and forcing THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF A CITY to listen to it. and more, demanding money for the suffering this causes. i love music, and i love creative arts, but if i want to hear live music, i'll go to a live music venue. i don't want music i probably don't even like shoved in my fucking face every time i'm trying to walk down the street. most buskers aren't even good enough to warrant a live performance, but don't have the humility to realise that they're totally unspecial. peace, silence, the sound of birds and quiet talking, is always better than an obnoxious fucking busker foisting themselves on a mostly unwilling public. i hope they all fucking die.

  2. Thank god for heroes like you single-handedly saving the music industry from the greedy corporations with your totally original renditions of other peoples songs. Don't worry I'll be sure to squat down and take a shit in your hat whilst you bang out a terrible Beatles cover and bore the "sheeple" to death...

    1. As a busker, I can truthfully say that I average $100 an hour. That's equal to 56 quid or something. PER HOUR. The difference I suoosup is that I'm good at what I do, and I don't play where all the baddies play. Long live the thousand year old art of busking.

  3. Hello, my name is Peter - I wrote the above blog. Thank you for your constructive criticism and valued opinion. Other people's opinions are incredibly important to me and I was thrilled to read yours. Firstly, kudos on the use of the word 'sheeple' if there is one thing I enjoy as much as hearing someone else’s opinions, it's when someone joins two words from the English language to make one new word. Sheeple… Hahaha, that's great. You certainly are a smartelligent moke (Smart/Intelligent Man/Bloke – Just in case you didn’t understand. It’s my first attempt)

    Secondly, I feel I should point out from the start that I do know the words to Nirvana’s 1991 hit ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ I was once 14, too. I even had some of the words written on my school bag in Tipex - I’m sure you can relate. Though I must admit that I do not hold knowing the ‘words to Teen Spirit’ to be a particularly fine achievement of mine and is not something I list on my CV.

    I would like to take issue with the general hatred for pop(ular) music that I feel you hold. It would seem to me that you have the same dislike for ‘chart’ music that I once held (again, at the age of about 14) There was a time, many years ago now, where I would look down my nose at people who listened to pop music. However I grew to learn that this was incredibly conceited of me. To think that someone’s opinion is less valid simply because they do not appreciate the advanced musicianship it takes to play a power chord is exceedingly pretentious.

    You seem to have taken offence to TV talent shows like Pop Idol and X-Factor. Great. I’m fully behind you. I detest these shows too, I find them the worst type of ‘car crash’ TV that there is. The way they line up deluded people and make them perform for the golden carrot of ‘fame’ is fully abhorrent to me. It is a modern twist on the Victorian travelling freak show.

    Where our opinions seem to differ is on your music itself. I would be incredibly interested to hear you perform. Judging by the reasoned arguments you put forward against my blog, I can only guess at how vast your talent is. As someone who has been involved in the ‘DIY Punk Scene’ for over ten years now, I can relate fully to your ethics of wanting to play what you want, when and where you want. As they say on those TV shows we both hate; ‘you go girlfriend!’ But I take issue with the fact that you seem to feel your music is some sort of political statement.

  4. When you stand on the corner of a crowded street, hammering on your guitar and putting the world to rights, are you playing your own songs? In my experience of buskers, they mostly play covers and they do this as people want to hear songs they know. I am sure you get more money when you play a cover than when you play your own material (Please do not take this as me insulting your extensive back catalogue of hits – I’m sure it is fantastic)

    My question to you would be this; What is the difference between you playing covers on the street and a mass marketed artist performing a pop hit? I really can’t see one. You are both giving the public what they want. The reason people like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Girls Aloud etc… are successful is that they give the public what they crave; nice songs performed by nice looking people. Whether you like it or not, that is the way of the world. You can hate it, you can resist it, you can try to kick against it as much as you want, but you won’t change a thing.

    On a personal level I would like to point out that as well as listening to a variety of small, ‘underground’ bands, I listen to a range of ‘pop’ music. Why do I do this? Because It’s great. It serves a purpose. It’s what I WANT to listen to sometimes. To say that the only reason I and millions of others like me, listen to this music is because we’ve in some way been tricked into it by faceless record executives is incredibly arrogant.

    You’re right, it is a conveyor belt. Producers and managers are constantly ditching older singers for younger, fresher talent. But to feel sorry for these people is naïve. They knew the business they were getting into. They knew it wouldn’t last long, but at the end of the day everyone needs a job to earn money to live. Everyone has a mortgage to pay.

    Lastly, I feel I should point out to you that the year is 2012. In this day and age there is no excuse for poor punctuation. Even simple things like starting each sentence with a capital letter, making sure all ‘I’s (when used in the first person) are in capitals and using and using an apostrophe (‘) when combining two words – i.e. it is, becoming it’s rather than its - should not be beyond you. If you respond to my comments (and I sincerely hope that you do) I would appreciate it is you followed these simple rules. The English language is a beautiful thing and I hate to see it besmirched. I am a very busy man and I do not have to time to decipher your abysmally phrased comments before responding.

    Many thanks

    PS - Who is the ‘great god Pan’? Do you mean Peter Pan? That’s bonkers.

  5. Apologies for splitting this over two (now three) comments. Word limits are a pain.

  6. What a sad and miserable life you must live Pete. I've been busking for a few years now and few things have brought more joy to my life as playing on those crowded street corners. Some of us do it just because we truly love music and interactions with other people. Not everyone is a misanthropic shut in like yourself. The money is good if you do it right, but that's not what it's about. Every time someone stops to make that connection or some child stops to frenetically dance to the music I feel like I'm actually doing something right in the world. Many famous artists (Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, the entire Violent Femmes band, Bob Dylan, etc) started their careers on the streets. It's not for everyone to enjoy, and no one is asked or even expected to pay. I sure as hell have never judged someone for not tipping me. I got recruited into my band off the streets, and I now play for full venues in addition to my busking. Stop lamenting on your own pathetic life and start communicating with all the strangers around you. You might just meet someone that makes your own monotonous life more meaningful.

  7. People may or may not be arrogant, but it has nothing to do with busking. People busk because it's fun and you get to make a few bucks out of it. I can also assure you, that no busker would ever want money from a miserable twat head(that's you). They play popular songs because that's what people want to hear, and that's how you get greater tips and it's FUN. Everyone can play the acoustic guitar? great, awesome, but I don't see how that could possibly bother you. I'ts 2012, everyone can talk as well, does that mean people should not talk just because everyone knows how to? (that's a rethorical question, I hope I'm not going to fast your little brain, given you had one). A most likely explanation is that there possibly aren't a lot of things that don't annoy you. Please stop you genetic line here.
    ' There are people out there who insist on talking, on making small talk, on asking me about how my day or my disgusting life is going"
    1) I can not believe that someone who's trying to be friendly annoys you.
    2) That's right, you do lead a disgusting life.

  8. I think I agree with Pete. Being a busker myself, there's nothing more annoying than some talentless hack trying to make noise/money. It shits upon the arts, instead of bolstering them.

  9. Fuck you are a fucken idiot. Firstly I busk because it helps me with working towards a car and I'm having trouble finding a job. Secondly I prefer to play at a pub for the people and not standing at the front of the shop playing for hours hoping to get somewhere in life and sometime getting fuck all. Thirdly I would rather play for the people then for money.

    Unfortunately we live on a fucken world where we relay on money and for the moment busking is what's helping me get ahead in life

  10. There's one thing worse than a busker with a guitar. A busker with a guitar and a shitty amp so that normal thought and conversation is impossible.

    We banned amps in Melbourne once, then all the shitty hipsters complained about the death of 'artistry' and it expired. What a wonderful few months of peace that was.

    And yes, I like music and will pay to see it. When and how I *choose*.

  11. As a busker, I can truthfully say that I average $100 an hour. That's equal to 56 quid or something. PER HOUR. The difference, I suppose, is that I'm good at what I do, and I don't play where all the baddies play. Long live the thousand year old art of busking. I'll also add that I generally play my own music. So whoever says you cantc make money with your own music, clearly can't write a good song or hasn't heard a good original, and for that, I pity you.