Friday, 20 April 2012

Unlikely busking duo

Walking down Elizabeth Street towards Flinders Street Station at about 5:30 this evening, there were the usual Friday night crowds.  People going out of the city, people coming in and people wandering around biding time.

Outside the supermarket was a funky busker, playing a bass guitar with neon green, yellow, orange and pink strings.  He had a small amplifier and wore a Madonna style microphone and was getting down with the Friday afternoon crush.  He wore a wide, white smile and was wonderful to watch and listen to.

Right beside him, grooving along, was a man who looked to be homeless.  He was leaning against one of those mysterious dark green metal boxes that cities have on their footpaths, belting out a beat along with the busker.  He seemed oblivious to the fact that it wasn't the beat for the song being played.  The busker kept his wide smile, but he was working hard to get the man to lock into the actual beat.

This didn't happen.  Something else did.  The man started to bellow along to "Buffalo Soldier".  I can think of no other word to describe the sound.  It was a bellow.  Of course the bellow had no tune, but it was also to a different beat so it sounded appalling.  I stopped to take stock of the show.

The busker was still smiling and grooving along with his bass - he had given up singing at this point.  He was now the official accompanist for the apparently homeless man who was having a blast!  The volume of the bellowing grew as his enjoyment grew.  He showed no inhibition and appeared to be deriving great pleasure from this moment of impromptu music making.

I walked on.  I could only handle this particular style of music for a short period and while it wasn't enjoyable to listen to, it was wonderful to watch.

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