Free The Night!

It’s happened! London is open! 24 hour tube service at weekends!

I feel so proud of London and the way it is developing; it has so much to offer and the all night tube is a long awaited necessity for a 24 hour city. 

As a London Underground busker this affects me even more than the average Londoner. My optional work hours just changed dramatically in the form of late night busking pitches! I’m not sure I’ll be taking on too many 2am busking slots…but it’s nice to know I have options. 

I was lucky enough to make history on Friday as the first ever Night Tube busker. I performed at Brixton for the Mayor’s entrance at midnight, I took the first Night Tube to Oxford Circus and then I pitched up  from 1am-4am; performing for very excited (and slightly inebriated) Night Tubers. 

It was a lot of fun and the atmosphere was like that of New Year’s Eve. People were happy and chatty; the total opposite of your usual tube journey, where eye contact is strictly forbidden. 

Here were a few highlights:

  • Hearing Sadiq Khan do the first Night Tube announcement and cheering along with a carriage full of TFL staff, press and Londoners!
  • A group of very happy, tipsy hippies who joined in singing Teenage Dirtbag and started a trend of commuters slow dancing in pairs
  • A Cypriot ballet teacher who’s harmony game was on point; he got really into my rendition of Valerie
  • A handsome chap who looked over in interest at the first line of my Night Train song, but soon realised I wasn’t actually asking to go for a drink with him. Although if he’s reading this…
  • Two girls at Brixton who danced to Free The Night and were the happiest, chattiest commuters I’ve ever met!
  • A group of party-goers who shouted “sing a song about the Night Tube!” at me; safe to say I blew their minds…

It was my absolute pleasure to welcome London’s Night Tube with my new single Free The Night. Official launch party is on Wednesday in Camden.

YouTube. iTunes. Bandcamp. Google Play. Spotify.

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Southbank Noise Complaints – An Update

I wanted to clear up the questions I’ve been receiving about the issues faced by the Southbank buskers recently. And I’d like to thank you all for your support and kind words!

As some of you know, the Southbank has been receiving noise complaints specifically about the busking pitch that I frequent. That spot is where I met so many of you, it is an extremely significant place for me, to my life and to my musical journey. I was distraught when I was informed that residential complaints would soon result in closure of the pitch that I love so much. 

The Southbank Centre worked hard to defend the rights of the buskers to play there but the residents were threatening legal action and a compromise was agreed. The compromise (as well as being aware of volume) is that we will stop performing after 6pm; this is a great shame because the summer evenings are so beautiful on that spot.

The other inconvenience that comes with the early shut down of the pitch is that performers who usually play in the evenings are coming down a little earlier and there are not as many hours per day to be shared between us, so everyone gets less time on pitch. But it is a small price to pay for keeping everyone happy. 

That said, it is still in discussion as to whether this will be enough to keep the residents happy. Only time and co-operation will tell.

We have also made some agreements about the number of hours and days individual performers will be using the pitch consistently, meaning there is a slightly lower chance of you catching me on the Southbank over the coming weeks. But if you are aiming to come down for a visit, please keep an eye on my social media where I post my set times as I have them!

We are feeling hopeful, thanks for all your inquiries and positivity towards the Southbank busker community. I will post further updates as I have them.