The Eye of the Fish

May 3, 2009

Best Busker

Cuba Street is nothing if not the Busking home of Wellington, and at any given time there are normally at least a couple of buskers, thrashing out chords and trying out their talents on our eardrums.
There is as always the Bard of Cuba St as he styles himself, with excellent finger-handling as he picks out the strings on his worn out fretwork, and gingery beard wavering below his toothy gapped grin on some maudlin lyrics. He always plays “I don’t like Mondays” to start us off on our way to work early in the week: there’s nothing like an appropriately timed lyric.
We have the chubby girl with the glove puppet, whose point I can never quite gather; several lonesome cowboys and guitar heroes striking poses as they thrash out riffs to torture our tympanum; an inevitable wailing bag-piping Scotsman in obligatory scarily flapping kilt; the occasional accordionist mournfully squeezing out a wavering tune; and recently an endearing amount of baby-goth emos wavering out an awkward emo ballad, stockings torn and limbs akimbo, firmly astride the ‘stage’ in front of the Left Bank.
I love the urbane mash-up of musicians more than I do the competing blair of banal ZM-blaring loudspeakers hung outside shops, or the endless stream of fiddle-de-dee mock-Oirish schmaltzy tosh that passes forth from the doors of Murphy’s.
Most of all though I think this most recent addition to our musical ensemble is great: although possibly the world’s smallest busker if not just one of the youngest, performing at ankle level on the sidewalk, young Liam has the passion and the verve and the shear chord-strumming ability to carry a tune off on his own. Already pulling in the big notes at such a tender age, this young muso will go far, no doubt spinning of a series of bands in that Wellington manner, if he can continue to pump out the volume that was so impressive the other night.
Go Liam! You rock!!

4 - 05 - 09

Has anyone ever stopped to be ‘entertained’ by the big, possibly bearded, guy that stands outside the old Hallensteins on Cuba Street? I’m thinking that he has some sort of anarchist message to pass on, and have been tempted to stop and listen for a bit, but he has a tendency to lose his temper if you ignore him.

My ex-girlfriend raised money for IHC for a couple of days last year and they were standing near the sock puppet woman, who would bark orders at passers-by to ‘GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY FOR IHC’ and then pause and say ‘HELLLOOOO’.

Haven’t seen Liam, though, even though I walk up and down Cuba Street five or six times a day!

4 - 05 - 09

Sometimes the sheer amount of buskers on Cuba St amaze me – on a sunny summer lunchtime, there can be up to a dozen going at it along the mall part. Phenomenal.

But it does remind me of the scene in the Life of Brian where he falls from the sky into a line of buskers and false prophets and he has to start shouting out his schtick to stop being captured by the romans:
…And the bezan shall be huge and black, and the eyes thereof red with the blood of living creatures, and the whore of Babylon shall ride forth on a three-headed serpent, and throughout the lands, there’ll be a great rubbing of parts. Yeeah…
…For the demon shall bear a nine-bladed sword. Nine-bladed! Not two or five or seven, but nine, which he will wield on all wretched sinners, sinners just like you, sir, there, and the horns shall be on the head, with which he will…
…Obadiah, his servants. There shall, in that time, be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi– with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend’s hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o’clock. Yea, it is written in the book of Cyril that, in that time, shall the third one…

5 - 05 - 09

A couple of months ago there was a collaboration of sorts between two scruffy as old guys with guitars, the Bob Dylan clone, the Post-Grunge guy, and a girl from Wellington East with a flute. It was ridiculous and epic.