musician

Busking

While wondering around Aegina Town we bumped into this busker, and he was fantastic. He was one of the few buskers in Greece not trying to make a hash of traditional Greek music, but he was just playing his own thing. I first noticed him when he was playing the Rain Song by Led Zeppelin. A well-known band, but not their most famous song. We chatted to him for a bit, and he says that he makes his living wondering around the island busking.

Just before we moved on, he played an even more obscure Led Zeppelin Song – Bron yr aur, named after the cottage owned by Robert Plant’s family (that was your trivia for the day), and written by Jimmy Page (the song that is – not the cottage. Jimmy Page could hardly have written the cottage).

I’ve also just realised that he was using a sieve as a hat to collect his tips – now that is a little bizarre!

Anyway, if you get hold of a copy of Physical Graffiti you can listen to the Led Zep song.
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More musicians

My last post was a photo of a busker in Krakow, Poland. Today’s picture is also of musicians. But this time they were not busking; they were playing at an outside restaurant on the narrow streets of Aegina in Greece.

It was probably our second or third night when we stumbled across them after dinner, but that didn’t stop us from grabbing a table and a carafe of wine, and sitting to listen to them while we sipped the wine.

It is completely cheesy to be a tourist in Greece and listen to musicians playing the theme tune to “Zorba the Greek”, but it was nonetheless lovely. Although to be honest, by the end of our trip I was getting a little tired of that tune; there doesn’t seem to be a single musician in Greece that does not include it at least once in his set.

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Enjoying the music in Greece

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Classical guitar on Krakow Square

It is a blanket statement to say that most street musicians are awful, but in my experience most buskers can play one or two tunes badly, simply using their instruments to get cash from the tourists.

But not all; in Krakow they have a great system. There are specific places where the musicians are allowed to play and they have a roster. Every hour or so all the musicians get up and move away, to be shortly replaces by another musician. They are also (mostly) very good.

Once such muso was this guy. He was playing classical guitar; most of which he was improvising on the spot. He was exceptionally good; clearly classically trained. We ended up sitting for quite a while listening to his guitar singing.

The system is Krakow is great (Prague has a similar setup). It lets you can sit on Krakow Square and enjoy the music without being harassed by buskers. Well except for the unofficial buskers that disappear at the vaguest sign of authority.

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