Glasgow’s Got Talent: Meet Some of Glasgow’s Buskers

Glasgow is synonymous with a host of pubs, clubs, people and events that entice locals out of every corner and onto the streets to dance, drink and indulge in a city where the creativity of its people is its lifeblood. There is always something happening here, but not just indoors and at these city-defining venues and events.

One of Glasgow’s subtlest, yet warming and endearing qualities is the depth and variety of buskers and street artists that the city’s streets act as a stage for on a daily basis. From singer songwriters young and old, to full blown bands, to impromptu jams, to drummers, bongo players, harpists and the pipes, Glasgow has it all, and right on her streets.

Here, we speak to some of Glasgow’s buskers about why they keep taking to the streets, even in the most dreary of Scottish weather, and why Glasgow is the perfect stage to show the world their music.


NOEL GRAHAM (Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist)

Glasgow's BuskersWhy busking?

Me and my mate Brian were walking down Sauchiehall Street hungover one afternoon, skint, and we heard somebody playing guitar and I had the epiphany that I could do the same. So we headed back to mine and picked up the guitar, and I had a Bob Dylan hat, which I put down for the money. Nothing happened for a while, and it was then I realised that you’ve got to sing out loud to connect with the people, and so I did, and the coins started tumbling in. That night he got a bird, and I made £6.74, and all three of us went to Macsorleys, got three pints in with the money.

How long have you been busking for?

22 years.

Ever busked anywhere else? If so, how does Glasgow compare?

I’ve busked in Paris, Madrid, Valencia, Prague, Amsterdam at Christmas, and Warsaw. Glasgow is the greatest city in the world to busk I reckon, as everybody is right up for it at all times, and they dance, and they know all the words, and the love is given truly, madly, deeply.

How often do you busk?

Every Friday and Saturday night. Sometimes a Thursday when things get too tight. Catch me between two and four (bring snout).

Check Noel out via Spacehawk on Bandcamp and Holy Smoke on Soundcloud.


 

Glasgow's BuskersANDREW GRAHAM (Piper)
Why busking?

Busking has provided me with more satisfaction and memories than any other job I’ve had, if you can call it a job. You just never know who you are going to meet on the day and every time is a new experience. It’s a joy to see people thrilled and impressed with my music and that’s the ultimate motivator to further my ability.

How long have you been busking for?

3 years

Ever busked anywhere else? If so, how does Glasgow compare?

Unfortunately I’ve never busked anywhere else. I’ve spoken to a few other buskers in Glasgow and they have said Stirling and Edinburgh is always a good day, but due to the amount of pipers in the capital I’ve never really ventured out there. I know my spots in the city centre and I’m satisfied busking here, haven’t felt the need to travel to other locations just yet.

How often do you busk?

I try to get out as much as I can but because it depends on the weather it’s much harder during the winter months. It can die right down for weeks at a time due to the Scottish climate. In summer on the other hand I busk 5-6 times a week when I can. It’s great because I can space it around all my other plans. Catch me on Saturday afternoons.

Looking for a piper? Get in touch with Andrew at andygraham834@gmail.com.


 

Glasgow's BuskersJOHNNY BOYD (Singer/Guitarist)

Why busking?

It’s handy, it’s extra money and it’s a fun thing to do. You meet hundreds of good people and every day’s different.

How long have you been busking for?

2 and a half years

Ever busked anywhere else? How does Glasgow compare?

I’ve never busked anywhere else outside Scotland, but compared to anywhere else I have, Glasgow wins hands down. You get your really good days and you get your really bad days. You can come out and make next to nothing or you can come out and people are incredibly welcoming. One of the best things about what I do is getting the pleasure to speak to many good people in this city.

How long have you been busking for?

Mostly at the weekends but whenever I get the chance really. Catch me during the day, across the city centre.

Follow Johnny Boyd on twitter at @johnnyboyd04


 

ANNA SHIELDS (Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist)

Glasgow's BuskersWhy busking?

I busk because it is a great way to make yourself and your music known, grow a fanbase and to make money.

How long have you been busking for?

5 years.

Ever busked anywhere else? How does Glasgow compare?

I have always regularly busked in Glasgow, however, I have busked in Edinburgh and Liverpool. Those cities were good for busking, but I think busking in Glasgow is far better, as I think Glasgow really is known for its great music and busking scene.

How often do you busk?

I usually busk every weekend, and throughout the week when the weather is good. Catch me on Buchanan St between 12-4 most days.

 

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