We’ve reached the end of our interview series with Galway Street Club. We hope you enjoyed them 🙂If you came straight to this page, you may want to go back and meet the band in part 1.
Camila: Last question– what does busking mean to you, if you had to sum it up into a sentence?
Paul: Singing is the one point in time I feel that everything is exactly where it should be. I’m good at being a solo musician, I’m great at the logistical mess entailed in complex endeavors like this and I’m kind of addicted to the chaotic element involved. That said, I do this for the connection I get to people– both my audience and the individuals I’m blessed enough to perform with along the way.
Music has given me the ability to not only feed myself but be able to travel and find common ground unbound by location or language or cultural identity or political drivel. Out of everything I do, it’s the only thing I don’t think I could ever stop. And I certainly wouldn’t want to ever try.
Adnaan: Busking, distilled to its essence, is an art completely distinct from the music or other entertainment that comprises it. It is diving off the serenity of the stage into the roiling surf of the unwashed masses. Each time you gasp for air another wave hits you in the face, sears your sinuses with salt.
I’ve been doing it for 19 out of my 24 years of life, and I remain a dismal busker. Too often I find myself playing, eyes closed, rocking back and forth, shielding myself from the people around me with music and private thoughts. The true busker is a showman; an animal who thrives on the chaos and opportunity of the street. Who blends her emotions with the audience, drawing them in and allowing them to shape what she draws forth from the ether.
Some may argue that the introvert musician has his place. That the bubble of his music is a drink of fresh water for the crowd of salty, thirsty people. I disagree. That musician can play everywhere the same, but he loses his opportunity to partake of that vital energy pulsing through the web of life that surrounds him on the cobbles. But don’t listen to me. I talk a lot of shit.
Spud: Busking is pure, it’s honest. I can’t busk in a bad mood. I can pretend to be a lot of things, but I can’t pretend to be having a good time while I’m busking. I know how to sound good when I’m not quite in the mood but on the street that does not matter. I can sing in perfect pitch and play perfect notes and not make much money.
But if I go out there and forget about money, forget about ego or what I feel like I’m supposed to look like and just have fun then the rest falls in line. It’s the times where you’re busking with someone you’ve never met and making up songs as you go along where you have the most fun. It’s forgetting the lyrics and humming along for a few bars until you catch back up with yourself. It’s remembering the chords and not the words and a random person out of the crowd walking up and singing it for you. Busking is putting yourself out there and just being a human and asking people walking by to step out of their routine and just enjoy being human with you for a while.
Johnny: As I said earlier, I was fascinated by busking when I was younger. I took me a long time to pluck up the courage to do it and not care about what people thought or how much money I would make. It honestly is the greatest joy I’ve ever felt in my life. I never want to work for anyone other than myself again, I feel like I have control over myself and what direction I can go in.
For anyone interested in getting started, get your instrument, sit down somewhere on the street and just practice, just like you would in your own room. If your heart is in it, it’s the best feeling you’ll ever have!
Laura: Busking with these wonderful people has changed who I am. It helped me realise that no matter where I go, it’s something I can always bring with me to connect with people. It’s given me confidence to pursue music full time. It’s an escape, a creative release, and simply just good craic.
A lot of people have said we make a big impact on the vibe of the streets, and to know that even just one person has smiled or felt a connection with the city or just music in general because of us in the street, that’s what makes it worthwhile for me.
Merle: That’s a tough one… I love busking for so many reasons – the reaction of the audience, being a part of a town’s public life, the music itself of course – It gives us the freedom to spend most of our times playing music, improving and making some of the best friends along the way. Of course sometimes the whole thing pisses you off, but once you’ve got a taste for it, it’s very hard to shake off.
James: Busking is my cure for feeling low, lonesome or locked the night before. It’s good for whatever ails ya!
Ultan: Hmmm, I’ll sum up what busking means to me in two words… Soul food.