“At one point the whole bus queue nearby started dancing and one man came over and said he’d missed three buses watching us”


Louis (13) and Tom (14), the cajon and guitar duo from “Guitar Cubed” were at it again. They broke the world record for busking, playing for exactly 25 hours and 5 minutes. The busking marathon took place in the beginning of April in Shrewsbury to raise money for charity. We managed to get an interview with them. Take a look:
Guitar Cubed performed for 25 hours. What did your fingers look like afterwards?

Don’t forget the all-important 5 minutes at the end! Yes, after busking for 25 hours we sat back down and did an encore! Our hands weren’t great but when everyone was cheering at the end we forgot about that bit.
Why did you decide to do this? What inspired you?

We had played a long set one evening and were discussing how long we could actually play for. Out of that came the idea of an attempt on the world record for the longest busk.

At the same time, Paul Henshaw, a local musician, had released a single in support of homeless and had said: “This is about standing outside for 30 minutes feeling how cold it is and then caring enough to do something about it.”

We decided we could also do something to help out. When we started researching homelessness we were shocked to find how big of an issue it is for people of our age. Over a third of homeless people become so before their 15th birthday. We are pleased we raised some money but hopefully some awareness, too.
Has this put you off busking for life?

No, if anything the complete opposite! It was tough but it was a fantastic experience. The support was amazing, we even had a young girl come down in her PJs! She had seen us on the TV and had persuaded her parents to bring her down so she could give us one of her Easter Eggs.

At one point the whole bus queue nearby started dancing and one man came over and said he’d missed three buses watching us. People were getting off the buses and saying they had come into town specifically to donate and wish us well. We even had a musician we hadn’t met before coming down at 2 and 3 in the morning to play along with us for a while.

To top it all, we raised £4,300 which was way way beyond our expectations!
Have you busked before? – When did you first busk and what got you started?

We busk regularly, it’s paid for our instruments and gigging kit. The first time we busked we had tried to get a spot on the stage at a local event but we didn’t get anywhere, so we decided to go down and busked outside the gates! We got loads of great feedback and made more money than if they had booked us. I think we were hooked from that point on (they’ve booked us this year)!
What does Guitar Cubed mean and where did it come from?

We are Guitar Cubed and we have a guitar and a cube (cajon). Ok, if you are being pedantic, we should really be called Guitar Cuboid but that just wouldn’t be right.
What is your philosophy towards your busking?

It’s a real community thing, not just with other buskers but with the people in the town where we busk most. People always come and have a chat and ask how we are getting on. If you want to get good at anything you have to practice and busking is great for that. It is paid rehearsal with instant audience feedback.
What is your favorite tip ever received?

We were busking in Bridgnorth and an older bloke came up with a bit of an accent. He asked if we knew any Beatles. So we played “Hey Jude”. He listened to the whole song came back over and pushed a tenner in my hand and said “Paul would approve, I’m his cousin”. Whether he was or not we will never know.
What is the hardest part of busking?

For the marathon busk it was all the red tape when we were trying to arrange it. At one point we nearly gave up and said: Ok, you win, we won’t bother. We thought we were a couple of young lads trying to do something positive but it often didn’t feel that way. We sometimes felt that there was a whole load of people who were determined to stop us!

I have to say, however, there were also loads of people without whose help the whole thing would not have happened including The Street Pastors local residents and The Big Busk team.
What is the weirdest place/time you have ever busked in?

Playing right through the night was obviously a bit odd, but playing to an empty rain soaked town square at 5am was an interesting experience. We were also the first group to play on top of The Wrekin which is massive hill in Shropshire with the remains of an ancient Iron Age fort at the top.
What is the most inspirational busker act you have ever seen?

We did our marathon busk as part of Shrewsbury’s “The Big Busk” which was set up by an inspirational lady called Karen Higgins. Her brother Ben was a busker who was killed in an unprovoked attack in the town. Karen set up “The Big Busk” in his memory, it sees buskers perform all over the town.

It is amazing that out of such a tragic situation Karen and her family have been able to create the most positive event which also raises significant funds to support the homeless and vulnerable and yes we’ll be back next year (just not for 25 hours)!
Is there anything you want to share with the busking community?

Top advice is, whatever you do, never ever ever attempt to busk for 25 hours! Oh and drink Murphy’s, not Guinness (Guinness wouldn’t recognise our world record because we are under 16!).
Finally, and this one is important; what is the biggest question the world needs an answer to?

Well this is an easy one. It’s something we have been debating long and hard! Who has the best T-Shirt: Tom ‘Cubed’ Barras with his original “Stone Roses first album T-shirt” or Louis ‘Guitar’ Briggs with his “Coldplay Head Full of Dreams T-shirt”. We really need to get this sorted this summer and intend to do so. We will be running the poll through our summer gigs (so far its 50:50) or you can vote on our facebook page.


The last 2 minutes of a 25 hours World Record Busk:


Visit Guitar Cubed’s websites here: