Earlier this week I saw the best Underground busker I’ve come across in some considerable while. He was droning on a didgeridoo, with a mike at the mouth of its horn. Somehow while he blowing on his instrument, he was also adding a quite satanic vocal – pitched between the kind I imagine appears on Laibach’s songs and the ork-ish underworld spewing and grunting of the likes of Extreme Noise Terror and Carcass – deepening the evil of the drone beyond the point of comedy. A welcome relief from the polished blandishments (or blandished polishments) of 99 per cent of the buskers who put themselves up for and pass the official auditions that Transport for London have required for a licensed slot on one of its sponsored semi-circular pitches since 2003.
I’d so much rather be exposed to those who failed the audition, or the fuck-ups who know there’s no point them attending one, even if they were of a mind to. Give or take the guy who regularly used to assail me on the District Line with REM numbers. There’s only one thing more irritating than Michael Stipe singing ‘Losing my religion’, and that’s a Michael Stipe imitator singing ‘Losing my religion’ in your carriage, and no escape possible until Putney Bridge.