Train Busking

This is the S Bahn in Dusseldorf – a video made by one of the passengers on a train we were playing on, in 1996. We did briefly get a licence to perform on these trains. As you can see they were a great audience, and it was a very enjoyable time we spent there. We did manage to play on the trains in and around London as well. We tried Liverpool and Newcastle as well, but we lasted about a couple of hours in each before we were stopped by the Transport Police. Glasgow, the only other city in the UK with a metro system, wasn’t possible to even get started in, because there was a security guard in every compartment. I’ve always thought that if the idea were promoted rather than criminalized, it might actually enliven these places. Of course, it’s difficult in the circumstances to do a hugely virtuoso musical performance – I think a touch of comedy works well in these situations. That’s what we used to call it – Situation Art – you know, knowing the right kind of performance to do in a particular location. Maybe one day attitudes will change. It’s hard to say really.

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