interview with Dave The Busker UK

Have any of you played in other bands? When I first started playing I was in a duo for about a year, that was before I started busking and gigging solo.
How is it that you started playing music? My older brother played guitar and taught me enough to get me hooked.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? My name is Dave, I play 6 string acoustic guitar and sing, I'm now in my 40's but it was in my 20's that I was busking and gigging.
Did you make music even when you were young? I started learning the guitar when I was about 15.
Where are you from? Cornwall, Britain.
What year did the band form? I started busking in 1993.
What's your style of genre? I play all kinds of styles from finger picked ballads through to rock & roll.
What inspires you? Hearing other musicians making amazing music.
How often and where do you reherse? Back when I was actively busking and gigging I'd spend hours at home running through songs.
How have you developed since you started with the music? When I first started playing the guitar I thought I'd be the next Clapton or Hendrix but quickly realised I was not a lead guitarist or frontman. As for singing it was never something I intended to do, I'd joined a band that dwindled very quickly from 7 members down to 2 so as more left I ended up trying new roles, I went from 3rd rhythm guitar where I could safely hide away, to bass and backing vocals with a few steps along the way. I also chipped in on song writing and arranging so by the time I moved on I'd picked up a lot. Then I got a nice acoustic guitar and found my home.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Since quitting busking and gigging I've done a fair few jobs.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I never used a booking agency as my mainstay was busking, private gigs and parties were secondary to that.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? I'm not as I stopped working in music years ago. I love the fact that the stronghold of a few big companies has been broken so there's so many smaller labels and independents now.
What made you decide to make this music? I always played mostly covers, I'm a bit of a magpie, I'd hear a song that I like and then see if I could strip it back to just one guitar and a voice.
What are your songs about? While I was busking I wrote a lot of songs but most were rubbish just done to scratch an itch, a few became completed songs that I'd sneak into the mix, but there was never a single subject, just whatever caught my interest.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I'm a solo act so if I didn't do it it didn't happen.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Whatever came first, sometimes a turn of phrase would inspire a stream of words and I'd then find a melody to go behind it, other times I'd be tinkering away with the guitar and a tune would come to me so I'd add words.
Do you compose in a certain enviroment? Not really, I just prefer to tuck away when an idea happened.
Have you done any covers live? I played mostly covers and just sneaked in the odd self-penned song.
What language do you sing in? English.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? I never did any big gigs so probably sub 100.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? All ages.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? I always varied it depending on how the gig was going.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? I had a couple of go-to busking pitches, but never had a regular gig.
What was your first gig like? Scary as anything as it was just me. I was petrified so tried to stick rigidly to a set-list I'd knocked up to ensure I had enough songs for the time. Thankfully one of the people who came with me realised what I was doing and tore up the set-list forcing me to read the audience instead, after that I got the audience back and came home buzzing and hooked.
What was your latest gig? I quit and got a "real" job around 2003.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Personally I prefer to have the actual physical media as it's how I grew up, but as long as the artists are getting their returns it doesn't really matter, I've bought digital downloads recently.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Over time I think it's slowly putting a little more power back into the hands of the artists who are creating the content as it's made it easier to self-publish works.
What do you think of my work? I've not had a chance to see much of your work but you do seem to have interviewed a lot of musicians.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? As I've already retired I don't think it will help me as such.
Do you have any role models or idols? Aside from the obvious guitar greats, I was lucky enough to see some fantastic local groups when I was in my teens who really inspired me, recently I've been privileged to be given permission to share some of their old albums via a website that I run ( ). Also there's the comedian Richard Digance who is an amazing guitarist, Del Amitri, David Gray, The Mavericks, Status Quo, The Levellers. The list is endless.
Why do you think that they exist? I think if we are lucky enough to hear music that connects with us, the people who create that matter.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I have influences from so many different bands new and old, my song list ranges from early in the previous century.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Pathological self doubt, it took me ages to start to balance that out with the logic that I'd been getting away with it for long enough that some people must find my guitar and singing tolerable.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Enjoy the ride and try not to take things too seriously.
How do you get psyched for a gig? Blind panic mostly.
Do you have any new material? I haven't written anything since I quit, the odd idea does catch me still though.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach? There's an email address and link to my Facebook page on the website and I use the same name across other platforms.
What are your plans for the future? Over the last few years I've been messing about with a little home recording just to keep my hand in, those recordings are on the site, I'd like to gradually get the gear to the point that when I feel like doing some recording I can just plug in and record.
Do you have something to add? Thank you for the interview and the chance to natter away a bit.

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