Remember the band Still Seeking from the Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival last weekend? It was the animated, jolly band with a bizarre instrument called a lagerphone?
I contacted them to ask a few questions about what it’s like to be a band out on the streets and they were happy to reply! Here’s a run down of what they said about their experiences as a band.
Still Seeking started busking, or playing music on the street in exchange for donations, shortly after it was formed three and a half years ago. Using its contacts with a canal museum in Leicestershire the band started out working together with a group known as the Big Buskers at a beauty spot called Foxton Locks.
“We still busk with that group raising funds for the Leicestershire Rainbows children’s hospice,” said the band.
Band member Roy (far left) plays the melodeon, harmonica, keyboard and lagerphone while his band mates Maggie and George play on guitar.
“The, I must make one of those, thought then remained until I made the first one about five years ago,” he said.
The three were involved with music for many years in various formats before they came together.
They consider their playing as Still Seeking a hobby.
They said they enjoy the positive feedback from street audiences and love inspiring smiles and dances—particularly dances initiated by kids who get their moms and dads to join in the fun. Maggie also frequently hands out “shaky eggs” so children can join in on percussion.
When I asked them what their favourite song to play is (as a lot of buskers like to do covers of their favourite bands) they said:
“Do we have a favourite song…difficult…obviously being known as Still Seeking we do a lot of Seekers songs and they are collectively our favourites, while other 60’s numbers come and go.”
I got to hear them play this song from The Seekers. I can see why they feel inspired by the band.
Like this post if you recognize this 60s band!
Share the post if you are too young to know them!
Even though I met Still Seeking at a busker festival the band also does many in-house gigs too. They play for retirement homes, lunch clubs, church groups, the National Trust and private parties.
“All the money raised goes to support a music therapy group helping Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers,” said the band.
When I asked them what the difference is between in house gigs and busking for them they jokingly responded:
“When your busking your audience doesn’t fall asleep!!!”
The Still Seeking members were happy to share some advice for aspiring buskers too—their first tip?
Remove the microphone and amplifier.
“We are a bit old fashioned in that we don’t use a busking amplifier. A microphone is a barrier between you and the public so try and do without,” they said.
“Having said that, practise and develop your voice, so that you can sing loud and melodic for a long time. Be entertaining, give the public what they want to see and hear and if something doesn’t work then don’t use it again.”
But on top of tuning all your skills it’s also important to relax and have fun!
“Be happy, have fun! We use a lot of props and puppets. We have fun, the public has a laugh, money goes in the hat. Job done.”
Remember to Like or Share depending on your Seekers recognition 😉