Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Los Boliches Buskers

Before living here on the Costa del Sol, I had never heard the term "busker" to describe a street performer. When I started to hear it around town, it was always used by the British expats, so I assumed it was a British term. Well, apparently, I've been living in ignorance. It's a common term for all the performers I've shared with you over the past three years. The jugglers, magicians, singing groups, dancers...

Interestingly, the word itself probably originates from the Spanish "buscar," which can mean to seek or look for (as in looking for attention, fame, and... tips). I give an awful lot of my lunch money to buskers.

We first noticed these two guys outside Meson Salvador in early June. They seemed a bit shy. The guitar player began to strum — and he was good — but no one gave much notice. But when the other guy opened his mouth, everyone stopped. A truly beautiful voice, which only got stronger and more confident as he performed.

THE FIRST TIME WE SAW THEM OUTSIDE MESON SALVADOR IN JUNE.

Unfortunately, no one here stops talking for long no matter how good the entertainment. I've recorded the guys three times since that first night. In two of the videos, you can actually hear them above the din of conversation and traffic. But these still don't do them justice. The two videos were recorded while we enjoyed another night out on the terrace at Sandpiper Restaurant.

Although only a few people passed in front while I recorded, I thought I was too far away for good sound quality during the first video.


A few minutes later, I moved closer thinking I'd get more music and less talking. Suddenly people began passing in front of me as they poured into the ice cream parlor next door. It's always something.

24 comments:

  1. Ha! Funny -- when I saw the title of your post, I thought, "Oh, cool, there's that word I just learned this year." *haaa haa* Seriously, I also just learned this word recently, as one of my former students plays ukelele and sings and she had to get a "busker license" so that she could pitch tent (so to speak) on a street corner and play. Interestingly, her father is from Britain, but I don't think she go the term from him, since the license is called a "busker license" (I would have expected it to be called "street performance license").
    And... wow! Of course, it must be related to buscar, but I never thought of that, either!

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    1. Judy:
      I'm amazed (and relieved) by how many people did NOT know the word "busker." You're always a step ahead!

      Delete
  2. Are women performers also called "buskers"? It sounds like a manly term.
    The music's very nice. Thanks for capturing it for us.
    Keep enjoying, Mitchell.

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    1. Robyn:
      It's an equal-opportunity word — like, grifter, or wrestler, or princess (well, maybe not always like princess).

      Delete
  3. Wow, they are very good....cute too!

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    1. Jacqueline:
      So wish I had a better recording. Usually, the guy sings while resting his hand on the shoulder of the guitar player. It's very touching. At first I wondered if they were "a couple," but when I saw how the guitar player became mesmerized by the woman passing by in the tight-striped dress, I stopped wondering...

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  4. I have known this word it is definitely British one. As a teacher I have met this word in my students books ( intermediate level) but in Poland we use only books published in Great Britain. Sometimes we teach students about American English. Mobile phone BrE and cell AmE.

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    1. Gosia:
      The term "busker" is also used in the United States.

      Delete
  5. He truly has a marvelous voice. Too bad more people weren't listening.

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    1. Stephen:
      Performances are fairly constant around town, so I suppose it's understandable that people don't stop what they're doing. These guys do at least seem to get tipped well.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful on the ears and the eyes.

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  7. We have the term busker in Canada, but then we are not really very original and used to be a British Colony so that makes sense. Most cities in Canada require buskers to have official permits in order to entertain. Victoria, on Vancouver Island is a prime area for busking for the cruise crowd.

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    1. Cheapchick:
      It turns out "busker" is the same term used (even legally) in the United States. Can't believe I never heard the term before.

      Delete
  8. It can be very difficult to capture the talent at times. So what do you call buskers? Street performers?

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    1. Andrew:
      Yep, I've always referred to them as street performers. (Probably will continue to do so.)

      Delete
  9. Busker! A new word for me! I thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      Wow! Even Spo didn't know this one. I feel vindicated.

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    2. Is there a charge or fee?

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    3. Spo:
      Buskers work for tips, if that's what you mean.

      Legal buskers register with the city and have to audition. It becomes a very expensive proposition for them, so most just take their chances.

      Delete
  10. I love street performers and buskers, they always add an element of fun and atmosphere to the streets. I remember once being on the metro in Barcelona and some metro buskers got on and started playing their music, almost all the people on our carriage were clapping along and dancing, it was a great experience although I'm pretty sure the large group that were on board were all very drunk tourists!

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    1. Hayley:
      I really love "buskers," too. Some here, as everywhere, are mediocre to downright horrible. Others are incredible.

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  11. We have a huge 'Buskers' event every year on the city waterfront and it is always well-attended with performers from all over the world. I have heard that there is a 'circuit' that some of these performers follow all over the world.
    Isn't it great when you see and hear someone good like these fellows.Imagine the persistence needed to do this kind of thing?

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    1. Jim:
      I'm stunned by the talent of some of these people (and equally stunned by the lack of talent of others)

      . If I had had ANY talent, busking around the world would have been a blast.

      Delete

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