TALENTED musicians are being given the chance to bring their sounds to a wider audience. The 'Busk Stop' idea was launched yesterday in Newcastle, and will give performers a weekly three- hour slot to perform in the town centre.
The project has been dreamed up by Newcastle College alongside town centre manager Matt Taylor.
It's designed to give aspiring musicians a chance to develop their skills, as well as providing an attractive atmosphere for passers-by.
Mr Taylor said: This is something we have been looking to get going for a while, because we think buskers and street performers, if they are of a good quality, can add to the ambience in town.
The performances will run every Wednesday, with students Holly Pender, aged 17, of Granville Avenue, and Chris Reale, aged 21, of Occupation Street, both Newcastle, taking part in the first performances near the Lancaster Building yesterday.
Holly said: I started playing the guitar when I was about 12. I started playing the piano when I was 10, but picked up a guitar soon after to be a bit more portable and get out! Chris added: I'm looking to turn heads and get people to pay attention and if they enjoy it, have a listen and have a chat.
I'd say my style is folk, country and pop, if I had to nail it down to three genres. It changes quite frequently but they all have an input.
The performers are being overseen by the head of music technology at the college, Simone Bratt, aged 34, of Weaver Street, Hanley.
She said: We are working with the town centre manager, who is very keen to make designated busk stops around the town.
Hopefully there will be a few more marketing materials for the stops and a weekly itinerary of the setlists so you can see who is playing every week.
The students are singer-songwriters.
We do composition and really encourage songwriting. WATCH THE the Chis said in a perfect world, the buskers might even find fame, in the same way others have shot to stardom thanks to TV shows like the X Factor.But he added: I don't really agree with shows like the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. But everyone deserves a chance. Simone said: I would question the validity of those shows and sometimes they send the wrong message out to people about the 'fifteen minutes of fame' idea, and that what we're looking at is giving students an understanding of the music industry so they've got a career and a bit of longevity as opposed to being chewed up and spit out.
Do you appreciate buskers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 'I see busking as a power for good' Eric 'The Busker' Newton, aged 73, of Alsager: Music and busking is a power for good. Town centres these days need every bit of help they can get. I know I cheer a lot of people up.
People have come to me and said when they came out to town they felt depressed, but they listened to me and felt better.
Keith Cartwright, aged 58, of Shelton: Busking gets more people to the town centre to watch it.
William White, aged 17, of Kidsgrove: I usually pay attention to what buskers are doing and if they're good, I stand and watch.
Wendy Everall, aged 66, of Orme Road in Newcastle, said: I don't mind buskers as long as they can sing.
As long as they do the job, that's fine, but anything more than that is taking it too far.
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