[Busker Joe Bucket plays… the buckets.]
Sure, London’s buskers can vary in quality, but collectively they’re a much-loved addition to our city’s audioscape. (Except maybe the bagpipers.)
The short film ‘Buskberry Grove’, directed by Chuck Iroegbu, captures performances from four of London’s more impressive street musicians. Watch below for the (arguably rather boybandish) singer-guitarist quartet Ogre Melodies, the mellow vibes of hang player Loris Baccala, lap guitarist Mex FS and and the frenetic rhythms of Joe Bucket. (No relation to Charlie. Or Hyacinth.)
What gave you the idea to create the film?
Chuck: ‘I have lived in London for such a long time, and after all these years I still find it an awesome city to be in! I still come across new and exciting things on my daily travels. London is unique for its history, style, culture and its position in the UK and the world. I have never ceased to be overwhelmed by the wealth of raw talent you find on the streets of London – believe me! I have always been passionate about music having worked in the profession as both a producer and artist for quite some time, and love all forms of street art – most especially, street musicians. London has a wealth of them. It is incredible out here.
‘I always come across at least one super talented musician or singer on my travels through the city. I would often ask myself, “what I could do to make sure their art does not go unnoticed?” I wanted to make sure that people from the four corners of the city and the world at large had a chance to enjoy the beautiful precious live music that I have been privileged to experience.’
How did it come about?
‘I recorded a smashing musician called Loris Baccala (above, featured in “Buskberry Grove”) playing an instrument I had never seen before called the “hang.” I was truly fascinated – astonished to say the least. “Buskberry Grove” was conceived at that point. The world needed to see and hear it. I wanted people to feel their passion and hear their stories. I felt it was a good idea to speak to the musicians and get to know them. This helped immensely when it came to putting the film together. I guess the world is getting to know them all now too. The musicians in “Buskberry Grove” are such great individuals and they made the process of putting it together such a pleasurable experience. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Ogre Melodies, Loris Baccala, Mex FS and Joe Bucket from the bottom of my heart. They taught me a lot with regards to busker protocol and etiquette. I was unaware that there was a code of conduct amongst buskers. They have a lot of respect for each other’s craft and they extend care and support to each other when they can.’
How long did it take to put the film together?
‘I started shooting “Buskberry Grove” in late October 2014. I remember the cold sweeping in slowly but that didn’t matter because I had found a project that I was truly enthusiastic and excited about. It was great fun and took me about six weeks of constant filming and editing to put together.’
How did you find the featured artists – did you just have to keep your ears open?
‘Well, I think I was just fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I would literally just be out and about or on my way to a meeting or a video shoot and bump into a musician at some point on my journey. It was organic to be honest. It almost seemed like they knew I was looking for them because they were all in stunning form when we met. It was meant to be. Having said that, I’m always open to hearing from others so if anyone has come across any great buskers that you think should be featured on “Buskberry Grove” then definitely get in touch with us on Twitter (@BuskberryG) and we’ll go check them out.’
You’re still putting videos on YouTube of other buskers – is this busking scene something you’ll continue to cover in the future in future?
‘The process of making “Buskberry Grove” was incredibly pleasurable and I can safely say that I am now even more addicted to street music and musicians. Since I made the film, I have been discovering and recording new talent and showcasing these artists on the Buskberry Grove YouTube channel and website buskberrygrove.com. I am currently putting together a new film which will be a sequel to the first. In addition to making the film, I am in talks with the artists to put together the ultimate street music CD. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity, and hopefully a portion can go towards a fund to help street musicians. We are also planning a “Buskberry Grove” tour around other parts of the country if we can get the right sponsors and backers. So, watch this space… there’s definitely lots more to come!’