Former Suffolk pupil is official busker

A FORMER Leiston High School pupil has become one of the first officially approved buskers to work in the London Underground.As the Tube began a licensing system for the musicians yesterday , music student Aaron Short became one of the first to take advantage of the new scheme with two hours of busking at Oxford Circus.

A FORMER Leiston High School pupil has become one of the first officially approved buskers to work in the London Underground.

As the Tube began a licensing system for the musicians yesterday , music student Aaron Short became one of the first to take advantage of the new scheme with two hours of busking at Oxford Circus.

Aaron, 22, is currently in his second year at Thomas Valley University in London where he is studying towards a BA in music performance.

He had to audition for the licence and was assessed on a range of criteria from presentation to musical ability and repertoire scoring 42 out of a possible 60.


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He hopes to busk two or three times a week every fortnight, and will continue his gigs in London and his home county of Suffolk. As well as performing solo, he is also in a duo, Itchy and Scratchy, and a band called The Blue Jacks.

Although he has busked in Ipswich, Southwold and Halesworth, it was the first time he had performed for busy commuters on the London Underground.

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"I think partly I was too worried about the legal stuff," he said.

When he arrived at his pitch he found another unofficial busker there, but he proved friendly and co-operative when he approached him, he said.

"It was great really," he said. "I was a bit apprehensive. I didn't know what to expect."

Reaction to his songs was mixed. While his rendition of 'Why Does It Always Rain on Me' by Travis failed to get the coins clinking, one of his own songs went down a treat, he said.

"It's hard to tell whether it's the song or the people walking past," he said. "I got some nice comments from people and I'm looking forward to doing it again."

The young singer/songwriter, who hopes to become a professional performer, said he enjoyed the experience.

"I think busking is quite good for people really," he said. "I think it's good for your performance. It brings you out of yourself as a performer."

Aaron will be performing at the Framlingham Gala at 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday .

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