"Are You Known to Us?"
Busking with a friend earlier, we two hapless musicians were surprised to have a police van pull up outside a pub. Yes, that's right a whole police van for two talentless buskers! The friend concerned was told people had made complaints about the noise and begging. The friend told them that he was busking, which is different because it is entertaining (albeit a sense of humour is vital!) Friend concerned is a keen drummer and had been using a cardboard box, rather industriously as a drum as we played a couple of tunes. We met this evening by chance, nothing arranged.
The police took his details and my details. If the friend concerned is found to be begging by the police then it is breaking his 'asbo' so that could end him up in jail. They seemed happy enough that busking is different but warned him time and time again that if he breaks his 'asbo' he'll end up in jail. Turning to me, I was asked, "Are you known to us?" I said, "I don't think so." So they ended up taking my details and stuff, just for the 'record'.
It's very difficult with the police and the rather odd security services SASSCO, employed by the Council, whether people have complained genuinely or they have spotted us on CCTV or something or were passing by and just decided to put an end to it. Ultimately, I always think they are killjoys, because we seem to do okay out of it and nobody complains to us or tells us to shut up. We're not really that loud and are not aggressive.
It was prior to 8pm, the bye-law time until when you can busk in the evening, but we were told that under the bye-law no drumming (even on a cardboard box) is allowed at any time of the day. Funny, I never see the drummers in Churchill Square on trash cans or people on bongos getting told off...anyway, watch this space. I wanted to shout to them as they drove away, "You'll never take my DNA alive! Never!" But obviously I don't have the courage.