Dear Internet, three months ago I took a bus to Charing Cross station in London, and went into a disused part of the station. I was waved in by a man listening to the radio on his smartphone, who ushered me down a switched-off escalator.
At the bottom, three people sat and gave me forms, asked me questions and had me sit and wait for a few minutes, before being taken through an archway to three other people, who sat behind a table with papers and pens. It was quiet. No busy crowds, or trains rolling by - only the sound of the odd footstep and my guitar tuning up.
They had in front of them a list of 6 songs I could play, and chose two at random. I played one, then half of another, and then smiled, thanked me, and let me go on my way. The rest of the day I sat at my desk at work, fidgeted, and answered the occasional, “How did it go?” from colleagues. I said, “Good, I think. I’m not sure. It was a bit like being on the X-Factor but without the crowds,” I said as if I knew what it was like to be on the X-Factor.
Let’s fast-forward about two-and-a-half months. Last Week, I was in India with some friends. Sitting in a hotel lobby about to go to bed, checking my emails, I had one from the London Underground Busking Scheme which told me that my temporary licence was on the way, and my permanent one would follow when they’d sorted out some admin.
But it wasn’t until this Tuesday that I really felt the excitement as I rushed into the office for the first time since my holiday ended, ripped open a hand-written envelope and pulled out my licence.
I’m very excited - but also nervous - about this awesome opportunity. Every year, the London Underground carries 1,107,000,000 passengers. This is the biggest gig I’ve ever had.
My first slot is tonight (23rd May), at 18:00 at Liverpool Street Station.
I’m going to record as much of it as possible and blog about my experiences too. I really don’t know what to expect at the moment, but hopefully it’ll be a lot of fun, and I’ll learn a lot.
And, as always, I’ll be all over twitter about this: @danplusadd - let me know if you’ve seen me :)
Wish me luck! Dan Plus Add