[Guest blog from The Upsiders]
We’re the Upsiders, a 5-piece band based here in Coventry. We all met at Coventry University and have been playing together for just shy of two years. Over this time I feel that we’ve become closer with, and more aware of the city and everything that is going on, not just through the lens of a student but as a part of Coventry’s creative and cultural scene.
This is the second time we have collaborated with Talking Birds and The Cart, this time at Volgograd Place, a wonderful spot that most of us hadn’t spent a lot of time around. Despite the chilly and slightly wet conditions, the combination of playing music – doing what we love, and the warmth of everyone who was involved and who stopped by really lifted everyone’s spirits (not to mention the free tea and moreish cake selection!)
As a band, busking in and around the city centre has been at the core of the way we do things. A lot of our gigs and opportunities have come from the street and we are always grateful to, and staggered by the overwhelming generosity, feedback and support of the public who come and say hello. I feel like people sometimes have mixed feelings about buskers, that there can be a hazy line between busking and begging which can give people the wrong idea. We try to think of it as a simple act of sharing the music we make, for people to enjoy it – to remind of ‘that song’ they haven’t heard in a while, to put a bit of rhythm in the morning commute to work or just to momentarily escape from the endless British winter!
So busking at Volgograd Place, in a way, was just another day at the office for The Upsiders, but we were very glad to spend it there helping to spread the knowledge of the culture that’s going on here in Coventry. The day ultimately proved to us, and hopefully to people who witnessed it, that there are a lot more exciting things going on in Coventry than meets the eye, and that the potential for the city as a cultural and creative hotspot is most certainly there.