How (not) to Make Minimum Wage – A Beginner’s Guide to Busking

Don’t believe anything the title promises. It’s possibly the most click-baity thing I’ve ever written.

I went busking the Saturday just gone. Something I’ve never done before. It was part of a large scale event at Woking park and various musicians were involved to play some music around the outskirts just to make the place seem more lively, or something like that. Regardless, sounded like fun. Get to play some music, might get a little bit of money, and don’t have to worry about whatever legal implications are involved with busking (because I have no idea how any of it works).

Stayed on site for about 3 hours; performed at 3 different locations; in total played about and hour and a half’s worth of music. Made £9.67.

Not quite minimum wage.

I worked it out in fact. The internet (in it’s reliable glory) informs me minimum wage is currently £6.50. That makes one and a half hour’s work £9.75. 8p short… so close.

Songs from the Last Five Years

My first EP arrived yesterday!

Well kind of… I don’t think any word of that previous sentence is accurate, but it has more of an impact compared to specificity. Let me break it down:

“My” – Incorrect as the object in question is in no way wholly mine. And even then it is part of a larger collective number of items all of which belong to Phoenix Chroi as a band.
“First” – This is true in so much as it’s the first record I’ve worked on to be printed and pressed by a proper distribution company. But it’s far from being the first CD I’ve been involved with.
“EP” – I suppose this one is up for debate. When does an EP become an LP? Is it based off of the number of tracks or the total play length? This particular CD has 8 tracks but runs arou- wait… this whole post totally ran away from me almost instantly. Let’s get back to the point.

Phoenix Chroi have their first CD out! It’s called “Songs from the Last Five Years”. I played guitar and keyboards on it and provided a few vocals. I mixed and mastered it. Listen to it here. Purchase it here. The cover photo is also mine.



I’m out.

Soul and the Radio

In my usual capacity for limited foresight I have neglected to mention some freelance work I’m doing tonight!

In Guildford there is a lovely little venue called the Bar des Arts. And at 8pm this evening a lovely gentlemen, who goes by the name BR James, will be performing some lovely piano-y, acoustic-y, soul-y orientated music. Loveliness of which I have been asked to document in photographic form. So if that sounds like something you may enjoy, come take a look. It’s free!

In other news, at 6pm tomorrow Phoenix Chroi will make an appearance on Radio Woking! Though when I say make an appearance what I actually mean is make a staggered entrance, as the various members can’t actually arrive at the station at the appropriate time. Regardless, the situation can be salvaged by the fact that we are there to promote our new EP/album (look out for it over the coming weeks!), and thus random tracks from the release can be played as the members turn up. It’s all a bit of mess but hopefully it won’t be a complete calamity. Tune in!


The Big Gig

Last year the Phoenix Centre held a small festival in Woking Park in collaboration with the Our Big Gig initiative and generally to celebrate local music and artists. To use some terminology that has already been thrown around way too much: This year we’re doing it again! But bigger, and better!

In the spirit thereof I have crafted a short video to help promote the event (featuring aforementioned terminology), which can currently be viewed on the Phoenix Facebook page. What the video, regretably, doesn’t inform you of is also the inclusion of: food and drink stands, as well as local business and art stalls; a songwriting workshop; ‘give it a go’ sessions, covering a host of instruments; and for all the music to be broadcast on Radio Woking.

So if that all sounds like the kind of thing you enjoy, why not come on down to Woking Park on the 19th July? Or better still help fund the project to make sure it all goes as epically and swimmingly as possible!

The Blue Blur

Who likes Sonic the Hedgehog? If you don’t it’ll probably save you a few moments to stop reading here. You can thank me should you have not stopped reading just eleven words ago and reached the end of this sentence.

Hello everyone else! How many of you remember that Sonic project I was potentially becoming a part of? I’m pretty sure that leaves none of you. It all started back in November where I was sent a request to use one of my Sonic cover tracks in a fan made game. Naturally, one thing led to another and I am now helping out as audio engineer and bug tester.

The project is called “The Blue Blur” (fans will get the reference) and is currently still plowing headfirst through the early stages of production, however, some impressive looking/sounding playable demos have made their way into the world (not public yet, unfortunately). If you’re interested in any way, shape or form, go here to keep up to speed with the whole thing. In the meantime listen to this (relevant)!

Please Hold

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I work part-time for the NHS/Virgin Care to help supplement my otherwise modest income from freelancing. Approximately 2 years ago a friend and colleague made an offhand comment regarding the I.T. department requiring hold music for their phone system. “Ah!” I thought, “I know how to music. I’ll come up with something”. And so I did… before promptly forgetting about it.

Two years later a different friend and colleague made an offhand comment regarding the I.T. department requiring hold music for their phone system. “Ah!” I thought, “I’m pretty sure I started doing something for that. I should probably finish it off”. And so I did… genuinely this time. So now our I.T. department has hold music. Go check it out.

Phoenix Album (almost…)

In November Phoenix Chroi went into a studio to record an album. When I say studio what I mean is a rehearsal room with some mics dotted around the place. And when I say album I mean 8 songs. Regardless, it wasn’t bad going for about 5 hours work. Since then I have been working on mixing and mastering the tracks to an acceptable level.

It’s been between 3 – 4 years since the original members of Phoenix Chroi wrote these tracks, and is the first time the songs have been recorded to a sufficient enough level. As such the various members of the band are much relieved that they can finally put these tracks to rest and start working on new material, as well as having something to show to fans and promoters and the like.

Despite this, recording will continue to happen. The mini-album in its current guise is merely a live demo affair, but obviously a fully fledged production is much more preferable. So over the coming months the members of Phoenix will come to my humble home studio and re-record and re-dub with the aim of getting a more professional product.

In the meantime, check out the live demos on my Sight for Sound SoundCloud page! The link for which will also be available on my Sound page.

Finally a big shout out to Keiron Marshall at The Sound Lounge for giving us a place to play and helping us record!