In the Streets of Edinburgh: Nearly midnight in Edinburgh. My flatmate and I are heading home after an evening of exploring the backyards. As we pass the Grassmarket, we can hear from afar the raw sound of music. Magically attracted, we stand in front of a musician with a powerful and hypnotic voice. It goes right through us. The yellow light of the tunnel he is standing in creates a mystic atmosphere. His clothes are those of a veteran performer. His locks are flying in the wind and his hands are swollen and blue from the icy cold. Expressive and clear, he performs the last lines of “Hotel California” from The Eagles. Only when he finishes his song does he register us, looking at us with alert and striking eyes. As if to ask what his new found audience is asking of him.
His name is Martin Kelly from Killimer, County Clare (Ireland) and he has just arrived in town after a five year absence. He has been travelling the
world and living the free life of a busker. So I ask him why he had decided to return to this city after being gone for so long. He says it was because
of its spirit. “Once you could make a good living on the streets of Edinburgh”, he explains, adding regretfully that it seems at the present moment that this is no longer the case. Things have changed over the years. “There seems to be a lot more of a seedy side to the streets nowadays.” I ask him why he has picked this place to perform than on the busy Grassmarket. He answers with a proud smile on his face: “My voice has improved over the years since I left and in turn the power of delivery is not for the faint hearted people who live on the Grassmarket.”….
CTR Travel Writing Team Edinburgh 2011
Sophie Luise Bauer
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