"Flash mob" of musicians on stations

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geoffk

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Some readers may have seen the flash mob performing Ravel's Bolero at Copenhagen station some time ago. The side-drummer just "appeared" and started playing, joined by the flute and others.

I wondered if they had permission from DSB, or did they just turn up? I'm trying to imagine the bureaucracy, form filling and hoops to be jumped through before being allowed to do this at, say, Kings Cross or Waterloo.

On the other hand, there are some pianos at UK stations now (and there is another thread on this subject). Manchester Vic has one, St. Pancras and Sheffield also, I think, and we are invited to play. Presumably the station owner has a PRS (Performing Rights Society) licence.
 
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Bertie the bus

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It is highly unlikely a flash mob will have sought official permission otherwise it wouldn't be a flash mob.

However, music on railway stations and trains isn't unusual in the slightest. Many large UK stations have carol singers in the run up to Christmas, I've also experienced them on a train. Good Friday's Stockport - Stalybridge service has musicians on and there are folk and jazz trains in some parts of the country. I've even had the 'pleasure' of seeing Timmy Mallett performing Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini at Preston station.
 

LowLevel

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Some readers may have seen the flash mob performing Ravel's Bolero at Copenhagen station some time ago. The side-drummer just "appeared" and started playing, joined by the flute and others.

I wondered if they had permission from DSB, or did they just turn up? I'm trying to imagine the bureaucracy, form filling and hoops to be jumped through before being allowed to do this at, say, Kings Cross or Waterloo.

On the other hand, there are some pianos at UK stations now (and there is another thread on this subject). Manchester Vic has one, St. Pancras and Sheffield also, I think, and we are invited to play. Presumably the station owner has a PRS (Performing Rights Society) licence.


Liverpool Street and St Pancras have certainly hosted flash mobs (see YouTube) and for example if you go on various line community rail partnerships lines such as those from Middlesbrough to Whitby and Nottingham to Skegness you can ride on a music train which basically features a bar and a live band on the service train.
 

Flying Snail

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In the late 90's a band (whose name eludes me at the moment) filmed a music video at Liverpool Street station where they chucked a large pile of cash off the balcony and filmed the results. Definitely no permission for that stunt.
 

Tracked

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I was on the slow train from Manchester Pic - Sheffield last November when the Stockport Ukulele Group got on and played a few songs, they got off at New Mills though:D
 

gimmea50anyday

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TPE have their own in-house choir, and northern often run music trains on the penistone, whitby, settle and hexham routes

TPE also have their own in-house DJ although he hasnt picked up any corporate work yet he's done some weddings and birthdays tho....
 

breadfan

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There have been a few on Preston on the slope from the ticket office to platforms 3 and 4.

Some people love them, I am not one of them.
 

Busaholic

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Working for London Underground in the early 1970s, busking was strictly illegal and, in theory, was always stopped as soon as it occurred, with prosecution for repeat offenders. In practice, as it was considered a District Inspector matter, some DIs ignored them altogether and others would have a quiet word if they kept coming across them in the same place - the tone deaf and loudest ones would be given the message soonest! My personal view on it was as long as they weren't begging or obstructing a passageway and, so long as no passenger complained (and they rarely did) then que sera sera. Later, after I'd moved on, the rules were relaxed somewhat, which struck me as commonsense. Incidentally, bagsnatching and mugging rarely occurred where a busker was playing.

Now, here in the 21st Century, people are being executed by the Taliban and such groups for playing music, which should be remembered when crackdowns are being proposed.
 

Bertie the bus

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Now, here in the 21st Century, people are being executed by the Taliban and such groups for playing music, which should be remembered when crackdowns are being proposed.

That’s a bit of an extreme view – if you don’t like buskers you’re as bad as the Taliban.

I thought LU/TfL had formalised busking where they apply for permits and there is even some test of whether they have any talent or not.
 

D1009

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I thought LU/TfL had formalised busking where they apply for permits and there is even some test of whether they have any talent or not.
At some LU stations classical music is played over the PA system, this must be something of a deterrent to buskers.
 

azz7008

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Not strictly related but when I was in Rome a few weeks ago we had an electric violinist on the metro, who even had the cheek to go around the carriage asking for money once he had finished! :D
 

Phil.

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That’s a bit of an extreme view – if you don’t like buskers you’re as bad as the Taliban.

I thought LU/TfL had formalised busking where they apply for permits and there is even some test of whether they have any talent or not.

That is correct.
 

Flying Snail

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Thanks, was bugging me all day trying to remember that without googling it. I even have the album that song is off somewhere in the house.

At some LU stations classical music is played over the PA system, this must be something of a deterrent to buskers.

One of my former bus driving colleagues used to respond to idiots playing music from their mobiles by putting a classical music CD on the coach stereo system, apparently it was very good at shutting them up.
 

mark-h

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At some LU stations classical music is played over the PA system, this must be something of a deterrent to buskers.

It is also thought to deter youths from loitering/hanging out. Unlike a mosquito device, high pitched noise that only young people can hear, playing music is legal (provided it is not a nuisance to neighbours and royalties are paid).
 

Jimini

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It is also thought to deter youths from loitering/hanging out. Unlike a mosquito device, high pitched noise that only young people can hear, playing music is legal (provided it is not a nuisance to neighbours and royalties are paid).


Yep, I think that was originally trialed at West Croydon bus station about 14 years ago, and then gradually got rolled out to various points across the rail / tube / bus network.
 

geoffk

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As a classical musician myself, I imagine that the great composers of the past would have taken a dim view of the use of their music to deter youths/troublemakers etc.
 

Southwest

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I've heard some pretty amazing piano renditions at St Pancras over the years. I always find piano music relaxing and spend as much time as I can listening to the wonderful young people who seem to turn up and play whilst waiting for a train from Kings X.
 

Steveman

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A bit of random enjoyment, particularly a good one. But music is a very divisive subject.

It seems the ones having the most "enjoyment" are the participants who think they're cool and trendy but actually aren't either.
 

D1009

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It seems the ones having the most "enjoyment" are the participants who think they're cool and trendy but actually aren't either.
Well if they didn't enjoy it, they wouldn't have a reason to do it, so presumably that means the only thing you are saying is wrong here is thinking they're cool and trendy when in your opinion they aren't. I find live music played properly an uplifting experience wherever it is played. I know it can cause passenger congestion and minor inconvenience, but in my opinion it's a price worth paying. I'm not into dancing though!
 

Llanigraham

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What would you say a flash mob brings to our culture.

Music, of course!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It seems the ones having the most "enjoyment" are the participants who think they're cool and trendy but actually aren't either.

In that case, why do there always appear to be people in the videos of "flashmobs" looking happy and clapping the participants when they finish?
See this one:
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-09-25/...anthem-ahead-of-crunch-rugby-world-cup-clash/
 
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