Each week I write about bands, singers and artists that I like. This week, is one few people will have heard of. He is a local busker in the Norwich area and I really enjoy his music. You can find my musings on other musicians here.
Miserable Man is a one man band busker. Originally from Italy, he decided to relocate to Norwich, England after he found himself out of work, homeless and with little to his name. His plan was play reggae music to anyone willing to listen. Norwich is well-known for its busking community and artistic locals so was thus a great place to play his music.
I first heard him whilst in a friends car, they had bought his CD and I sat happily listening to it. She told me that he is a busker in the city, often found around the entrance to the shopping mall and lo and behold, I have seen him there, plus elsewhere, quite often and is always a pleasure to listen to.
Music and Covers
His music is very much upbeat, a stark contrast to his stage name. He plays covers of popular music and singles with a reggae and/or ska twist, two of my favourite genres. You wouldn’t think that some songs would suit such a theme but actually, he weaves his magic well and makes the beat fit the meaning and structure of the songs well. One such piece is Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”. A song with such meaning and story, so well-known and much-loved, would usually be a dangerous song to change and play around wit, but his version is so catchy and he made it his own, that you can’t help but like it. Sometimes, you need to take risks with music to buck trends and show your character through it. This version, in my opinion, pays off well. This may be because reggae music is all about having fun, looking at the good things in life and enjoying yourself, and the song contains this idea in its lyrics.
Another cover version of his that I enjoy is “I’m On Fire”, a Bruce Springsteen song. Most people know The Boss, he has been playing for decades, is at the top of his game even now and his music is much-loved and well-known. This song is all about desire for a woman, wanting and needing her despite her being taken. A love song of sorts. Springsteen sings this is a soft, slow husky manner. It enhances the feelings and storyline. Miserable Man applies a reggae beat. This changes the story into one that is more quirky, he wants her but is more playful with it. It’s flirty. But don’t take my word for it, listen yourself!
You will always wander past buskers and bands in the street. Sometimes, you find a little hidden treasure that you will really enjoy. Be sure to stop and take time to listen to them play if you can. Make a note of their name and look them up, most people are now on Facebook or Twitter so you can keep up with what they are doing, where they are playing. They may not be playing the O2 Arena, but that doesn’t mean their music wont reach you.
*NOTE: Since writing this, the music in MM iCloud account has changed but I’ve added another one as an example