VIDEO: Buskers a smash hit in Sheffield ‘music trail’

Buskers brought smiles to the faces of Sheffield shoppers in the city’s first free ‘music trail’.

Up-and-coming artists took to the streets to play alongside more established acts - including popular home-grown indie band The Crookes - for the City Centre Sessions event.

The Crookes in Orchard Square'City Centre Sessions

The Crookes in Orchard Square'City Centre Sessions

Crowds packed into all kinds of unusual venues, from independent shops to coffee houses, to enjoy a tune.

First to play was singer-songwriter Dan Smart, who strummed his own songs and cover versions at the popular Saturday market on Devonshire Green.

The 17-year-old, from Hoyland in Barnsley, said: “Busking is a great way of performing because you get lots of people walking past in their daily lives who might never have heard you otherwise.

“Sheffield has a great musical heritage so this is just another way of taking it to people.”

For Sheffield band The Crookes, playing an acoustic set in Orchard Square was a change from their usual gigs.

They performed stripped-back versions of their hits, such as Backstreet Lovers and Magicians, and burst into laughter when a fan threw them a coin.

Guitarist Daniel Hopewell said afterwards: “We did busking once but I think we made about 24p so we never did it again!

“But this sounded like a lot of fun. We always like to do things in Sheffield because there is a really good spirit.

“Often when we play now there are barriers and it is a bit frustrating, so it’s nice to do it right in front of people, and hear them singing along.”

The line-up on Saturday also included singer Nat Johnson in the John Lewis cafe, Dan Whitehouse at Costa Coffee on Division Street, and ‘acoustic collective’ the Early Cartographers rocking the Birds Yard shop on Chapel Walk.

Mum Rachel Kelly, of Walkley, and her 14-year-old stepson Daniel, were among the fans who travelled in to the city centre to catch the action.

Rachel said: “There is lots of musical talent in the city and it is great to showcase it.

“A lot of bands play in pubs which younger people can’t always go to, so it make music more accessible too.”

Student Ben Pierce, of Beauchief, added: “It would be great if it was more of a regular thing. I’m here to see The Crookes and Nat Johnson but I would come in to see more music in the city centre.”

City Centre Sessions, organised by the team behind the Tramlines festival, is part of Sheffield Council’s Summer Saturdays campaign - a bid to get more people in to the city and boost trade.

Sam Sheldon, manager at Evolution store in Orchard Square, said: “I think it’s cool - and it is nice to have a lot of people in Orchard Square to see the bands.

“We’ve just had Tramlines which is massive, but little things like this are great too.”