Imagine a sunny day in central Middlesbrough.
The people are rushing from one shop to another while trying to find the best deals on various items but they walk at an almost robotic pace with a facial expression to match.
However one thing that is helping to inject some colour back into the streets is busking.
Shaun Richardson, 19 and Phil Green, 22 are a busking duo who occasionally perform in Middlesbrough.
They have been performing together for two years now. They met when Shaun’s college band needed a new guitarist.
When Phil joined the band, he and Shaun quickly became good friends.
“I’ve had an interest in music for as long as I can remember, I started out playing the keyboard and learnt new instruments later on,” said Phil.
About six months after they met began to hang out together more frequently.
When asked about how they started their duo act, Shaun said: “We were just having a drink and then we started jamming. We weren’t too bad.”
As they became better and better, they eventually decided to take their act to the public when Shaun went out busking one day and asked Phil if he wanted to come along. Phil accepted and the pair soon became regular buskers.
The duo perform mash-ups of chart songs on their guitars along with their vocals.
When asked about how they managed to make these musical combinations, Phil responded: “When we listen to music we sometimes notice that two songs sound almost the same.” Shaund added: “Phil will play some chords and if we like it we try and make a full mash up piece.”
Busking has its negative side however which has made some reluctant to give the pair any money.
“We have seen some people come out and busk until they raise enough money for a bottle of gin and then go home.I guess that’s why the public sometimes has a negative view on us but we have to define the line between begging and busking,” said Shaun.
The duo have begun to slow down their busking activities with Shaun juggling his job and a heavily pregnant girlfriend and Phil hoping to start a course in audio production at the University of Liverpool. Later on in life, Phil wants to start his own professional audio production studio.
“We still come out every now and then” said Shaun, “If my gas meter has run out and I’m not being paid for another few days, a busking session with Phil is needed but winters can be very harsh for a busker, especially if you are not making much money.”
A shopper who had been watching them said: “They could go far, I mean look at Oasis, they started in their garage.”
As she left, the shopper remarked: “The UK needs more people like them. They really brighten the place up.”