Posted on

The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Phil guitar, Peckham Rye

It’s a cold rainy night in Peckham Rye Lane. The Bussey Building bouncers are wearily attempting reasoned communication with munted people stood in the road. One boy is trying to put his phone in his eye.

Two massive queues of ticket holders one side and walk ups the other. The walk ups queue is not moving. They stand shivering behind the crowd barrier, hands digging deep into their jeans for warmth.

Amidst the chaos, a bluesy strain threads through the faint bass rumble from the club, the rattle of car engines and the clatter of voices. It gets louder and more bluesy still. A fully formed tune meets the ear and I turn to see an electric blue Epiphone attached to man entertaining the walk ups mob. Also attached to the man are a pair of gloves that appear to be on a string through his sleeves.

This is Phil. He plays the blues in the rain on Rye Lane, at 3am. His guitar lead is a bit of 2 core electrical flex, the kind more suited to a desk lamp than a musical instrument. The red light on his amp, clipped to his coat pocket is fading on and off. Possibly rain related.

Phil gets 3 nights out of a 9v battery. Those pound shop ones only last 20 minutes, he says.