The Knowhere Guide

Buskers, Street Entertainers in Reading, Berkshire*

Places to find public entertainment

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Buskers, Street Entertainers
  • fat lady with loads of moles always sitting outside the coffee shop along smelly ally
  • the 40 year old 'gangster' that bops around town centre wearing baggy jeans and an unzipped hoody with his tattooed chest showing. He wears giant 50-cent style gold chains & hundreds of rings
  • the rastafarian tramp/crazy man who sometimes rides around in a wheelchair
  • i cant beleive no has mentioned the gay weirdo that runs around the park corages in coley naked at like 3 in the morning for no reason at all wat a nob
  • The guy with the cat. There is a beggar who has a cat. The cat rides a bicycle. No kidding. Big marmalade and white cat.
  • Wavey Hand Man... walks around smiling and waving at everyone...
  • ny 1 from my hood
  • Haven't read other comments so I don't know if this guy has already been mentioned, but there's usually someone down a side street between Heelas (called John Lewis now?) with a guitar covered in stickers. He's very good. Might not be there now, I haven't seen him recently, last I heard he got moved on by the cops because he didn't have a licence.
  • You failed to mention in your list of local celebs world renowned,local transexual club dj "Mandy the Witch".Anyone who used to frequent the Matrix,or goes to Plug n Play will know her for sure!
  • ELVIS! Don't even know if he's still alive, it's been so long since I lived there.
  • Look out for Elvis down broad st.
  • That Elvis guy. Nutcase!
  • Elvis is there
  • This is where Reading comes into its own. Lenny the Tramp was a true legend whose story is too detailed and upsetting to go into here. Elvis is lovely, a guy who spends his days looking for Elvis records and chatting to Evening Post sellers - if you ever busk in Reading, play him an Elvis song and it'll bring him the greatest joy. Don't take the piss, mind. Oh, Crazy Jason probably counts as a local character. You know when you're a kid and you look up to the older guy who hangs around with you, then you realise later on that there wasn't anything to look up to after all? And the reason he hung out with you is cos he couldn't get any friends his own age? Sound familiar...?
  • the fella who plays the tin whistle (hearing him play totally makes everything happy); Cider Bob
  • the fella who plays the tin whistle (hearing him play totally makes everything happy); Cider Bob
  • loads that are friendly, flex for a starter, used to be a mc at the central nice guy
  • NUTTY JASON ROCKS!!! (does anyone know if he really won the lottery?)
  • the horrible man who asks you for vodka all the time and won't let you go until you give him 1.50
  • One character that everybody must know is someone widely known as carlos crackhead. He stands outside Reading train station asking for 50p to get to slough. Haven't seen him in a long while though, he wears a black bomber jacket that smells like musty cabbage. Konrad "acid" stempkopski has had plenty of arguements wih lampposts in his time, but not many with anyone who can fight back
  • u always see the same buskers and tramps in reading town centre. im smelly alley, near the train station, on the corner by virgin. all of them i reckon are millionaires!
  • The man that pretends to be Michael Jackson each couple of years to be sent to the olimpics
  • The Elvis man! Walks around town always with a quiff and en Elvis T-shirt on!
  • the native american indian on his pipes is the best.... great on a sunny sat in Reading.
  • Jason has gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • has anyone seen elvis recently because he was always a source of entertainment, just tell him elvis is dead and youll get my point! if anyone knows wat happened to him me and all my mates would like to know! plus i just wanna say nutty jason u rock in a wierd kinda way, u too twig
  • Scrappin the barrel arnt u!
  • We do have at least one claim to fame. Despite our extremely low unemployment figures we have some of the best tramps I've seen. There's Running Tramp. You may have seen him, he runs everywhere. I see him a lot around the town centre but i've never seen him sitting down. There's Old Shaky too. He has a big gingerish beard. He's rather fat and always off his head. He will go up to you and shout stuff. Harmless though. (I think) Oh, theres this Irish guy too. He's very old and manky looking and he rants about how he's dying. He shouts "god bless you" "kanichiwa" and "syanara" very loud. I'm not convinced this guy is harmless. Seemed a bit violent. There are more too, have a look around.
  • lol just walk down reading high street youll find millllllllions! and theres the crazy tramp who used to buy us cider in our youth... dfuno where hes gone tho!
  • nutty jason is some one who every one in reading knows and i am god mother to his 8 yr old lil girl elisha
  • Nutty Jason, he's the best!!!! and Meanie.
  • LETHARGY TRAMP! He sleeps He wakes! He's still tired!...HE RULES!!! Hooray for Lethargy! Long live lethargy! All hail LETHARGY TRAMP for he is the one true king!
  • Elvis he goes up and down near rivermead lesuire complex.Fag ash lil,Freaky Frieda,The brownheads,The barefoots,Jason lee,LAYLA AND JUSTINE (THE YARDIES FROM WHITLEY).
  • Malcolm Pierce, Fundamentalist Christian nutter who hangs about in Broad Street with large wooden cross trying to get people to "come to the Lord" and who only drives people away in droves. Also accosts the local Goths in the Forbury Gardens who must all be Witches and Satanists, because they dress in black. He's best avoided if possible.
  • there's a lovely chinese man who makes metalwork things with names on. he can do any name and pattern. is usually outside john lewis on weekdays, his crafts are really cheap too also sometimes there's a cool hungarian (i think?) man who plays the hurdy gurdy try and dodge the american religious freaks with the badges though...
  • nutty jay from forbs. but he's band but can usually be found near enuf.
  • Hi, I am Denny the Pug! I lives in Lower Earley and have my own website! check it out.
  • ELVIS MAN!!! always unshaved a bit smelly walkin down thw street in an elvis t-shirt, if there is buskers he will dance to them..or nutty jason, known poadephile schizophrenic, very scary wears a suit and fights with himself
  • Nutty jason has to be one of the best known 'characters'mainly for his wrestling matches with invisible opponents (longest so far has been 2 hrs long) and for chasing the trendies outta the forbury
  • The woman outside the back entrance of the oracle who has legs some days and doesnt others
  • Elvis, Steve Norriss
  • the one man band. the switzerland dude. the sandwich board dude. and the large dustbin man.
  • Nutty Jason - a gr8 guy who may seem scary to some. You'll spot him at the Forbury or behind the library.
  • Reading has a wide selection of quality Tramps inc. The Running Tamp, The Shouting Tramp, The Fat Bearded Drunk Tramp that sits by Cash Converters and that weird kid who must be about forty noe who 'literally' hangs around the Forbury talking to himself.
  • sumtimes... if u dont give homeless ppl money they yell at u which is cute
  • the one man band!! he is fantastic. the bagpipe man. the switzerland guy who wears lederhosen, which is actually more commonly associated with austria/germany.
  • Get rid of all the annoying scroungers in this town, the buskers, the "entertainers" and the filthy beggers.
  • what about elvis, and the white whitch!
  • I can't beleive that the mad Hobo who shouts random abuse has not even been mentioned yet..... Blurgh barr grrr rrrr shhhhhhhhhhbbberr. The man who sits in Market place waving his Lucozade or Cider bottle whilst slurring at Random strangers. And I thought that he was definately an Artist...Well Piss Artist
  • JUNGLE ge
  • Sleeping man with two dogs on string leads, Not much of an entertainer but at least he isn't in yer face like some of the others, Can ussually be found opposite Yates in Friar Street.
  • Buskers they always has some poor bloke outside Heelas (I WILL NEVER CALL IT JOHN LEWIS) playing a guitar with a dog that looks half dead and the dog shows no sign of life.
  • The guy outside Heelas who plays 60's ballads. Top summer entertainment.
  • in he main street theres allsorts..yesterday it was a guy juggling fire..
  • Giv money to the buskers they deserve it, not the bums who beg... i see them buying crack and drinking in pubs.
  • Lenny the tramp was fantastic, he lived under the bridge near Rivermead for years - sadly someone set fire to his self build house... there's Elvis too. He won the lottery rumour has it and he gave it all to the salvation army. Also breaks into elvis like moves and turns at random moments down Broad st. Sometimes accompanied by a Uh huh Auh.
  • Robot Man. Every few weeks, you get a man dressed in spray-painted cardboard boxes dancing in the middle of Broad Street. There's also a guy convinced he's Elvis, and some annoying buskers who play Simon & Garfunkle. Plus fundy Christians trying to recruit people to become Scientologists.
  • Reading has a huge selection of mentally ill people who (are paid?) to roam the streets in obvious need of assistance and supervision. This form of street performance is going to really take off when fairmile is closed and the new hospital is built in prospect park.
  • The 'Pattergoniuns', if thats how u spell it, they always seem 2 be here! Also the Chinaman & his twangy foot guitar thingy!
  • Dr Didg. Try his tapes, he's excellent.
  • Not as many as there once was. Unless you count the people who sell Socialist Worker on a Saturday (who hope to god thattrue socialist action never happens because they'd have to find something else to do at weekends)
  • Dunno if he's still around but 'Elvis' was always a bit of a character. If you've ever seen him you'll know who I mean.
  • THe council actively encourages busking on the pedestrianised Broad St. THe standard varies from excellent to embarrassing. There is an excellent Folk-rock band who seem to play quite regularly and the Peruvian Pan Pipers have been busking in Reading for about 20 years. However there is usually a kilted pillock drowing out everyone with his bagpipes.
  • I can't believe no-one's mentioned the bagpipe player yet ! He's normally on the corner of Smelly Alley deafening the hell out of everyone. He's very good, but doesn't play for more than 20 minutes at a time, thank God. Practices on the roof of the Ramada hotel !
  • Everywhere you look!!!
  • there were your normal middle class pretenders doing oasis covers on inferior acoustic guitars, nothing to write home about really.
  • Broad Street on a Saturday is excellent for street entertainers... and quite a few beggars too unfortunately.
  • A little harsh but there's a care-in-the-community type who wanders the highstreet and answers to the name of Elvis. Give him a lollipop ask him if he is "lonesome tonight" and get the best rendition this side of Las Vagas. This could sound cruel but he generally seems to enjoy himself. Wears jeans and elvis t-shirt and Jeremy Clarkson hair. A must
  • Brilliant violinist, young lady, often outside Hellas, Broad street. Elvis... well known in Reading, ask him to give a song and he will be more than willing. He lives...?
  • HAs anyone seen the Digeridoo Man lately?
  • The Huckleberries come to Reading lots- they're a folky string band and they're great!
  • There is no end of music going on Broad Street, in there today and I walked past DR. Didj, the didgeridoo player and violinis who was actually quite good a trumpet player who wasn't and a blind man with a white stick whistling the neighbours theme outside boots. But on a saturday the entertainment can range from a huge band of drummers doing your head in, the salvation army or some woman walking around quoting the bible. Or for alternative therapy theres always a great laugh instore for all those who venture into the broad street mall. Lokk out for a guy nickname "Mr T" at the bottom of the escalators. You'll know why he's called Mr T when you see him, try gold jacket about 50 gold medallions and chains and a fistful off rings. But don't be fooled it's all fake. He thinks he's bad but he ain't I mean come on, two strip adidas trouser just aren't dapper style now are they?
  • On Saturdays, Broad street is starting to become quite lively. Two noteworthy fast food stands sell hot dogs and sugar-coated peanuts. In the winter, there's also one selling roast chestnuts. Every other week there are (alternating) mini merry-go-rounds and mini-big-wheels for the kids. These are either outside Waterstones bookshop, or the Broad Street Mall.
  • Peruvian PanPipe players every four weeks. Blind Whistler - stands outside WHS and whistles tunes - very good. Didgeridoo - sits in the centre of Broad Street with a didgeridoo and flanger making outback-y music.
  • One known professional beggar - sits outside the Royal Bank of Scotland on Station Road. Don't give him anything - he drives a red BMW on his "off days" and has three properties. Usually starts at 7am and knocks off at 9pm with a break for lunch around 1pm. Has a Psion organiser and wears designer trainers.

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Last updated: 2012-11-25

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