Geordie Little is a “percussive acoustic lap and finger style guitarist”. If you’re not sure what that is, check out the video we took of him above, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, Geordie is now living in Berlin, building a reputation for his unique approach to composition and new-age percussive guitar.
Geordie’s layered soundscapes are hypnotic, calming or exciting, depending on their mood. We’re lucky enough to have him on this first album.
Nick: you’ve been busking for how long? And do you have any particular stories you fondly remember from the pitch?
Geordie: I actually went busking once in about 2006. I was playing without an amp, and played through my very poor classical repertoire. I started with about 70 cents in my case and played for an hour before someone came up to me, saw my 70 cents, and said "you put that in there didn't you?". Then he gave me about 20 cents, and I packed up and went home. I thought busking was shit. But in 2011 I started busking again in Adelaide before heading over to Berlin and that's when I started developing my current, then new, style.
Nick: Why did you start busking, and why “barefoot busker”? Is it a gimmick, or do you perform better with your feet in the fresh air?
Geordie: I started Busking in Adelaide simply because I wondered if people actually made any money from it. I didn't at first, but I enjoyed it and I thought I could if I changed a few things. So I started creating my own style for the street and it slowly became my only source of income. The barefoot busker thing came about because I left Adelaide to play in Berlin for a few months and when I came back and started playing in the sun again, I took my shoes off and someone saw me and yelled out "the barefoot busker's back!". From then on it kind of stuck. I'm glad it did though, as I really prefer to play barefoot.
Nick: Tell me a little about your work with Berlin Street Music. We wrote them a Letter of Support back in July 2015. Did it help?
Geordie: Berlin Street Music is a group I set up with a few friends a few years ago. It was obvious we were going to need to be organised in Berlin for when they started trying to shut down busking in the city so we thought we'd jump the gun and do it early. We now have a large online and offline support base and have worked with a number of venues and festivals to get buskers paid gigs and have really built relationships with a number of large social organisations here. People seem to know who we are. Which is now helping us to fight the progressively more restrictive laws that are coming into place.
Nick: We have your songs, Waiting for a Crowd on our first album. Is it a good crowd builder?
Geordie: I'm not sure if it's a good crowd builder, but it's a good one to keep a crowd. The story behind it (writing it at a gig that nobody turned up to) is always good for a laugh which is good for festival crowds when there's lots of competition!
Nick: Could you tell me a little about the inspiration for Watercolours?
Geordie: Watercolours I wrote on a jetty in Neubrandenburg north of Berlin as the colours of the trees were changing. It was one of those tunes that just sort of happened and was all finished within an hour of sitting there playing. It's still one of my favourite pieces to play.