Leeds nostalgia: buskers back in the day (1985 to be precise)

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Here’s a blast from the past - whether you could call it a forerunner of the X-Factor, though, is debatable.

Our archive pictures shows Leeds city centre on December 14, 1985.

The accompanying article read: “Festive generosity is guaranteed to bring centre buskers out in force to fill the bustling streets with music ranging from rock to the classics.

“At this time of year, capable street artists can earn around £5 an hour as testimony to the public’s appreciation of the warm atmosphere they create.

“Pedestrian precincts are favourite pitches - especially where there are covered walkways to keep out the weather and amplify acoustic sounds.

“Not that the lone musician with acoustic guitar and vocal chords is any longer the norm.

“Instruments often heard on the streets of Leeds include electric guitars, saxophones, clarinets and even electroinic keyboards.

“Amplifiers and taped accompaniment powered by heavy-duty batteries are now a regular feature. Duos and trios are also common.

“Andrew Wilson, 16, of Moor Grange, Leeds (keyboards) and David Smith, 16, of Adel, Leeds (sax), were striking up with a selection of Christmas carols in Commercial Street, Leeds on Satruday.”

Andrew, a regular Leeds busker, said: “We both play in the Leeds Youth Concert Band, but our practice session at the College of Music was called off because of the water crisis - so we decided to come down here.”

Richard Muttonchops, 43, of Oakwood, Leeds, who combines his weekend playing with youth work and running his own business, was raising money for the BBC Children in Need appeal with the aid of his faithful banjo.

He said: “I usually busk with the banjo - I took a sax out in Keighley a week ago and played some carols - but I think that was more for my personal pleasure than that of the passers-by.”

If you have a picture you would like us to feature in the Yorkshire Evening Post, email neil.hudson@jpress.co.uk or get in touch with us at the postal address printed on this page - we will endeavour to return all pictures.