Boris’s busking contest is Tailormade for Jack

The Tailormade play at Green Park in London for Ride London, in their bid to win Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Gigs competition
The Tailormade play at Green Park in London for Ride London, in their bid to win Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Gigs competition
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A musician is calling on Fylde folk to back his band’s bid to become Boris Johnson’s 
official busker for London.

Jack Frimston was brought up in St Annes, but moved to London last year after graduating in performing arts from the University of Carlisle.

Now, with two university friends, he is bidding for busking glory in the Mayor of London’s Gigs competition.

Jack’s band The Tailormade even performed at the closing party for last weekend’s Ride London cycling event, as well as at a host of top busking pitches around the city.

“We were the second-to-last act on stage in Green Park for Ride London – and actually the last act on stage from Gigs,” said Jack, 22.

“We had previously been recorded for the competition and the organisers seemed to like us and we’ve played all around London now.

“There were a lot of people at Green Park and it was a large stage with big screens so it was a fantastic opportunity.”

The band now has until September 1 to secure public votes – or to impress the judging panel – to win a place in the grand Gigs final at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre on September 7.

Finalists will then perform live for the judges and shoppers at Westfield to win junior, solo and group categories, as well as being crowned Gigs’ champion 2014.

“The orgainsers are hopeful for us,” said Jack. “There aren’t many bands in the competition and we are also quite alternative.

“Usually buskers are solo singer-songwriters – like Ed Sheeran. He started out like this.

“Last summer we travelled round Europe paying our way by busking. Some days were brilliant and we’d make 100 Euros in 90 minutes, other days we’d have to sleep in train stations.

“We play pretty upbeat happy music and people tend to stop, sit and listen to us as we’re pretty different.

“Boris Johnson is really 
behind busking, and this is a fun way to promote it.”

Jack and his bandmates all work in sales to pay their bills, but spend their weekends playing gigs and busking to ‘get their names known’.

2012 Gigs’ winner James Riley went on to release a debut EP with his nine-piece bluegrass and soul band and completed a national tour in 2013. This year, they’ve a festival-packed summer and will play tour dates in the US.

Other acts whose careers have been given a boost by Gigs include Jamie West, Robbie Boyd, Natalie Shay, Sam Barnett and Stella & The Shakes.

The competition is open to young Londoners aged 11 to 25, performing in any musical style from classical to country, beatbox to ballads. Instruments are welcome, but acts must be completely mobile.

Among the prizes up for grabs are a ‘sought-after 
licence to busk on London 
Underground, courtesy of Transport for London’. training at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, recording time in a professional studio, busking equipment, a busking trip to Paris, and a slot at the Matala Beach Festival in Crete, as well as 
opportunities in London.

To support The Tailormade, go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/arts-culture/gigs/search-and-vote