Leeds’ Street Entertainers

David Apfel

David Apfel
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: OM Zuiko 50mm at f1.8.

This fine gent was busking, singing opera in the street. I loved the matching hat and scarf combo so snapped a shot. After I did, he belted out over his microphone “here is my card, can you send me the photos please?”

David’s card had his website on it so I checked it out. It turns out he’s kind of a big deal in Jewish entertainment circles, as well as being a chief cantor and “a master of hilarious kosher komedie”. If you ask me, that’s pretty cool.

Just goes to show, you don’t know what stories people might have to tell. I’ve always had this idea for street portraits, snap the interesting folks out there and grab a story about them – finding out about David has given me more drive to get that project going.

One Man Band

One man band
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: OM Zuiko 50mm at f1.8.

This guy was singing modern songs but with a one-man band twist! Great musicianship and a banjolele that I lusted after.

Of course, you say “one-man band” now and people imagine a load of instruments – and an oversized drum has to be one of them! But a one-man band can be something as simple as a guitar, a voice and a harmonica – a combo made so famous by Dylan et al that now we don’t even consider the fact that they are one-man bands by definition.

The earliest known records of one-man bands date back to the 13th century. These were simply a pipe and a drum. Now-a-days, I guess live looping would also be considered one-man banding. In the UK we have artists such as KT Tunstall and the brilliant Cosmo Sheldrake that perform in this way.

Street Violinist

Street violinist
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: OM Zuiko 50mm at f1.8.

I love stringed instruments. Violin and cello in particular. What fascinates me, other than the sound of course, is the age of these things.

It amazes me that some musicians out there are playing 300-year old instruments, they are literally playing a piece of history. Imagine where that instrument may have been? Who might have played it before now?


Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: OM.Zuiko 50mm @ f/4.
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: OM Zuiko 50mm @ f/4.

We’ve pretty much got a full band here (yes – I know – a one-man band technically is a full band already)!

This was a quick series of shots as I was running for my bus. The drum kit was made from old paint tins, proving you don’t need fancy scarves or expensive instruments – just find something and play!

Bonus Shot

This guy obviously has no luck whatsoever with his busking! Wonder how long he’s been standing there!?

Ageing disgracefully
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm at f5.6.



I’d forgotten about this guy, I found him hiding out on my memory card when I was doing some tidying up last night! He appeared on the street towards the end of the afternoon and was blowing up balloon animals for kids.

Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm @ f/4
Body: Olympus EPL5 | Lens: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm @ f/4

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