Belfast Telegraph

Is this Belfast's best busker? Street musician Gavin reveals his trade ... and the secrets of his Catherwood guitar

By Ricky Thompson

Belfast busker Gavin Ferris isn't your usual street musician banging out tunes on a tired old guitar.

He has developed a sophisticated percussive guitar sound that makes him really unique.

The former banjo player uses a Co Antrim-made Catherwood instrument with a special microphone inside to build rhythm and percussion into his music with a crisp, clear quality.

The Belfast busker has been playing guitar for 11 years and adopted this particular style around five years ago after watching others on YouTube.

Gavin said he loves music and the only way to push forward with it is to get out in front of people. Unfortunately most street performers tend to go unnoticed but a little recognition can go a long way.

Every so often, there is a busker worth paying attention to - last month we brought you the brilliant Romanian busker belting out Christmas classics in the Cornmarket area and smoking with the ladies.

But it's not an easy trade: in 2007, world famous violinist Joshua Bell went busking in an experiment to see if the public would recognise him as one of the finest talents in the classical world.

Few paid him any attention and only seven people actually stopped to appreciate his music.

So next time you walk past someone singing or strumming in the streets, take a moment and appreciate what they have to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised.

For more of Gavin's talents, check him out on Facebook at

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