Crowds attract street performers looking for tips. In Europe, there have been lots of crowds, and we have seen many, many street performers every day. In every city we have visited. And, no one bothers them.
Many of the singers appear to have perfect voices, and we are convinced they are lip synching and have been tempted to grab one of their microphones. We even saw an opera singer in Bratislava, Slovakia, who sounded as good as Pavarotti, and he was singing on an empty street. The really funny thing is that maybe 5 or 6 days later, the same guy (we are 100% certain) was singing on a busier street corner in Vienna, Austria.
But today in Place Massena, a big public square behind the old town of Nice, there was a blind singer who was so good, he drew a decent audience We learned that Aaron Lordson, who is from Togo and had a couple of handlers promoting his upcoming concerts in Nice and Monaco, worked briefly as a gynecologist before giving that up for music. His powerful, gravelly voice, doing soul and rhythm and blues, a bit like Louis Armstrong, was so good people were saying it gave them chills.
Here’s a guy who commands $75-100 a ticket and has sung at a royal wedding in Luxembourg. And, then two lady municipal cops showed up on their bikes and stopped the performance. They pointed to nearby apartments, as if they had complaints. It even seemed that one of the assistants showed them a permit of some type, to no avail.
The first true pro we have seen on the streets and the first one to have the police shut him off.
We are staying in an apartment over a smaller square in the old town, with a gay restaurant/bar across the way. Last night they sponsored a drag queen show, with zero talent, but they were much louder, right in the middle of the street and it went on for a while. We guess it may be a regular event there, and no one seemed to care.