Band of BBC buskers hit Nottingham to cover Dolly Parton

The Not-in-Tunes The Not-in-Tunes: Jodi Law, Hannah Meredith, Nigel Bell and Mark Dennison

An eclectic band formed of Radio Nottingham's mid-morning team have 'busked' a Dolly Parton song in the town centre to promote Saturday's BBC Big Busk.

Presenter Mark Dennison took to the Nottingham streets on Wednesday along with producers Hannah Meredith, Jodi Law and Nigel Bell, aiming to draw attention to the celebration of the city's vibrant busking scene that takes place from 11am.

'The Not-in-Tunes', as they've dubbed themselves, performed a cover of Dolly Parton's Jolene, in tribute to the country star's Nottingham Arena gig later that night.

'Although the main reason is that it's only two and a half minutes long, so it's nice and short,' joked Dennison, who had earlier assured Ariel that there would be no encores and no crowd-surfing.

Before their performance he had struck a cautious tone. ''Murdering" Parton's Jolene would be a more accurate description than "covering", he insisted. Presumably he was just being wary of Beatlemania-style crowds swarming Nottingham's Market Square but video evidence is now available on the station's Facebook for anyone wishing to judge for themselves.

Either way, the band of buskers drew a sizeable mid-morning crowd of spectators - even if there was no sign of Parton herself.

Spectators all holding plastic clappers Avid fans were said to have camped out the night before to ensure a good spot

Armed with some school drum lessons, Dennison was the natural fit to play the glockenspiel. Meredith was the hero on guitar, while Law and Bell were 'basically eye candy' - although all four shared vocal duties and Law did make some noise on a set of mini-bongos from the Early Learning Centre .

But no one can accuse them of taking their one-song set lightly.

Jazz Bates Chambers, a Nottingham native and former contestant on The Voice, had come in to spruce up their vocal harmonies beforehand.

And true to the music industry these days, their performance (even on radio) was not just about the music. So in came a Nottingham Trent fashion lecturer to offer advice on their 'look'. In short: the women had it right, the men needed amending. Hawaiian shirts are still not retro enough to be back in fashion, they learnt.

Jodi Law and Mark Dennison Jodi Law played bongos while Mark Dennison was on glockenspiel

The BBC Big Busk, jointly organised with Nottingham City Council and Dance4, will see 15 designated busker points and five piano drops set up around the city centre.

The aim is to fill the streets with music and exhibit the range and diversity of buskers from across the city, inspired by Nottingham's legendary busker Frank 'Xylophone Man' Robinson, as a tribute to him on the 10th anniversary of his death.

There will also be a special area for children to make hand shakers out of recycled plastic bottles, in order to join in and make as much noise as possible on the day.

'Nottingham will be buzzing,' said Sophie Shardlow, assistant editor at Radio Nottingham. 'The BBC Big Busk is a great example of how the city of Nottingham can work together and create a really special moment.'

The event culminates in a 'mass busk' of Pharrell Williams' song Happy at 4pm on Saturday - with buskers, musicians and the public all encouraged to attend.


Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.