The lively notes of jazz danced across Charles Bridge virtually all day, while a little distance away, the quieter performers attracted crowds of their own. Watching the crowds was as interesting as the entertainers were … errr…. entertaining
First we have the wave crowd. This chap would catch someone’s eye and stop them in their tracks as they puzzled over how he could seemingly float effortlessly in mid air. Others would stop and a crowd form. After a few minutes they would either see through the illusion or give up and walk away shaking their heads in disbelief. The crowd would disappear and he’d be alone for a minute (my chance!) before someone else would stop, the crowd would gather and so they came and went in waves.
Next were the attentive crowds. Fellow musicians would gather at this solitary strummer, following the rhythm with the tapping of their feet, an appreciative nod of the head or uttering an occasional ‘yeah man’ after a particularly clever chord sequence …. or so I gathered from the ensuing conversation! Then there is the furtive crowd. Passing strategically placed artists they would secretly scan their wares determinedly avoiding any eye contact. When someone weakened and was ‘caught’ the following masses found the courage to stop and look confident in the knowledge that they were safe …. until approaching the next artist lying in wait. Finally we have the unseeing crowd. This is made up of those either too focussed on the next ‘must see’ attraction or in too much of a hurry to notice the ‘little things’ in the world around them. This cherub caught my eye – and my imagination; typical of so many small children with the outside chance of a potential pet he seems to be saying ‘Please Mum. Pleeease can I keep him.”
To the ‘crowd theory’ purists, I apolgise. To everyone else, can you forgive me for writing a post about crowds with not a crowd in sight?!
(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)